MPN to Implement Rake Changes in October

MPN, the Microgaming Poker Network, has been one of the most aggressive networks recently in trying to make its tables more comfortable for recreational players. On Tuesday, MPN’s Head of Poker Alex Scott announced in a blog post that the network will soon be making changes to its rake structure in order to help lower stakes players stick around longer.

MPN LogoAlex Scott began his post explaining that, despite what I wrote above, MPN’s recent efforts have not been made just for the sake of casual players, but for the entire poker economy. “For me, it’s not about protecting recreational players, it’s about protecting everyone,” he wrote. “It means making sure that the game is fun, that everybody has a fair shot at winning, and ensuring that the games represent good value for money. “

He continued to detail how MPN has already combatted what he calls “parasitic players,” those players who will do whatever it takes to win money, regardless of the level of ethics involved or how it might harm the poker room in the long-term. As he ranted:

Parasitic players like to target the weakest opponents exclusively, and to extract as much money from them as possible in as short a time as possible. They’re not interested in fair competition or whether their opponent enjoys their experience and comes back again. They are the leeches who purchase datamined hands, who use seating scripts to sit with the weakest players exclusively, who stall on the bubble of tournaments. They skin the sheep once instead of shearing it many times. They are not the kind of customer that anybody wants.

In the past week or so, MPN implemented an alias change feature to help recreational players, in which players are allowed to change their screen names once every 30 days or every 1,000 real money hands, whichever comes first. Players were also permitted one alias change right off the bat. What this should do is prevent sharks from tracking and targeting weaker players on a consistent basis, as without a constant screen name to identify, players can more effectively remain hidden.

MPN is also attacking seating scripts, which allow those sharks to not only target weaker players, but to automatically sit down with them at the tables.

And now MPN is getting set to implement rake changes in Euro currency games in late October. Scott went on to explain:

Rake at micro stakes and low stakes is decreasing. In fact, we expect to have the cheapest micro stakes games of any major provider. Our expectation is that this will result in longer lifetimes and a better overall experience for players in most games, and some of these players will stay longer, or move up in stakes. This reduction will be financed in part by increasing rake slightly in other games.

I want to be clear that this is not a rake grab. If everybody played exactly the same as they did now, we’d expect to make the same amount of money, overall, from this new structure as we did from the old one. We’ll only make more money if this new rake structure actually causes players to play more, or to move up in stakes. In other words, this change only works for us if it works for players too.

Rake is comprised of two components: percentage of the pot and a cap. At MPN, the at all stakes will be 5 percent of the pot, but the cap will change depending on stakes and number of players at the table. Here is a look at what the new structure will be at Euro-currency tables once the changes are set in place:

5 or more players: cap is the lower of 3 big blinds or €3
€0.01 / €0.02 stakes: €0.06 cap
€0.02 / €0.04 stakes: €0.12 cap
€0.05 / €0.10 stakes: €0.30 cap
€0.10 / €0.20 stakes: €0.60 cap
€0.25 / €0.50 stakes: €1.50 cap
€0.50 / €1 and higher stakes: €3 cap

3-4 players: cap is the lower of 2 big blinds or €3
€0.01 / €0.02 stakes: €0.04 cap
€0.02 / €0.04 stakes: €0.08 cap
€0.05 / €0.10 stakes: €0.2 cap
€0.10 / €0.20 stakes: €0.4 cap
€0.25 / €0.50 stakes: €1 cap
€0.50 / €1 stakes: €2 cap
€1 / €2 and higher stakes: €3 cap

2 players: cap is the lower of 1 big blind or €3
€0.01 / €0.02 stakes: €0.02 cap
€0.02 / €0.04 stakes: €0.04 cap
€0.05 / €0.10 stakes: €0.1 cap
€0.10 / €0.20 stakes: €0.2 cap
€0.25 / €0.50 stakes: €0.5 cap
€0.50 / €1 stakes: €1 cap
€1 / €2 and higher stakes: €2 cap

Currently, on tables with blinds less than €0.05/€0.10, the rake is 10 percent no matter how many players are dealt into a hand and the cap is €0.10. At stakes higher than that, the rake is 5 percent with a cap of €1 in heads-up games and €3 in all others.

Thus, after a quick eyeballing of the rake structure, it appears that in games with just two players dealt into the hand, the new system will be much better for micro-stakes players, as the rake percentage will be halved at blinds lower than €0.05/€0.10 and the cap will be lower than it is now.

In the highest stakes games, the rake change won’t make difference except in hands with just two players, as the cap will be higher. For everything else, that is, games with 3 or more players and blinds of €0.05 / €0.10 to €0.50 / €1, the changes should work out in the players’ favor. The rake percentage remains at 5 percent, but the cap goes from €3 to €2 and lower. Essentially, mid-to-high stakes heads-up players are going to be the ones who will be worse off, which is consistent with other networks’ and poker room’s practices of trying to make the poker environment more friendly to casual players and a bit less so for pros.

**Edited 3:53pm ET to reflect correct current rake structure.


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  1. Alex Weldon

    You made the same mistake I initially did in my article; the current system is 10% on stakes LESS THAN 0.05/0.10, i.e. up to 0.02/0.04 inclusive. 0.05/0.10 is currently in the higher bracket, i.e. 5% and 3 Euro cap. Glad to see I’m not the only one who found that page confusingly worded.

  2. Dan Katz

    Thanks for the tip. Hopefully my edits properly reflect the correct numbers.


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