Sunday, 9 January 2011

"Update: Changes to ring game min/max buy-ins, if any, will be announced and implemented by the end of January."

That's the word from Pokerstars Steve. Here's how I see this situation:

If they are not making changes, I would think the logical thing to do would be to announce that there's no changes rather than leading us on and on. We've gone from (paraphrase) "We're taking our time making important decisions,"  to "Changes (if any) by the end of January." That sounds like a decision. Cycle back to the first sentence of this paragraph.

So now that the speculation train is full speed ahead there's a few possible outcomes based on the most important issues people brought up. I'm leaving out deep games since they hardly run anyways:

1. 40-100 games are dead
2. 20-50 is a rake machine
3. 40-50 overlap is bad
4. SSers playing CAP in an NL game

Scenario 1: 20-100 only
Fixes problems 1, 2 and 3... sort of
Now we're all the way back in 2000-something before the introduction of 50bb min games. Let the rathole complaints resume. Note that games do improve from their current state -- until the army of SSers that have been banished from applying  their edge against 100bb-wider ranges everywhere else around the world descends on Stars like a flock of red-winged blackbirds.

Scenario 2: 40-100 and 20-50 with lower 20-50 rake
Fixes problem 2
This would most likely be feasible and the same complaints would continue but I think a lot of smart full stack regs would adapt to the much more beatable 20-50 depending on exactly how much they lower rake. Expect 40-100 regs to start new complaint that their rake should be lowered as well, which only makes sense given that in both cases it's skill edge that's declining but for different reasons.

Scenario 3: 35-100 and CAP
Fixes problems 1, 2, 3, and 4
This would be ideal -- or some variant of 30+ min to 70+ max. CAP players playing CAP. NL players playing NL. And like I said in the 2011 VIP Changes thread, after the fish fall where they may and if CAP becomes popular when it's labeled as CAP then I will say goodbye Stars, gg SSers, NL is no longer the game of choice. But at least I will know that CAP is what the fish actually wanted to play and that they weren't being tricked into playing CAP when they thought they were playing NL and I was wrong all along.

Scenario 4: 20-50 and 40-100 No Change
Cycle back to my migraine.

Scenario 4: 20-50 and 40-100 and CAP
Further segmentation.

Fingers crossed.


  1. Just a thought - if you leave stars where will you go? What game will you play? I read your post a few months back about crushing the 25NL SH games for $40 an hour. Seems like a decent win rate so I would imagine you can beat the 50c SH games for a better hourly if you cut back tables?

  2. If I were to leave Stars I think at this point my only option would be FTP. I'm not exactly sure what % Iron Man is worth especially with its progressive structure but maybe it wouldn't be as big of a drop as I think.

    Plus being forced into fewer tables might end up being a good thing and I think their software runs a close second to Stars. I actually don't mind Rush at all and can comfortably play 6 tables of that although I would have to FR/6M or stake split since I'm only allowed four of one kind.

    If nothing changes, I'm strongly considering switching to FTP and making a serious attempt at staying there. I've gone in the past with intentions of Iron Man but they've generally fallen apart because I keep getting sucked back to the Stars program. The general lack of motivation, frustration and wtfisthisshit.jpg I currently have every time I look at the Stars lobby lately might be enough to push me over the FTP edge.

  3. FTP is where I play now and I'm loving it. At least the stakes I play, the players are MUCH fishier than on Stars and like you mentioned, the software is a close second. Add in RB, and I think it's a pretty easy decision to play there, even considering the RB drop. The nittiness and terrible structure of the tables on Stars more than sacrifice the +EV-ness of their VIP program.