A few days ago, GG Poker almost doubled the rake on the most expensive tables, and they did it without any announcement.
– They raised an already absurd rake on the NL5k tables… Is this an April Fool's joke? makeboifin tweeted hopefully on April 1st.
But it turned out that everything is serious. On 2+2, Markus described the problem in more detail:
– NL5k and NL10k stakes will suffer the most. In fact, it doesn't make any sense to play 5k anymore when there is no obvious amateur at the table (and he must lose ~40bb/100 for the rest to play at least zero. And people who lose more than 40bb are very rare today).
Also, on GG, all the regulars will disappear, of which there were not many. Because due to the new rake, the minimum limit at which it makes sense to play is NL40k (it used to be 20k). But there is also a positive point, the PLO regs are doing much worse anyway :----D
Yesterday, another top high-stakes reg, MMAsherdog, opened a topic on 2+2, in which he explained in detail what happened and what actions the high-stakes regulars plan to take.
– Starting today, the high-stakes community will boycott all games over $25/$50 on GGPoker. 90% of the players who constantly play these limits have confirmed their participation.
The rake on GG has always been well above industry standards. But thanks to liquidity and a large number of fans, they managed to lure almost all the expensive action.
Even with the old $25/$50 rake, there were a lot of games that didn't beat, and there were a lot of empty spots. With the new rake, almost the entire game has become like this at 5-10k, regulars have also become completely meaningless.
How does this apply to you?
The goal of any poker player is profit. In the new conditions on GG, this goal has become almost unattainable. It's no longer a game of skill with a bit of luck, it's more like playing against the casino.
Without high-stakes action, GG will lose a lot of players who are playing cheaper now but dream of climbing to the highest stakes.
Assuming all the regulars at the table are playing with the same win rate, the amateur would have to lose 42.5bb/100 for everyone else to break even! There are almost no such players.
Now, in 3-max games, even self-confident players will not be able to play themselves with the hope that they are playing a plus. Too much money will go to the website.
GG advertises a big rakeback, which supposedly should compensate for the rake. Clients are offered up to 60%, which in fact is an outright lie. We contacted a lot of players to find out what kind of rakeback they have. Someone even has 10%, and none of the plus regulars have more than 20%. It's all about the opaque PVI system.
The main competitor – ACR – gives 40% rakeback, despite the fact that initially, their rake is much less.
Why is this about GG?
They have the right to set any price for their product. But even before the rake increase, they themselves saw perfectly well that heads-up battles disappeared from the lobby altogether, games with amateurs also became much smaller, and the tables with them were often not filled.
The rake has become such that it is obvious to any professional that he will no longer be able to win. Fans simply will not have anyone to play with, GGPoker revenues will fall, and players will go to other rooms.
One regular who plays heads-up and 3-max with everyone paid $600k in rake last year. He no longer plays on GG as he figured that with the new rake, he would have a positive expectation in less than 20% of last year's games.
The high-stakes community has never been so close-knit, players easily work with each other to counter any threats to poker. We hope that our boycott will quickly demonstrate the negative effects of the changes.
What do we want?
Our goal is to communicate with GG in order to jointly build a sustainable and long-term gaming environment. So that players can win and have fun, and the network continues to make a profit.
We are a group of 90 high-stakes regulars who have played GGpoker a lot for a long time and would like to see a reasonable rake system and transparent rakeback. This will allow players to better understand what games they want to play.
We understand how tempting it is to get the maximum EV quickly in weak lineups, but we prefer to play with less rake and without the danger of sudden increases in the future.
If anyone from GG wants to talk to us, they can DM us here and we'll add you to our discord chat.
MMAsherdog noted that at the time of the publication of his message, there was only one table running on high-stakes GG.
We reached out to avr0ra to comment on the boycott of high rollers and rake changes.
– Tell me what happened?
– On March 31, GG released an update in which there was not a single word about raising the rake. Players at the tables themselves began to notice that too much money was going to the side. At each table, you can see the conditions of the game, and there we found information that the rake cap on NL5-10k was doubled.
In theory, they probably won’t beat the rake. If you remember, something similar used to happen on Stars, when all SNG regs had negative charts, but thanks to good rakeback they were positive. Apparently, GG decided that they needed the same system. But the problem is that rakeback is different for everyone. They write that the maximum is 60%. But there is also the PVI coefficient, due to which all the winning players get less rakeback than the losing ones. Personally, I have a PVI of 0.2, which means my maximum rakeback is 12%. In order to have even a theoretical chance to play with a positive expectation, I need to first lose my profit for the entire time I played on GG. The scheme is ingenious.
