The GG network continues to make changes that impact negatively for both players and affiliates…
For a long time there was nothing but positive things to say about GGPoker and how well they treated players, and we as an affiliate were 100% satisfied. Unfortunately, for the last few months we have observed a pattern that is going in completely the wrong direction. To this end, we published an article recently concerning GGPoker acting increasingly unprofessional.
As if there hadn’t been enough negative developments during the last few months, there is now another worsening of the state of play thanks to changes to the PVI, which continues to be a source of criticism, Already an unwelcome feature of GGPoker’s rake set-up, PVI has undergone a further adjustment – carried out rather quietly (and even secretly) – that is to the detriment of players and affiliates. It should be noted that in the case of a good regular player, the PVI levelling off at 0.3-0.5 after 2-3 days means that GG counts only 30%-50% of the actual rake, with the rest going straight into their own pockets. There are very few cases where a regular player has long-term PVI higher than 0.5.
Here’s an example of the implications of the latest PVI changes:
Player A generates $10,000 rake and receives 50% rakeback through the regular Fish Buffet promo. The Netrake would be roughly $5,000. The affiliate is also paid on the basis of the Netrake; this is how the calculation works in every normal online poker room except GGPoker and the iPoker network.
Let’s assume a PVI of 0.5. The calculation would be as follows: $10,000 rake – $5,000 deduction PVI = $5,000, and the player receives 50% of the Fish Buffet, which would be $2,500. You don’t have to be a mathematics professor here to understand that both the player and the affiliate end up being short by 50% … but there is a winner, namely GGPoker.
Despite being advertised as 60% weekly cashback, the reality is it is only 30% at best for a regular player! That’s a simple fact. Of course, 60% sounds good, but for many players this is a misleading claim. As far as getting to grips with the mechanics of these calculations, the waters were muddied a few years ago when GG made changes that meant no information about PVI is available for either affiliate or player. Of course, it’s not difficult for experienced players to calculate roughly how much will be deducted through PVI but, nevertheless, even the last bit of transparency was removed by the powers that be at the network.
PVI generates more money for GGPoker, yet promotions are reduced
One could be forgiven for thinking that, with the additional income thanks to the ‘interesting’ PVI machinations, it should follow that there is more money made available for promotions. However, that is apparently not the case, because for months now the daily rake races have also been cut! A few months ago it was $50,000 per day for all variants, but now this has been reduced to only $20,000. And this raises questions… Clearly, with the Spin & Gold tournaments, the cut is more than understandable from a business point of view, but it’s the adjustments in the other variants that is more than incomprehensible.
There are parallels to Pokerstars
The suspicion is slowly emerging that what is happening with the GG network is the same as a few years ago at Pokerstars – a large player pool creates a level of overconfidence that leaves those in charge resting on their laurels and feeling invincible, which can ultimately lead to poor decisions being made and opportunities overlooked/declined. We all know how this worked out at Pokerstars – it took them a few years, but eventually they managed to steer the ship back on course after finally listening to the opinions of the players and major affiliates.
It appears that GGPoker is now taking a similar path. Of course, it is absolutely possible that the company manages to regroup and once again take the most appropriate route, but waiting too long to try to redress the balance runs the risk of slipping down a downward spiral and the problems being compounded. It’s not insignificant that a large part of GGPoker’s traffic is flushed into the network by questionable agents and skins, which is a state of affairs that could easily backfire.
The creeping decline of player numbers
It’s never easy to identify at what point customer numbers have reached a definable lower level than has been the norm. Consequently, it’s all the more important for online poker providers to make sure they don’t take their eye off the ball at any point, in order to avoid being caught unawares and falling foul of a practically irrevocable downward trend. This creeping process in decreasing player numbers has already begun at GGPoker. Numerous players who have hitherto poured good money into the coffers have already taken their business to other providers, simply because they see the situation at GG as having deteriorated month after month, and they have become dissatisfied with PVI and other issues. Little by little, there are fewer and fewer players and, thanks to increasing problems with some big affiliates, fewer new players will come along. Factor in the prospect of traffic from those countries where certain jurisdictional/legal boxes are not sufficiently ticked, and the player pool could be further reduced…
While GG wishes to cement their place at the top of the global pile of online poker providers, and however much this is indeed achievable, it is less and less likely if certain aspects of the business continue to be run along the same lines as the last few months.
YourPokerDream is not a fan of negative coverage of the industry, and it goes without saying that we very much hope things will turn in the right direction for GGPoker, and that we will be able to report positively again in the future. GGPoker has a fantastic product with unique software and numerous player-friendly, forward-thinking features. It would be a shame to not take advantage of such a great opportunity to take online poker forward, and we hope that the recent changes which have been to the detriment of the poker community can be addressed so that GGPoker can get back on track and achieve their goal of providing poker fans with the ultimate playing experience.