Thursday, January 29, 2009

No Rakeback = No More Full Tilt?

Being a bit of a novice online player, I'm always looking to learn new things about how to grow my bankroll. I am an avid listener of Mediocre Poker Radio, which plays on 106.7 WJFK on Sunday nights. If you miss the show, you can always catch podcasts on the Mediocre Poker site. The Hulk or myself will discuss the merits of this show another time, but one thing that EB (the co-host) talks about constantly is rakeback. Listening to the most recent podcast, one of the guests tauted the absolute critical need for every grinder out there to have rakeback. Of course, I had always wondered what it was, but I had never looked into this type of service. Here's what I learned:

  • Rakeback is a refund of the "rake" that you pay to play any cash game or tournament. Depending on the host site and the rakeback site, you can earn anywhere from 25%-35% in refunds if you use any of these providers. The rakeback provider tracks your play at whatever game/stake, then will refund the set % of the raked amount back into your account on a monthly basis.
  • Cash players pay more rake than tournament players because pretty much every hand that sees a flop is "raked" a set percentage. As such, cash players are entitled to more rakeback.
  • Cash players have an added bonus here because they not only get the refund on pots they play/win, but they also receive the same rate on raked hands that they do not play. Essentially, if you are dealt cards, you are eligible to receive rakeback for that pot.
  • According to Guido, who is a very wise man, if you generate a large volume of hands seen and are a break-even player, you can build your bankroll via rakeback alone. (Of course, being a winning player is also helpful).
  • For more info, I trust this site.
I did a brief calculation based on my tournament and cash play since I rebought back in August 2008. I estimate that I cost myself (and my roll) about $75 in rakeback rewards (even playing at 5/10 cent and $1-$5 tournaments), and it pisses me off that I wasn't aware enough to take advantage of this sooner.

The problem here is that Full Tilt is notoriously stingy about offering rakeback to existing account holders. Many of the sites I looked into would not submit a request for my account. However, was willing to handle this on my behalf, but they did not promise any results. Given that I want to build my bankroll, I have to take advantage of every opportunity, both on the table and off. If FT won't help a brother out, I'll have to take my business elsewhere. I'll keep you all updated about what transpires...


  1. Good post. I don't really follow what is going on at FT since I don't play there, but I know that people used to be able to switch to a rakeback account, no problem. Maybe things have changed and it's harder now... don't know.

    You can check the RB section on 2+2 to see what is going on in this respect.

  2. Don't be silly and play on Full Tilt without rakeback. This is just unfair and disgusting. They didnn't give me rakeback = I withdrew all my money and will never play on Full Tilt again.