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  1. #1
    Command Sergeant Major Equity's Avatar
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    Default Should poker rooms punish winning players?

    So Ed Miller got involved in an interesting discussion on twitter yesterday. It started with this comment.

    @EdMillerPoker: Limiting or banning winning players in some form is prob good business. Not sure why you think it's a joke.

    He he also went as far to say winning players cost poker rooms money and explained with this tweet.

    @EdMillerPoker: Def not leveling. Cardroom profit = deposits - withdrawals - expenses/taxes. Strong players = withdrawals.

    I agree with Ed and want to know what are good mechanisms to implement restrictions like these and also if you disagree with the whole idea, why?
    ​Poker is not about simply playing your cards in a fundamentally sound manner. -Jonathan Little

  2. #2
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    What on earth is our motivation to improve to become winning players if we are going to be penalized or restricted? Do you think that this holds true for on line sites as well or do they make their profits from the churning and rake? Therefore do they want to encourage better players multi-tabling regardless of their win rate or just make conditions easier for rec players?

  3. #3
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    I don't think card rooms care too much. If you win, you are not beating the card room. they will earn roughly the same regardless if you are winning or losing. The only time it will matter to a card room is if player A is playing and other players either leave or refuse to sign up because player A is playing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


  4. #4
    Super Moderator Xopods's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's stupid logic. As JJ says, you're not winning from the house, you're paying rake like anyone else. If you weren't a winning player, you might not be withdrawing as much, but someone else - whoever's money you won - would be withdrawing more.

    The counterargument is one Steve brought up with regards to poker sites and a possible incentive for rigging, namely that if you assume that most bad players will play until they've gone broke, maybe when fish play against fish, it takes longer for them to go broke and they trade their chips back and forth more in the process and thus pay more rake. Another possible argument which applies to casinos rather than card rooms or poker sites is that a bad player who comes out ahead is more likely to take his winnings to the roulette or craps table than a good one.

    All that said, even if you believe that a card room would rather have an empty seat than a winning player at the table, it would be incredibly foolish of them to take direct action against the winners. The things about poker is that most people who play it think they're pretty good. If word starts getting out that coming out ahead too often will get you blacklisted, that's going to be seen as a no-win proposition and they'll lose the break-even and losing players as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by pikachar
    Honestly didn t read OP I just got to say xopods is right on the money
    I design board & card games!: http://www.benefactum.ca

  5. #5
    Command Sergeant Major Equity's Avatar
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    I think the point is that it will help small poker sites. This definitely doesn't apply live. Online once you deposit you will likely play that site until you withdraw or bust. If really good players are on every table then the fish lose faster. If you simply limit every player to something like 4 tables then the sharks can't sit at every table and it will be easier for the site to grow a player base. I think typically the fish only play 1-2 tables anyway. I don't think you need to single out good players but a blanket policy will probably help.


    Here is a question Ed proposed.
    @EdMillerPoker: You run a small skin w 20 active games avg. Nanonoko signs up on your site and sits all 20 games for 10 hrs a day. Good for you? Or bad?
    ​Poker is not about simply playing your cards in a fundamentally sound manner. -Jonathan Little

  6. #6
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    How could this possibly be good? Isn't he killer?

  7. #7
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    That's what I said in my fist response. If a certain player is causing the site to lose money because people do not want to play with him, then I can see them doing something. But other than that, if you are not named player, I can't see the rooms caring if you are good or bad.

    But then again, having a famous player at the table could potentially be a draw for people who want to be able to say they played with such and such.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


  8. #8
    Command Sergeant Major Equity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by You_so_nitty View Post
    How could this possibly be good? Isn't he killer?
    Yes and even if it isn't him in particular the money will change hands if there is a player that is much better than everyone else. A poker site has to pay a certain amount in advertising to get people to deposit. I don't know what it costs but let's say it's X% of deposits. Now if a winning player is able to win that deposit before the room has a chance to rake X% of it then they are losing money. The site would benefit from fish playing fish because the money will likely go back and forth much longer. Also some skins have casino games as well so the fish may play roulette or something else even online. When the winning players win too fast there is less traffic simply because people won't play as much if they have to keep reloading and that is if they reload at all. I think simply limiting how many tables everyone can play will keep fish in the game longer thus making the site softer and give it a chance to grow.

    The room may not be losing directly to the winning players but they are spending money to earn deposits to their site and must cover those costs to stay in operation.
    ​Poker is not about simply playing your cards in a fundamentally sound manner. -Jonathan Little

  9. #9
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    A room is not technically allowed to use player deposits for running of a business. It is supposed to be segregated accounts. Before entering the business, a room is supposed to have the expenses required for the start up and advertising on hand at start up to get the license. If any poker room is following the rules this is not an issue.

    There are also payout formulas that based on what games they are running of how much a casino must keep of cash on hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Little View Post
    I typed out a nice long reply then I realized it said almost the exact same thing as jjpregler said right above me.


  10. #10
    Super Moderator Xopods's Avatar
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    That's not what he said, JJ. He said that the site needs each player, on average, to generate enough profit in the form of rake to cover the expenses incurred (advertising, promotions) required to have attracted that player in the first place. Otherwise you're losing money and will eventually go out of business.

    Rake calculations for cash games can be difficult because the money comes out of the pot not directly from someone's account, so let's use tournaments as an example.

    Say the average player's first deposit is $100, and that you've found that in spending $5000 on advertising, you got 250 new users signing up. So about $20/user to get them there. If most of your tournaments have a 10% tournament fee, then if those users bust every tournament they play, you're only getting $10 in rake out of them before they go bust and quit. You need the average user to play through his money twice.

    Or, put another way, you need the average dollar to be played through twice before being cashed out before you start seeing a profit. If most of the money goes straight from a fish's account to a shark's and is then cashed out before hitting the table a second time, you're losing money.
    Quote Originally Posted by pikachar
    Honestly didn t read OP I just got to say xopods is right on the money
    I design board & card games!: http://www.benefactum.ca

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