Phil Galfond Delves into Rake Debate

Online poker legend and entrepreneur Phil "OMGClayAiken/MrSweets28" Galfond recently published a long blog post about higher rake and how he sees online poker's future going forward.

According to Galfond he was going to join the discussion already a year ago, but eventually chose not to get involved - a decision he later regret. However, after the topic popped up once again, he decided to publish his long blog post titled "The Discussion on Higher Rake that Nobody is Having".

In his post, Galfond adresses the comments made by Daniel Negreanu on the higher rake and sees two possible "endgames" for online poker going forward.

In a nutshell, Galfond believes Negreanu and PokerStars want to transform their site to a "poker-themed" casino, where only recreational players would play higher rake games, while the true poker enthusiasts are left out of luck and places to play.

However, there is also another possible outcome that Galfond believes is much more likely to happen. According to Galfond, the true poker fans and pros will be eventually forced to find a new home to play on - whether it is partypoker or Galfond's upcoming Run It Once Poker:

If Amaya believes their important customers want unbeatable games, and if they believe that competitors going in a different direction will fail, it's their right to focus on those games. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them drawing conclusions from their data and making the best decision they can for their shareholders.

Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Poker… you can call them all gambling, but you and I know that poker is fundamentally different from the rest. We fell in love with poker because of the beauty that lies in that difference.

I won’t be surprised in the slightest if Pokerstars does better and better as they introduce more fast, exciting, low edge, high rake games. But if the games are unbeatable, it’s going push out the hordes of people who love the game for the same reasons you and I do.

There will always be millions of us looking to play true, authentic, beatable poker. If Pokerstars ceases to meet that demand, somebody will.


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