There’s more to being an affiliate than bringing in new players
The online poker world is constantly evolving and adapting, and this has seen numerous providers change their strategy regarding working with affiliates. It’s no secret that the golden days of poker are long gone. However, that absolutely doesn’t mean that the market is dead, rather that a lot has changed in the last 10 years.
Due to various regulations, the player pool is no longer as big, and nor are there as many new players as there used to be. In the past, every player seemed to be worth their weight in gold, and rakeback deals were thrown around liberally. There were incredibly high deals for affiliates, and business revolved around bringing in as many new players as possible.
Today, the environment is different, and not all players are alike. For a few years the trend has been more towards looking for casual gamers rather than professionals and those more serious players who generate a lot of rake.
Gradually, various measures were introduced to filter the ‘quality’ of an affiliate and to reward or punish them accordingly. From the point of view of most affiliates this is, of course, not that significant, but for online poker rooms it definitely makes sense.
Deals and commissions depend on player quality and numbers
The big affiliates usually have a percentage share in a player’s netrake. How high this percentage is depends on various factors. Of course, attracting new players is important, but there also has to be a healthy balance of player types. Any affiliate that mediates winning players who generate a lot of rake but also consistently get money from the poker eco-system will not receive a special deal from the poker room. There are only a few providers left who don’t care, and where attention isn’t paid to the quality of the players.
GGPoker, 888Poker and the Chico network in particular have been paying close attention for some time to the type of players an affiliate deals with. So-called rakeback affiliates are considered rather undesirable and therefore receive a very poor deal, or none at all.
We keep getting inquiries from players who have registered with a poker room through another affiliate, but are now there without any additional incentives because the affiliate has taken their eye off the ball or the deal has been shortened or diluted in some way so that it is no longer advantageously available. Pure rakeback affiliates are clearly dying out because the situation is no longer the same. Some have failed to adjust their strategy in good time, and are now losing ground.
Many people think that YourPokerDream is one of those affiliates that is 100% focused on rakeback and professional players, but this is far from the reality. Of course, we have great offers for professionals and, depending on the poker room, fantastic rakeback deals. However, our focus is on a completely different audience, and we do a lot to ensure that our traffic has a healthy balance, and that is exactly why we can usually offer better deals/promotions for almost all poker rooms than other affiliates
Evaluating generated rake
Rake determines how much the poker room and the affiliate ultimately earn. It should be pointed out that while $100 rake is $100 rake, how it’s calculated and distributed is not so simple. Networks such as iPoker network, the GGNetwork and once Mircogaming (MPN) use a special system and calculate the rake depending on the type of player. It would go beyond the scope of this article to delve into too much detail, so here’s a brief explanation. The affiliate and the poker room are penalized, so to speak, if a player wins too much and takes too much money out of the system. It’s very easy to explain using iPoker, where the SBR calculation model has existed since 2015, the point being that a successful player has less rake than they actually generated – but minimum 50%! Experience has shown us that in fact it is only 50-55%.
A real-life example: A player generates $1,000 in rake and has a 30% flat rakeback deal. He still has a Welcome Bonus that corresponds to 20% rakeback, and then there is still 10% of the rake chase.
Now, iPoker only evaluates 50% of the rake actually generated for the poker room and the affiliate, so the calculation is as follows: $500 rake – $300 rakeback – $200 Welcome Bonus – $100 rake chase = -$100 Netrake. This is only a rough calculation because, in reality, only transaction fees and possibly admin fees are deducted. In our example, the Netrake is -$100, and this means that we have to pay something to the provider or that it is offset directly against the commission for other games. So we and the poker room didn’t earn anything here; everyone loses, except for iPoker itself.
Welcome to the iPoker network :) Now everyone can imagine why YPD is not particularly enthusiastic about promoting iPoker skins
At GGPoker it is a similar situation. While not as bad as at iPoker, the principle and the idea remain the same, only implemented much better. Many professional players do see it differently and are not at all satisfied with the PVI model from GG. Of course, we would also prefer it if there were no PVI, but the idea behind it, and its implementation, is understandable from a business perspective.