PokerStars has slowly been making moves to increase their profit margin. And the latest involves increasing rake on all micro stakes tournaments, or those with buy-ins worth less than $20. PokerStars claims that the move was made an effort to keep up with a constantly changing global internet poker market.
The Stars Group, PokerStars’ parent company, officially raised low-stakes tournament rake on Monday, March 26.
Severin Rasset, who’s Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at Stars Group, said that the company’s decision was influenced by “customer behavior, commercial and promotional considerations, and the overall long-term sustainable health of the ecosystem.”
Time Tourney Rake Lowered
Low stakes players certainly aren’t happy with the higher rake. But PokerStars did make one move in players’ favor by reducing rake for Time Tournaments.
These events run at a faster pace, meaning players are more likely to spend extra rake anyways. Therefore, the discount helps keep Time Tourneys more attractive to the average player.
Rasset alluded to the fact that PokerStars is considering other moves in the future to keep the world’s largest poker site profitable:
“Pricing is a key commercial consideration for every business and we will increasingly use a dynamic pricing model that gives the greatest flexibility to respond to market dynamics. Therefore, we will be reviewing and adjusting our pricing, bonusing and promotions, and our Stars Rewards program on an ongoing basis.”
Online Poker Community Reacts
Doug Polk, who’s been a major critic of PokerStars over the years, was quick to bash Stars over the recent rake increase. He also referenced PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu, who once claimed that higher rake can benefit players.
“Many companies struggle to put together a cohesive message, but @Pokerstars has succeeded on that front in spades,” Polk tweeted.
“Micro stakes recreational players are being protected with yet another rake increase, which will further increase everyone’s profitability.”
PokerFuse’s Nick Jones also made a good point in that PokerStars now charges higher rake than its competitors. It’ll be interesting to see if some of Stars’ current customers begin examining their online poker options.