In today’s online poker climate, players are looking to get any edge possible. While a player might be break-even, that same player is actually “winning” against the competition, but failing to win enough to also beat the house’s rake at the tables. Rake structures are very similar across sites; however, some charge an extra premium to pay for promotions and jackpots.
Winning Poker Network (WPN), a US-friendly network of poker sites, has charged such a premium in the past to support a promotion known as “The Beast” which is a progressive points race offering a potential jackpot. But now, WPN is changing their tune, announcing that they will be contributing to the jackpot themselves instead of charging a premium on rake fees.
Just A Little Off the Top
Instead of charging players additional rake for their participation in “The Beast” promotion, WPN will now make contributions to the jackpot themselves. Aside from that major detail, the promotion will remain largely unchanged, allowing it to be free for customers of the network.
Being a progressive points race, “The Beast” was a promotion where players received points for every hand they played on specific jackpot tables. A minimum of four players had to be dealt into the pot for the hand to become eligible for the promotion. To funnel more cash into the jackpot, players at these tables were also charged a fee in addition to the actual rake. As more hands were played at the table, the progressive jackpot would continue to grow at a substantial rate.
Points are given out based on the stakes being played. Higher stakes would translate to more points up for grabs to players. The points are then divided evenly amongst players who contributed to the pot. Points earned by players are then totaled up on a weekly leaderboard, where cash and a number of other prizes are awarded to the highest rankers.
Defanging the Beast
April 5 marks the date when Winning Poker Network will cease charging players the extra fee for participation in “The Beast” tables. It also marks a restructuring of how “The Beast” will work. Currently, any table running the promotion is specifically marked in the lobby. Now that the need for specially designated tables will be gone, as all cash games will become “The Beast” tables and allow any player to be eligible for the promotion.
Since players are no longer going to be charged extra, the jackpot will be fed from the rake. The house will now only take a portion of what it normally would. For every six cents of rake, two cents will go towards “The Beast” jackpot. Depending on how many players are participating at the table, the amount funded to the jackpot will be capped. Points will still be awarded in the same method, with modifiers for higher stake levels.
Good for Business
The method of charging an additional fee going towards a jackpot made sense to online poker operators for years. However, it caused a rift between cash and jackpot games. Similar fees were seen at “bad beat” jackpot tables, but have become decreasingly popular over the past few years. WPN’s decision to remove the fee from “The Beast” will no longer split traffic among their cash game players.
The current top spot on the leaderboards has over 20,000 points and looks to win a cash prize of over $3,000, plus an entry into a special tournament. The current cash race jackpot is over $30,000 and the current tournament package jackpot is over $11,000. Those numbers will only grow in a promotion that has awarded over $3 million to date.