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Ongame Essence rake method, why so secret?

Discussion in 'Main Poker Forum' started by Admin, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Admin

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    As most of you probably know, on the 15th of July Ongame implemented a revolutionary new method of calculating player rake. The idea is to judge which player is a winner and which a loser and "give" more rake to players who play against better players than themselves (and less if they players against weaker players). Rake taken from the tables hasn't changed at all, just the method of determining how much was contributed by each player. Then that rake is used to calculate bonuses and cashback for the player and also commissions of the poker room and the player's affiliate.

    The reasoning behind this new method - they want to stimulate poker rooms and affiliates to bring losing (eventually depositing) players to the game instead of just bringing grinders to the games that are winning and regularly withdrawing money from the poker economy.

    Ongame representatives have been very vague on explaining the exact algorithms and variables the Essence rake calculation model uses. It is pretty obvious they are reluctant to reveal that information even to their partners, the poker rooms on the network. They must think it is very important to keep it secret if they are prepared to live with the kind of negative comments about the lack of transparency that we are seeing on 2+2 and other large poker forums.

    I wonder what the reasons for this secrecy are, and here are some of my theories:

    • Maybe they plan on constantly changing the algorithm and improving it for their needs and goals
    • When you don't know an algorithm it is much harder to abuse it, perhaps they don't want to risk players finding a way to boost their rake earnings somehow
    • Maybe there is a part of the algorithm that is very unfair or discriminating in some way

    The last one is the option I find most interesting, so I will try to elaborate on it. There's a very low probability of that being the case, but what if they want to be able to give more or less weight in the algorithm to certain poker rooms, to help the ones they think are useful to the network and penalize the ones they find parasitic? If the algorithm isn't known, there is no way to prove that this might be the case - of course there will be big differencies from room to room in the amount they benefit or lose from the new method contrary to the old weighted method, but that can be attributed to the marketing strategy of the poker room and the type of players it is attracting.

    It is also good to keep in mind that Ongame is owned by bwin which is also the largest room on the network, so the algorithm might be tailored to help bwin in one or another way.

    Thoughts? :)

    P.S. We (Grinders.org) of course have a very clear mission to help grinders win the maximum, so our Betsafe VIP deal will remain as good as possible.

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