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I’ve been involved in poker considering the fact that the late 90’s and have worn various diverse hats all through that period, most notably as a skilled poker player.

In my teen years, I helped run a game in a private club which also integrated operating “The Sheet.” The sheet was a credit line we gave to players when they went broke in the game and wanted to retain playing.

1 issue was constantly understood about the sheet, you had been going to get stiffed on occasion, but it was nonetheless worth obtaining. Mainly, it was the losing players who borrowed revenue on the sheet, and for the reason that they had been provided this credit line it helped retain the games going longer, which meant extra income by way of rake.

These games had been complete of losing players and the rake was astronomically higher. I recall my initial evening in charge of operating the game, we began the game at about 11pm and by 5am every single single chip that began on the table was raked. The game was eight handed, but somehow the players failed to notice that they had been ALL stuck! All eight players had been losing.

It was a $10-$20 limit hold’em game with a five% rake up to $10. It was a loose passive game so it was frequent to hit the complete $10 per hand with couple of exceptions.

In addition to the rake coming out of the game, the lowest denomination chip readily available was $two.50 white chip. The dealers smartly place a lot of these chips in the pot in the hopes of acquiring a larger tip. They’d get $two.50 every single hand, and frequently as considerably as $15 for a larger pot.

There was most likely $400 to $500 coming off the table an hour. Appears like it would be an unbeatable game, but the players exactly where so undesirable I could nonetheless beat it for $35-$45 an hour.

In the months I helped perform the game and play in it, I can honestly say I never ever heard a single player say a word about the rake. It was surreal. I was conscious of it, of course, and how considerably greater it was than the session charge games I’d play through the day that charged a measly $five a half hour to play. In that game, perhaps $125 came off the table per hour, but my win price was comparable in each games. Pros dominated the session charge tables for the reason that they understood the notion of rake and how it impacted their bottom line.

Whilst my win price in each games was comparable, the underground games didn’t go frequently. They would run for a time, players would go broke, owe revenue on the sheet, and not come back for a though till they could spend it off. With that considerably revenue coming off the table per hour, it crushed all the losing players that didn’t have exceptionally deep pockets.


Prior to I began playing in these games I played in a club that had no rake and didn’t charge for meals. Players had been anticipated to tip at least $two.50 a hand, but didn’t constantly. If the waitress brought you meals, you had been anticipated to throw her a chip or two.

They did it this way for the reason that they believed they could get about the laws associated to operating an illegal gaming residence. Considering the fact that they weren’t taking any rake, they believed what they had been undertaking was above board. The Ontario government didn’t agree, but that is yet another story for yet another time.

They ran a sheet at this game as well, but also had a distinctive way of maintaining games going in addition to that. This might look controversial, but they tracked what each and every player won or lost and at the finish of the month, they gave the greatest losers totally free revenue to play.

They understood, that with out these players the games wouldn’t run. They had been the VIPs that kept games going.

There is a thing genius about this thought, but it is oft placing to do in such a confrontational manner. Partly, though you want to retain the greatest losers in the game, you also do not want to wake them up to how considerably they are losing by undertaking some sort of losers leader board! The way this club handled it was subtle and appreciated by the losing players. The guys who ran this club, there had been 3 of them, all shared a single characteristic: they had been charming.

They knew how to deal with suckers in such a way that wasn’t patronizing. They empathized, but didn’t mock them.


So why am I telling you these stories? Since, in particular this final a single, helped shape my lengthy held views on rewards systems for poker and what they should really appear like. All rewards should really go to losing players, as the winning players will get them in the finish anyway.

What reward do the winning players get? They get to play in superior games and make a living. The reward they get is the ideal to play. You do not shut the doors on any person. If somebody has the invest in in, they should really be permitted to sit down and play.

It tends to make zero sense to give the winning players, who are currently creating a profit from your extra useful buyers, extra revenue. It is asinine.

You do not have to have to cater to the winning players. As lengthy as you supply superior worth games with adequate losing players, they will happily show up and earn. They do not have to have any additional incentive to come play. If the game is profitable… they will play.

This does not make me anti-pro, I’ve been a pro for half my life! It is merely me getting conscious of the ecological balance of a poker game that will constantly have winning players, losing players, and the residence. If the residence take is not covering their costs and their sheet, then I do not have a game to be a pro in.

If the WSOP didn’t make a substantial quantity of revenue more than the summer time through rake, then there just wouldn’t be a single. It is not a charity. They run these events to show a profit. They charge what they deem fair. For me, as a pro, if I do not believe their pricing is fair… then I wouldn’t play. If I didn’t believe I could beat the game for the reason that of a mixture of field strength and rake, then I merely wouldn’t make the investment.

At no point would I begrudge the WSOP for what they pick out to charge. I may well not like it, but I’ve constantly believed in a totally free marketplace. Supply a solution or service, and if persons see worth in it, they will spend for it. if not, so be it.

I’m completely conscious that several pros who study this might be upset by it, but it does not make it any much less correct. As a buyer, a losing player is extra useful to a poker game than a winning player is. It actually shouldn’t anger you- it is an clear reality.

I’ve employed this instance prior to, but it illustrates the point so nicely I want to close with it once again:

If you ran a raked game at your residence and could send a limo to choose up the two greatest fish in your game, or the 4 most effective pros… who gets the limo?


The post A Prevalent Sense Rewards Program appeared initial on Daniel Negreanu.