Online poker site Ultimate Poker is bucking the trend with its rake attribution system after announcing that it would begin to use the “Winner Takes All” (WTA) system once it rolls out its VIP rewards system. The move towards a WTA system isn’t unprecedented; PokerStars briefly flirted with the idea last year when it switched away from the outdated “dealt” method that called for rake allocation to be distributed equally to all players dealt into the head. Stars eventually rejected the WTA system after expressing concern that it would be frowned upon by its poker clientele.
Ultimate Poker, however, doesn’t appear to have any of those reservations and is set to use the WTA system that allocates all the rake paid to whoever wins the hand. “If you are a multi-tabler with an 8% VPIP, you’re not going to get rewarded as much simply because you won’t win very many pots,” a UP spokesperson told Pokerfuse.
“When you ask people what makes a game good, they generally say a loose-passive game with people calling off stacks. The plan is to reward the weak players who go to showdown often and keep them in action,” he adds. “Nits need not apply.”
A lot of online poker sites use the “weighted contributed” (WC) method these days, rewarding players with allocated rake depending on the amount of money contributed to the pot. It’s been the most widely used rake system in the business today in large part because players are rewarded depending on how much money they put into the pot. With the WTA system, all that becomes irrelevant because the winner of the pot will be the one to take the whole rake pot, so to speak.
More importantly, the WTA rake system can be a catalyst in encouraging a looser style of play, even more so than the WC rake system. Even if you contribute your share to the pot, you won’t get a piece of the rake unless you take down the hand.
But even if Ultimate Poker believes that this would be beneficial to its players, there’s no mistaking that this new system will benefit players with deeper pockets than recreational players if only for the simple fact that the former has more finances at their disposal compared to the latter and as a result, will find it easier to play more hands. This winner-take-all system also flies in the face of other rake systems, particularly Bodog’s unique rake distribution model, that are geared towards creating a level playing field for winning players and recreational players.
If you’re a recreational player, it becomes harder for you to play in a room with a rakeback system that favors players with more ammo at their disposal. So why even go there in the first place?
The WTA system that will more than likely lead to a lot of confusion from players but Ultimate Poker appears to be undaunted, believing that the new system will not only encourage more action on its tables, but also make for more exciting hands, or so it hopes.