Responding to demands that players have been making for long time, PokerStars has reduced its Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) rake by five percent.
During the player meetings held recently, PokerStars announced that it will reduce rake for its microstakes PLO cash games with effect from July 1. The issue of lowering PLO microstakes rake has been discussed ever since PokerStars launched its first player meeting. Players argue that PLO should have a rake structure separate from that of NL because it attracts larger player fields, thus generating larger prize pools. The rake per PLO hand for individual players has always been higher than the same for No Limit.
When the issue was discussed at the first player meeting, PokerStars stated that it saw no reason why PLO games should be treated differently than NL Hold’em games, adding that it even had data to prove that the games did not deserve a different rake structure.
However, players pursued the matter relentlessly till PokerStars finally decided to make the change. Accordingly, the rake at all PokerStars PLO tables, with betting limits ranging from $0.001/$0.002 to $0.010/$0.025, has been reduced in the range of 4.4 percent to 6.9 percent, depending on the stake.
Refusing to admit that its rake structure is unjustified, PokerStars stated: “For now, the evidence we have suggests that PLO games are healthy, though PLO winnings are more heavily dependent than NLHE winnings on VIP status.”
Steve Day of PokerStars said that, for now, the changes will apply to microstakes PLO cash games only. He said: “This is not an indication that we will be changing rake for other stakes of PLO. We do not currently have any such intentions.”
PokerStars old PLO rake structure was the lowest in the industry, and now that PokerStars has reduced the rake further, it has considerably distanced itself from its industry rivals.
The rake for $0.01/$0.02 PLO cash games has been reduced from 3.5 percent to 3.3 percent. PokerStars has also reduced the rake for its $0.02/$0.05 and $0.05/$0.10 PLO games from 4.15 percent to 3.9 percent and 4.5 percent to 4.25 percent, respectively. The rake for $0.10/$0.25 PLO cash games has also been reduced from 4.5 percent to 4.25 percent.
Success at PLO games depends heavily on player rewards, but only active poker players get rewarded. PokerStars could solve this problem by reducing either VPP multipliers or rake, but decided to reduce the rake as it feared player criticism.