Therefore, the players were left with no other choice but not to play these limits at all. 90 players have already confirmed their participation. We decided not to publish the full list, because everyone has large balances, and many fear that GG may respond quite harshly.
We were surprised at how easy it was to organize. Everyone remembers the protests at Stars, when there were too many players, and coordinated actions were difficult. This time, George "You-mad-br0" Froggatt and his friends from bitB Cash contacted all the regs of these stakes in just two days, and organizing everything turned out to be quite simple. We hope that GG will pay attention to the empty lobby. We have also already contacted public people – Doug Polk, Jungleman, perhaps they can also help. They also wrote to Misha Inner, but it is clear that he cannot do anything. No one is demanding, just informed.
– Judging by the sign with 2 + 2, the rake was already huge. Why were there so many games?
– Yes, the rake was by far the largest on the high stakes. But there are a lot of fans on GG, this is the main factor. Regs have learned to play +EV, and have many selections on games. In general, the system is somehow self-regulated. But, apparently, GG was not satisfied with the ratio of reg wins to rake, and they decided to “slightly” change it.
Another point is that the changes happened without any warning. Some players did not even have time to update their strategy, that is, the game conditions did not correspond to the real rake. The support service replied that they had not heard of any rake increase, and such changes would have been mentioned in the announcement.
“Is it really worse in Pot-Limit Omaha?”
– Yes, and at this moment it’s a little embarrassing. There, the rake is the same at all limits, the game has almost died out, and nobody cares. Recently there was a situation where at the PLO20k table one player was playing blindly all-in, and even he did not draw a full table. Familiar regs explained to me that such a game still does not beat the rake, since he has too short a stack. If he spun up to 100 blinds, then there would be theoretical chances to beat her. Despite the fact that this has been going on for half a year, games with VIPs in PLO still continue, there were a lot of hands played on GG last month.
To be honest, I personally do not believe that there will be any rollback. But there is no way out, what is the point of playing if you are guaranteed a negative expectation. The alternative is not to play GG at all. Unlike PLO, in hold'em the rake depends on the limit – at NL5k one cap, at NL10k it is smaller, at 20k even less. At NL20, 40k, and 100k the rake is acceptable even now. Even regulars can play at NL100k, it's just very expensive, and no one is ready for such stakes, except in very rare cases. First of all, the stakes NL5-10k will suffer from the increase, just the ones on which the most hands were played. They play a couple of sessions a month at NL100k, I think it will stay that way.
– What are the prospects if GG still ignores you and nothing changes?
– Sooner or later the system will be adjusted again and the game, of course, will be restored. Nobody is deluded. We are not trying to act from a position of strength, it is pointless. But the games will definitely become much smaller, and GG will earn less. I am sure that six months or a year will pass, and they themselves will understand that they made a mistake and will lower the rake. Perhaps not to the original values, but I have no doubt in some kind of decrease. The current situation is unfavorable for all parties.
– Why doesn’t the high-stakes action move to other rooms? Is it all about the regulars?
– The Regulars already go to ACR almost all, and heads-up matches are played on Stars. But yes, there are no such players anywhere else. Chinese players can only be found on GG.
– If a Chinese amateur sits down at the table right now, will he draw an action game?
– At the moment, the lobby is almost empty, one table is playing – 4 amateurs and 2 regs. It is clear that there will always be people who want to seize the moment and ignore the boycott. But it is already clear that the game has become much smaller. Usually, tens of thousands of hands are played at the expensive limits of hold'em per day, I think today it will be 90% less. In my opinion, this is enough to show dissatisfaction of the regs. But everyone knows that GG has Asian owners who will not do anything under pressure. The only hope is to explain that it is also unprofitable for them. This is what we are trying to do.
– Has there been a lot of action at the high stakes lately?
– Yes, there are a lot of games with amateurs. I think this is what led to this change. They looked at the statistics for 3-4 months and saw how much money the regs get. But really, it's just a coincidence. During this period, two regular amateurs from Israel lost a lot, but they stopped playing even before the rake increased. There is another option that GG raised the rake so sharply on purpose in order to roll back a little later. In any case, they dictate the conditions – they will do what they want. And the players will have to individually decide whether to stay or go to other rooms. It is also important to note that there were no precedents in poker when the rooms changed something under the pressure of the players. I doubt that our case will be the first. But, again, there is no alternative. When everyone plays in the red, even the fans are not interested in watching this. Somehow it will look pitiful from a media point of view. Undoubtedly, GG made a great product, it would be a pity to lose what has been built for years.
The situation in the lobby this morning:
“The lobby is empty,” says George Froggatt on 2+2. – All the famous players who played yesterday also joined the boycott.