September 19, 2011
So i'm having quite an intense discussion on 2+2 (thread link here) with a few guys about PokerStars rakeback bonuses and wether it should be included in your winrate.
My personal belief is that you shouldn't be considering it at all. This is based on the fact that, unless you are a pro, then you probably should be more concerned about being an absolute winner at the tables before you are worried about anything else. Now i'm not trying to marginalise rakeback and its importance to your winnings and overall poker game. But i think that micro and small stakes players can use rakeback as something to cover over the leaks and problems with their games because the are 'winning' overall.
Yes it is always good to be a winner, but should you be playing limits that you aren't winning at in terms of table profits but are once you buy your bonus?
It's part of your income.
Your rakeback is 4bb/100
Your winrate at 100NL are 1bb/100, or $1/100
Your winrate at 200NL are -1bb/100 or -$2/100
With rakeback, your winrate is 5bb/100 at 100NL and 3bb/100 at 200NL
So you make $5/100 at 100NL and $6/100 at 200NL
(taken from PitaPita of 2+2)
Now if you are a pro then perhaps playing 200NL is fine because all you are caring about is your hourly and overall profit. But i feel that if you are learning the game and trying to get better then playing 200NL in this situation is a quick way to busto your BR. Your downswings are going to be brutal if you are -1bb/100 compared to if you are +1bb/100 at 100NL.
I'm a believer that you should move up when you have beaten your limit at the tables. Rakeback bonus is a promotion that PokerStars run and can be taken away at any point. This may be a purist kind of view and i'm sure their are plenty of people that will and do disagree with this point of view but i just feel that as a poker player you should be learning to win at the tables and enjoy the 'bonus' you get from rakeback as a supplement, not a requirement.
What is more fun....grinding 100NL for 1bb/100 and getting your rakeback that boosts your BR nicely or grinding 200NL for -1bb/100 and then wainting for your rakeback just to become a winning player?
Tell me what you guys think about this.
Okay so aside from that i have been away for a little bit, hence not updating here for over a week. I was meant to have a review session with someone but life has got in the way and i haven't even had a chance to talk to him, so i'd like to apologise to him for that!!
In terms of poker it has been a bit up and down. Tried my chances at 10NL earlier in the week and got crushed again and my BR went back to $250. After that i went back to 5NL and hit a MASSIVE heater and won 10BI in a day got some deposit bonuses out the way and have moved back up to 10NL and seem to be holding my own, WHICH ROCKS. I'm only playing 2 tables of it right now just to get used to it and limit my bankroll exposure. FWIW my BR is currently $350 so i'm defo rolled for 10NL. I'm hoping that i can start to win at 10NL and get grinding harder.
Good luck at the tables guys