Beginning January 1st 2017, PokerStars will be changing the method they calculate VPPs from “dealt” to “weighted-contributed.” This means players are rewarded VPPs based on their contribution to the pot that hand, instead of distributed evenly to all players dealt in. This change only affects cash games. This follows a trend that has been ongoing since 2010 of most poker networks moving to a weighted-contributed rake model.
“IMPORTANT NOTE: In all cash ring games, points are credited at the end of a hand. So if you leave a table before the hand is completed, you may not receive the VPPs for that hand. To ensure that you are properly credited, please Sit Out until the start of the next hand, and then leave the table.”
Potential changes to the rake collection structure were scrapped quickly after outrage on the 2p2 message board.
Bodog has launched their long awaited new software and Bodog Poker Network. The biggest change is that all their tables are completely anonymous now, with the intent of ending all player tracking. “This feature stops poker pros accessing any data on how you play your game via the use of HUDs and other data mining sites like PokerTableRatings and SharkScope. This is totally unique to the Bodog Poker Network and will send shockwaves through the online poker playing community.”
Players can now play up to 20 Multi-Table Tournaments simultaneously. The 4-table limit remains for cash games and SNGs. Bodog lowered the heads-up rake cap to $0.50 per hand from $1, which now makes them competitive at every game/stakes. They also have added a Rabbit Cam, and overhauled the tournament schedule.
[Update] PokerTracker has announced that with the new client they no longer support Bodog. “Not enough PT users on Bodog to devote development resources going forward.” Points can no longer be converted to cash, only tournament tickets. Players can not take notes anymore. Hand histories no longer show mucked losing hands. Hopefully only a bug, but they are able to rathole.
Select Casinò di Venezia skins including VeniceStar are offering “Variable Tables with reduced rake rates” that will run every morning through December 31st. Standard cash table rake is 5% up to a max of 5, but variable rake tables will be reduced to 2% up to a 5 max.
These tables will run daily from 4:00 CET until 12:00 CET. At 12:01 CET the tables revert to regular rake until 4:00 CET. The tables are identifiable in the lobby by the 3 multi-coloured arrows near the table name, as shown below.
Also in December they are running 3 microstakes Rake Races for Apple products.
Stakes from 30nl – 50nl compete for iPad2 16GB
Stakes from 10nl – 20nl compete for iPod Touch 8GB
Stakes from 2nl – 4nl compete for iPod Nano 8GB
Other unique features:
Aside from the Live Dealer tables running regularly, you can also request a live dealer table for holdem or omaha in any stakes from 100nl and up, by going to the live chat. You can setup private tables of regular non-live poker tables.
This network full of Italian players was already among the softest in the world, but these promotions should make the games even looser. Casinò di Venezia was the first poker operator to offer live dealt tables, and still stand as the most superior quality. The live dealer games are run out of their public brick & mortar casino in Vittoriosa, Malta. The dealers are regularly licensed by the Gaming Authority, and are constantly monitored by a Pit Boss, and a surveillance team used 200 closed-circuit cameras. We offer a 40% RB deal at VeniceStar, one of the skins owned by CDV. The network is also compatible with Holdem Manager and PokerTracker as it saves hand histories in Full Tilt format.
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As of 3 December, all Everleaf Poker Network skins have added the following under the “House Rules” of the Terms & Conditions webpage.
To maintain healthy player and financial balances within the cardroom, players with weekly winnings of 750 Euros(or equivalent of) on our cash tables will see their access limited to certain tables. The status of each player will be reset at 00:00 every Sunday at which point all the tables will be made available again. This restriction does not apply to any tournaments.
Once a player surpasses 750 won on Euro cash tables for the week, they will be restricted to only being able to access all the USD tables with the $1 max rake cap, and Euro tables with only other players under the win restriction currently. This is for cash games only, and has no effect on Tournaments or SNGs. The win total is also only money won on the Euro tables, it does not include any tournament winnings, bonuses, rakeback, or any other promotions. Once you pass the restriction amount, you would receive an error when trying to join the table, “You are not allowed to play on this table because your player rating is too high.”
The player star-rating system remains intact. Players with more stars who try to sit at cash tables with players with fewer stars receive the same popup, “You are not allowed to play on this table because your player rating is too high.” When low star players try to sit at tables with players with more stars, they receive the warning, “The rating of the table is higher than yours, do you really want to play on this table?”
The Everleaf Network underwent two other broad changes in October. The rake was raised at the Euro tables. Then they lowered the maximum rake per hand to $1 on US Dollar tables (a promotion likely to be extended through January). Everleaf poker room BKR Poker takes players from the United States, has no deductions from the 40% gross rakeback they offer, and has better-than-average cashout times.
The anonymous poker tables launched at Bodog and PartyPoker have both been cracked by HHSmithy (video below). Last week Bodog had released a software update which replaced all player names with numbers 1 – 9, and claimed everything was anonymous and this would break all tracking. PartyPoker has offered anonymous heads up tables for about one year. The least technical summary we can offer is the tables are not actually anonymous, instead merely hidden and not very well. All the data is available on the client-side for anyone who knows how to extract it. The issue is similar to how the Playstation Network was hacked. As you will see by watching the video for each, a low level programmer could write a program to extract the data from the client-side poker program, and convert it so that a program like Holdem Manager or PokerTracker would work.
I would strongly recommend watching the videos, below, of how Bodog’s anonymous tables were cracked and Party’s anonymous heads-up tables cracked. If you are interested in the technical details of how this was performed I recommend reading the full articles for Bodog and Party.
Bodog Anonymous Tables Cracked
PartyPoker HU Anonymous Player Names Revealed
Bodog’s exploit is the more concerning of the two (see video below) and the room may actually be considered insecure now. When cracked, instead of a player name you see the Login Account Number for the Bodog member, so make sure the other half of your login, your password, is complex.
The 10 Most Profitable Online Poker Sites
All PartyPoker multi-table tournaments will be rake-free throughout the month of January. During this promotion players will not be charged any tournament fees on any multi-table tournament, and 100% of buy-ins will go into the prize pools. The promotion ends at 23:59 ET on 31 January 2012.
This month PartyPoker is also offering a 100% Reload Bonus, up to $100, using the bonus code: RAKEFREE