The importance of professional players is often underestimated by poker rooms
The question about the importance of professional players for online poker players’ pools preoccupies the scene yearly. Since poker rooms introduced a lot of changes over the last few years, you get the feeling that they no longer want a good player.
We have already reported on it several times and we are in contact with providers’ representatives regarding this topic. It is not the case when you are strictly against winning players; it only leveled off in recent years so that almost everyone concentrates on the occasional player and afraid that the player pool will become too strong and no more traffic will follow.
On the one hand, that’s of course completely fine and we all are aware that the golden days are over. Nevertheless, there has to be a healthy balance and, in our opinion, winning players are much more important than casual players.
Why are professional players more important than hobby players?
The presence of sharks isn’t good for player pools as all the money is pulled out of the system. Everyone agrees on this point and that’s why it’s understandable that certain measures have to be taken to maintain the balance of player pools.
For a poker room, it is primarily important that tables are active 24/7 at all limits. As a new player, you don’t want to wait long to join the cash game table or start the tournament. The goal is to register and start the game. This is the right way for professional players, who play for 6-10 hours a day at several tables at the same time. Without these players, the player pool would be very small and not busy. So when a new player joins a particular poker room, full tables are exactly what he expects to have some fun.
A flow of revenue/rake to the poker room
A regular player who spends 30-50h a week at the virtual tables generates more sales rather than a player who plays for just 4-5h a week. Of course, there are also some gamblers and high rollers who play super high limits and thus generate rakes, but especially at the lower limits, there is not much that comes afterwards with a normal casual player. It’s relatively simple: regulars and not the hobby players make big profits for every poker room.
Not every regular is a shark
We have also addressed this topic many times in the past. The fact that a player plays 25 days a week, 8-10 hours a day, does not always mean he is a crusher. Many players, especially from Eastern European countries, play an unbelievable amount of money to draw very small profits from the system in the end, often only through Rakeback, which is enough to survive in certain countries.
The point is that only 10-15% of all regulars pull a lot of money out of the system and the rest of them push the money back and forth; thus, keeping the tables full and not damaging the poker ecology.
You can’t make it too easy for the regulars, but not too difficult either
Understandably, online-poker providers endeavor to make the game more natural. For these reasons, they are moving towards playing games without HUD and other technical aids, and do their best to ban ‘bum-hunting’ which is currently a hot topic at GGPoker. All these factors ensure a fair and natural gaming experience for every player. Nobody benefits from a certain group of players filling their pockets and putting the money into their own pockets as quickly as possible.
On the other hand, the playing environment has to be profitable for poker pros as well. A halfway normal Rakeback program, working software and an acceptable rake that you can beat should be the absolute standard.
The success of a poker room depends on how well they create an overall package that is suitable for all groups of players. Some providers never seem to learn what is true of 888Poker, just to name an example.
PokerStars gives the competition all options with their strategy changes
While PokerStars is still the clear leader in the online poker industry, the throne might start to shake in the nearest future. The number of players at PokerStars has declined significantly over the past few years due to the strict market position and a tough strategy against winning players. A zero percent Rakeback, constant rake increment, poor support, and many more negative points are now predominant about Stars in recent years. Of course, winning players are still very welcomed to the poker room, but do they do something to make them feel good? Clearly no!
Many players have already switched to other notable poker operators with a good support system. GGPoker is the biggest competitor, and it has a realistic chance of ending the PokerStars monopoly in the next few years. Dealing with professional grinders and affiliates will be decisive here. If they handle both well and sensibly, a big change will occur very soon.