Negreanu to challenge PokerStars over PLO Rake

by Jeremy Olson on May 3, 2015

One has to give Daniel Negreanu credit for interacting with players as much as possible through social media - something many less-famous poker pros find beneath them. But if there’s been one criticism of Negreanu by those on poker forums (namely TwoPlusTwo), it’s that he mainly wants what’s best for himself and PokerStars.

There’s certainly no concrete proof of this criticism, and Kid Poker recently proved that he does care about players after agreeing to speak with PokerStars about PLO rake. The issue first surfaced during a March podcast with Joey “ChicagoJoey” Ingram, with a TwoPlusTwo poster bringing the matter up again in late April. Rather than run and hide like an ex-Lock Poker pro, while acting like he never reads poker forums, Negreanu took the question head on and posted the following about the perceived unfair PLO rake structure:

“Totally on board and have been for some time on this issue. Coincidentally I have a meeting later today and was already planning on bringing this issue up again. Obviously I can’t make any promises since I don’t have the power to make these decisions, but I can promise you that I will do my best to make a case for an adjustment here. Thanks for the additional summary showing the rake differences between NLHE. I will log that and bring it to the meeting.”

What players are mad about has to do with PLO rake generally being much higher than NLHE and Zoom (fast-fold) games. For example, rake in $0.10/$0.25 PLO is 112% higher than rake seen at the same level of NLHE, and 74% higher than the same level of Zoom.

PokerStars has previously stated that “the evidence we have suggests that PLO games are healthy, though PLO winnings are more heavily dependent than NLHE winnings on VIP status,” meaning PLO players at least get more VIP benefits for their extra rake. Nevertheless, many players seem to believe that the generous VIP rewards don’t justify the higher rake.