Unibet Removes Highest-Stakes Cash Games from Site

In a move described as ensuring the player ecology of its site, Unibet has announced the removal of the highest tier of cash-game tables the site offered, at €800. The trimback includes both the NL800 and PL800 tables, which ran sparingly but were deemed, in Unibet’s words, to be “too rich for their philosophy.”

The €800 hold’em tables were added into Unibet’s offerings last year, and analysis showed that they contributed to the proliferation of short-handed games as well as allowed for the quick carving up of a small number of high-stakes fish who wandered into games rather more formidable than their skill sets. Such high-value depositors are among the most sought-after of all players across the industry, Unibet being no exception there, and industry research has shown that quick beatdowns of such players either drive them to other sites, or out of online poker entirely.

David Pomroy, Head of Poker at Unibet, said this: “Our main priority has always been to safeguard the ecology of our site as everything we do is ultimately built on that foundation. The addition of NL800 and PL800 had contributed to short-handed games and slightly faster loss rates of recreational players at our higher stakes. Although the situation was by no means critical, we decided it was best to act on that trend sooner rather than later. We’ll be launching a new promotion next month which will be aimed at our recreational higher stakes players and will consider restoring NL800 and PL800 in the future once we feel a sufficient support structure is in place. This decision doesn’t change our long-term ambitions to continue growing the site but right now our focus is on ensuring that we continue to offer a non-predatory environment and the most enjoyable cash games online.”

The removal of the €800 tables actually returns the sum of Unibet’s high-stakes cash-game offerings to the form they had in 2014, when €400 was the highest cash-game stake available. The site has experimented with other top-level buy-ins and formats in both its hold’em and Omaha offerings over the past several years, being among the most proactive of sites in openly embracing a form of a “recreational player”-centric poker economy.

Sometimes, as it works out, the best answer was there all along, and that appears to be the case with Unibet. Back in 2014, Unibet was still working out the kinks of operating as a standalone site/network, having walked away from its relationship with the Microgaming Network in 2013. Unibet has since added two skins to its own Unibet Poker network, in Pokerihuone.com (a Finnish-language site) and StanJames.com. Though Unibet’s announcement did not distinguish between network and site, the removal of the €800 tables is expected to apply to those two other sites as well.

Many of the Unibet Poker Network’s players are already aware of the changes, having been notified via e-mail in recent days. The site claims player reaction to the trimback has “generally been very positive,” though admittedly, the removal of that single highest tier of cash-game tables affects only a very small percentage of the network’s players.

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