Winning Poker Network Moves to Weighted Contributed Rake Method

Happy 2017, everybody! I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but as we start our next voyage around the Sun, a little change can be good. And a little change is just what the Winning Poker Network (WPN) is doing right about now, as it has altered the way it attributes rake to players in cash games. WPN, while not licensed in the United States, is one of the few remaining U.S.-facing online poker networks, including such sites as America’s Cardroom, True Poker, and Poker Host.

Up until today, the Winning Poker Network was also one of the few remaining networks to use the “dealt rake” or “dealt hand” methodology for attributing rake to players. With this method, which was very popular about ten years ago, every player in a cash game who received hole cards got equal credit for the rake that was produced. Thus, at a full six-handed table, if the pot grew to the point where the poker room took 30 cents in rake, every player would be given credit for five cents of it.

winning-poker-network_largeThe importance of this calculation is that things like VIP levels, rewards, the releasing of bonuses, and in some situations, rakeback, are all determined by how much rake is attributed to a player. At America’s Cardroom, for instance, for every $1 dollar of rake attributed to a player, that player earns 5.5 “Rank Points,” or RPs. As a player accumulates RPs, he or she can increase their loyalty rank. Players also earn Combat Points (CPs) for each dollar of rake, which can be used to purchase rewards. The higher a player’s rank – thus, the more rake they generate for the poker room – the more their CPs get multiplied and the faster they can earn rewards.

Effective today, January 3rd, 2017, things are now different on the Winning Poker Network. Rather than getting credit for rake for just being dealt cards in a hand, players now have to actually contribute to the pot. This is called the “weighted contributed” method; players will have rake allocated to them based on how much money they put into the pot in relation to the size of the pot.

Therefore, players who fold pre-flop will not get any rake allocated to them, unless they were in a blind. Only the players who commit money to the pot – whether it is voluntary or forced via the blinds – will receive credit for contributing to the rake.

Let’s say again that there are six players at the table, but only three see the flop (and, naturally, have put money into the pot, whether it was because of the blinds or not). If the rake is again 30 cents and they all ended up betting the same amount of money by the time the hand ends, they will all be given credit for contributing 10 cents of rake.

Of course, it is not always the case that the players put in the same amount of money. So, let’s change it and pretend that one of those three players bowed after the flop and two continued on through the river. Perhaps those final two players contributed 40 percent of the pot each and the flop folder contributed 20 percent. The two showdown players would each get credit for 12 cents of the rake (0.4 x 30 cents),while the player who exited after the flop will get credit for 6 cents. Weighted contributed.

The new weighted contributed method will benefit looser, more aggressive players, as the only way to be attributed a portion of the rake and therefore earn rewards points or release bonuses (bonii?) in cash games is to bet money. The players like me who tend to play very tight and wait for just the right opportunity will have a tougher time earning points and the like because they will get into pots less frequently. At the same time, the portion of rake attributed to each player will be greater because fewer players will get credit for rake in each hand, so for many players, there may not be a noticeable difference.

And, as one may very likely guess, the switch to weighted contributed will certainly benefit the network and its member poker rooms. Making it more beneficial for players to get involved in pots will create bigger pots and, in turn, increase the rake the poker room generates. Additionally, there won’t be any more “free rides,” no more ability for players to earn rewards or unlock bonuses just by folding like crazy. While playing ultra-tight was never going to earn a ton of rewards, someone who played smart enough could still earn a profit will supplementing it with at least some sort of extra cash.

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