Online Poker Registration Tips In Part 4
Start up your poker business â€“ Part 4: online poker site comparison
Despite the investigation in the US against Fulltilt , I publish this article because it givesÂ a relevant guidelineÂ for site comparison.
As you already know some important principles from the first three articles of the series it is time to decide which poker site you choose to play on. In this part I will make some online poker site comparison to make your choice easier.
First of all, letâ€™s clarify one thing. Rake plays an important part in our financial results. What taxes are for companies, rake is the same for us. Therefore you have toÂ make many considerations beforeÂ you make yourÂ online poker registration.Â Both taxes and rake increases as production volume (in our case the amount of played hands) increases. Companies have to â€śbeatâ€ť taxes to stay profitable, the same applies in poker.
This series is not trying to highlight the first deposit bonus, VIP rewards and rakeback as some excess money you can get. In reality that is not what they are, but a marketing trick that looks way better to Average Joe. If you want to view poker as a business, you should look deeper into the numbers.
Remember this: â€śThe flashy bonuses and special offers are mostly just reductions of the rake you are paying.â€ť I will keep in mind this perspective throughout the whole article. Accept that rake is part of the equation. It can be beaten. You can beat it, too. Tax optimization alone can turn a business with losses into a profitable venture. And this is exactly what this article will be about: the optimization of your rake.
Nowadays there are two online poker sites on the market which are huge, authentic and posses very many active players: Full Tilt Poker (FTP) and PokerStars (PS). There are tens of thousands of players playing at any given time on both sites. On PS this number varies depending on the day and time of the day, but it is between 80Â 000 â€“ 400Â 000 players. On Full Tilt the number of players are between 40Â 000 â€“ 150Â 000. Both sites are absolutely reliable, it cannot happen that these sites go bankrupt, not pay out your withdrawal, etc.
We compare the two sites in the following paragraphs. Both of them are very transparent and user friendly. Other sites like Bodog or Party Poker cannot be compared to the â€śtop twoâ€ť when talking about player volume or quality of software.
Briefly what the site offers: there is 27% rakeback link rakeback, Â Full Tilt StoreÂ for spending your bonus points, Iron Man Bonus program for regular players to get even more bonus possibilities, Black Card bonus program (this last program, the Black Card is very hard to reach if you are a beginner because you need to play every day a lot of hands on the site to qualify). The rake is counted based on the weighted-contributed rake method. link definitions
This site does not offer rakeback, but instead developed a VIP program. Depending on what level and how many hands you play, you collect points. Based on the amount of accumulated points, you get VIP bonuses that have the same value as an 8.8%-63% rakeback. Points are accumulated based on the dealt rake method. link definitions
For most people these above mentioned numbers do not mean much, therefore with some examples I try to show you the difference. For the purpose of the example I will suppose that both sites have the same quality of players so this will not influence the calculation. The purpose of this article is not to clarify terms like Iron Man or vpps, but instead to help players decide which site to play on**. If you do not understand any of the terms, take a look at our Poker definitions page.
Player1: A beginner player who has deposited $300, plays on four 6 max tables at NL5 level, 40 hours/month. Calculating with 85 hands/hour/table there are 85 * 40 * 4 = 13600 hands/month.
PokerStars: 13600 hand * 0.52$ /100 hand (check where this number comes from the table below) = $70.72 rake
$70.72 rake * 8.5vpp/$ = 601.12 vpp
$10 Stellar reward at 750 vpp, so 601 vpp = ~$8 in stellar rewards
601,12 vpp on BronzeStar is 601,12 fpp. 601.12 fpp * 0.016 $/fpp = $9.62
Altogether Player1 is paying 70.72 â€“ 8 â€“ 9.62 = $53.1
If you do not understand what vpp, Stellar reward, fpp or BronzeStar means click here.
Full Tilt Poker: 13600 hand * 0.77$/100 hand (check where this number comes from the table below) = $104.72 rake
$104.72 rake * 10point/$ = 1047 point
1047 point * 3.5$/1000point (this number is an average market value) = $3.66
$104.72 rake * 27% rakeback = $28.27
Altogether Player1 is paying 104.72 â€“ 3.66 â€“ 28.27 = $72.79
As Player1 will not be eligible for an Iron Man bonus on FTP or any VIP benefits on PS, this calculation is rather correct. It is obvious on which site a casual NL5 player should play on, and that site is PokerStars. On a monthly basis, $20 dollars stay in his pocket.
