January 23, 2011
When I was still playing on Full Tilt at 25NL, I had heard from friends that games on Stars were tougher. I'd also heard that rakeback and rewards are poorer for micro stakes / low volume players than the fixed 27% offered on FTP. Yet, I switched over when I came back from my break this month.
1) Although the rakeback is lower for me on PS, I think that it's going to help keep me on track playing a certain volume. I want to play regularly, and the need to reach VPP benchmarks and clear bonuses will keep me going. My game will seem less like a bunch of isolated sessions and more like a continuum. Also, according to fpppro.com, I'm only 3-4% lower in rakeback equivalent based on my VPP goals, but playing a much greater volume than I would have before.
2) Better customer service. Stars is absolutely stellar at handling customer complaints and inquiries. Every time I contact them, I get the feeling I'm respected as a customer of their site. When I sent emails to Full Tilt, I would often get canned responses that had little to do with my actual concern and were never accommodating in any way. I've enjoyed the difference.
3) I enjoy the software interface better. It feels more like a poker room and less like a cartoon. The fact that PS has no pot button has now been overcome thanks to TableNinja. I guess avatars are cool.
4) Playing on PokerStars, I get to keep my username, thisfool. My FTP account was LHO2011, and I recently found out I'd opened a "thisfool" on their site years ago, which they since closed. I may try to pull some antics down the line to get that name back if I rejoin FTP, but for now, I'm happy I get to use it as a 'star.
5) Change can be refreshing!
Incidentally, as I posted earlier, 50NL was a challenge for me. I had planned a five buy-in shot while playing 4 tables. In the first week I was really getting beat up for reasons already given, but I started to adjust. Unfortunately, I ended up stuck four and half buy-ins or so, and at least half of that was due to variance. I definitely made plenty of mistakes, too. So now I'm recouping at 25NL (ahead at this level despite the 10BI losing session I had on Wednesday), and building my confidence - and VPPs - back up.