And even though these fees to the poker sites seem high, including the first deposit bonus they look frendlier:
Pokerstars: 601.12 vpp *10$/170vpp = $42.43, thus the total amount deducted from the player is $10.67
Full Tilt Poker: 1047 points * 0.04$/point = 41,88 * 73% = 30.57, thus the total amount deducted from the player is $42.22.
The fact that on FTP Player1 has to pay 400% of the rake on PS makes this decision a no-brainer.
Player2: Now I assume the player has some experience in poker. He has deposited $1000, Â plays on nine 6 max tables at NL25 level, 80 hours/month. This player has already cleared the first deposit bonus. Calculating with 85 hands/hour/table these are 85 * 80 * 9 = 61200 hands.
PokerStars: 61200 hand * 2.35$/100 hand (check where this number comes from the table below) = $1438.2 rake
$1438.2 rake * 5.5vpp/$ = 7910 vpp
$50 Stellar reward for 5000 vpp, so 7910 vpp = ~$79.1 in stellar rewards
7910 vpp on PlatinumStar is 7910 vpp * 2.5 fpp/vpp = 19775 fpp. 19775 fpp * 0.016 $/fpp = $316.4
Altogether Player2 is paying 1438.2 â€“ 79.1 â€“ 316.4 = $1042.7
Full Tilt Poker: 61200 hand * 2.52$/100hand = $1542.2 rake
$1542.2 rake * 10point/$ = 15422 point
15422 point * 3.5$/1000point = $54
$1542.2 rake * 27% rakeback = $416.4
Altogether Player2 is paying 1542.2 â€“ 54 â€“ 416.4 = $1071.8
Now in case of Player2, the total rake is much closer for these two sites. But as we havenâ€™t considered the Iron Man bonus on FTP in the calculations (Black card is not achievable for Player2), in most cases Full Tilt Poker comes out as a recommended choice for a player at these stakes.
Overall, for a typical micro stakes player (probably someone just starting to play poker), here are the basic guidelines for answering the question: Which Poker site should you play on?
NL25: Full Tilt Poker
NL50: Full Tilt Poker
NL100: If you take your poker business seriously, by this time you will make your own calculations on about which site to play on. This depends on your schedule, playing style, consistency in volume, personal preferences, etc.
Table1 shows how much rake someone pays on average/100 hands on the two above mentioned sites.
Well, I am not going to pay too much attention to other sites, but there are a few noteworthy sites around.
It was the top site years ago, still a well known brand. The software is quite bad, rake structure is very bad compared to FTP and PS. Why am I mentioning it?
Party Poker is still a well recognized name in the US and all around the world. The quality of the play is below average compared to PS and FTP, and actually their incentive system is very good for medium-high stakes high volume players. And God knows, if poker legislation happens in the US soon, the good olâ€™ Party Poker days might be back again.
Mostly sites in the Entraction and iPoker network, they might offer an even higher rakeback/cashback than PS and FTP do at the moment. Many Europeans prefer these networks instead of the big two, and you can find just enough volume here. A good example of a trusted Euro site is NoIQPoker.
If you have liked the series so far, get toÂ the online poker registration site. Once you set up an account on RTR, on their website you can register to any of the previously mentioned sites with the best deals available. The authors of this site have their poker accounts set up through RTR for a reason. In case you need any help with the registration process, or want to ask questions regarding your specific case, feel free to send an mail to email@example.com
Next week I will discuss how you should define your goals and what kind of goals do you need in a poker business. The other main topic will be how you should determine when to change playing levels.
**The calculations are based on official data, statistical averages, and market value of points. The calculations can contain faults, but they were not meant to be 100% mathematically correct, nor take into account each and every factor â€“ this is not even distinctly possible. However, the amounts shown in this article serve as a general guideline to help players select their preferred site.
Read more about rakeback and new poker account registration. Use theÂ cash back opportunityÂ that most poker players take an advantage of!
Start up your poker business â€“ Part 1: The basics for online poker
Start up your poker business â€“ Part 2: variance and bankroll management
Start up your poker business â€“ Part 3: initial investments and useful poker software
Start up your poker business â€“ Part 5: your goals in poker, the right time to change levels and motivation
Earn extra money with poker