Clearing Misconceptions & Aligning Selfish Strategies For Mutual Gain

I can’t hang around, sleep on it, have meetings and talk myself into staying, when my gut tells me that the right thing is to walk away…
Poker is the game I love, poker is what I signed up to promote.
I know in my heart that continuing in my current role could risk helping to send people to a place where they would encounter something I think is dangerous. That’s not the way I want to make a living.
Maybe in the future I will be able to work with PokerStars again on something which is pure poker.~

Clearing Up Misconceptions

One Thing We Should Agree With Daniel On

Daniel talks about how if it was HIS choice he would have cut back the points programs for pros, a long time ago, and passed those cuts to the new and depositing players.  In my opinion, this is something the players should agree as well (however here is a sort of corollary here that by setting the fields up so players are competing for profit VIA rakeback points, players are slowed “encouraged” (forced!) into this behaviour).

I think its quite reasonable to suggest that a portion of the pros winnings should be used to grow the game, and VERY reasonable and important to point out that we shouldn’t favour a game in which the pros’ sole motivation is profits via rake back.

But of course in today’s situation, this is really dismissive to the REAL argument which is whether or not this money should come from the pros or AMAYA.  Any other perspectives are essentially just twisting the problem.

The Strike IS A Success: Every drop in Rake is a Gain For ALL Players

I hear ignorant people and players suggesting that this strike is pointless and won’t have any effect.  But I urge us not to analyse our hands in a vacuum!   ANY reduction in rake is good for the players economy, and monies saved that stays in the players economy effects ALL players positively. Regs AND Recs alike gain from lower rake even if its not on Poker Stars.

Many sites like 888 and Unibet have taken the opportunity to help serve customer wants for a more moral and secure poker game.  This alone is great change for all and we should expect more of it as this as the players learn to coalesce.

Do Recreational Players Care about Rake % and Effective rake?

Another perspective I often hear expressed by  some players is that recreationals or habitual depositors don’t care about rake. While this may have been true in the past its really a lot more slippery than that.  In today’s field, where the great argument is games are getting tougher more and more players are tending towards break-even.  I’m willing to suggest much of 2p2, unbeknown to themselves, are in fact these players. So its really more correct I think to suggest AS TIME GOES BY, and as our society progresses as a whole (isn’t our average intelligence increasing?) that more and more of the population will naturally care about the cost of playing poker in terms of both rake % and effective rake.

Advancing Cooperative Poker: The Players’ Psychology Has Changed

There perhaps will always be “rake”, like also “death and taxes”. But it is sometimes remarkable how poker strategies can evolve.

I want us to observe and understand the change in the players’ psychology we are witnessing. Already it has been shown that the use and understanding of “effective rake” has pervaded the collective of the poker community. I see this is a natural evolution of the poker player.

This leads us to a great example of a  Cooperative Poker: proposed by Chuck Bass (

Just an idea regarding future strikes: It seems like a really good way to actually hurt Stars would be for MTT players to sit out from certain previously chosen tournaments to create overlay.

Please do read his entire strategy before you decide or comment on whether or not it might work or have value.  Regardless, it is important to understand players now have a different type of game on their hands and there is GREAT room for creatively in this area.

Timex is Wrong: Regs DON’T Generate Rake

Forgive me if its pure myth (although I do suspect it is true), but there are many players passing along a misconception that they claim to be basically copy/pasting from a Timex post. I don’t have the post, and it might not exist but I should address the sentiments. There is a not so useful perspective some players have taken that the upper elite 2% of players (or customers) provide a large portion of the generation of raked money for the site.

I can understand the truth to this viewpoint, however, I want to urge the players to put an end to this paradigm for two reasons:

1) It is VERY politically unappealing to the recreational players and Amaya, to suggest that regs are needed to generate bad player loses to rake.

2) It doesn’t lead us to an understanding of Poker’s Triffin Dilemma.

Aligning Selfish Strategies

Pokers Triffin Dilemma

Understanding the Problem SOLVES the Problem

I have been working towards trying to inspire a collective understanding of Poker’s Triffin Dilemma. The problem is easy enough to understand, however, we don’t all agree on the surrounding arguments and approaches to solving problems about the overall economy of the game.  Because of this, some players are unable to understand the perspective that creates a perfect definition of Poker’s Trifin Dilemma.

This is why understanding the concept of “effective rake” vs rake % is so important and its also why this entire back and forth debate has been crucial in educating the players on what the TRUE problem the industry faces is.

Money IS a Network

The special commodity or medium that we call money has a long and interesting history. And since we are so dependent on our use of it and so much controlled and motivated by the wish to have more of it or not to lose what we have we may become irrational in thinking about money and fail to be able to reason about it like a technology, such as radio, to be used more or less efficiently
And also, if we view money as of importance in connection with transfers of utility, we can see that money itself is a sort of…telecommunications.~Nash; Ideal Money

I heard JoeyChicago ask (Ansky?) on his podcast whether or not the players should just join another network. And of course it is a little more complex than just simply switching like that, but I want to point out the relevance of money to a new TYPE of poker network the players COULD join in the future.

Nash spent 20 years or more, touring country to country, trying to get us to understand money like a tele-communictions.  Today with the advent of digital money this collective understand of what money is and how it should function for the people using it is changing

I want to inspire us to think about how this change might effect us as poker players.

The History of Money And Playing Cards

Over the known history of mankind we have many periods where we used the introduction of money and types of currencies to allowed us to solve otherwise unsolvable social problems.  One such peculiar and oddly relevant instance is in Canada’s history. In Canada’s early history there was a time of economic disparity created from war and emerging economies fuelled from overseas gold.  Since the shipments were costly and unreliable it became increasingly difficult to fund the ongoing efforts to establish a colony on the new lands.  A money was introduced in the form of playing cards in order to facilitate the liquidity needed to stimulate the economy of that time.

There are particular reasons this COULD work to solve certain economic difficulties (and other reasons it might not work).  In the future the players might want to explore this possibility as a solution to Poker’s Triffin Dilemma.

Bitcoin’s Special Solution

“He added more tables as times progressed was playing up to 24 tables… earning him SuperNova Elite four times.[2]”
“Lew has been described as a hardworking grinder ” YOU FORGOT YOUR ROOTS!!!

On another recent podcast with JoeyC. we heard from JMo, a player I found  to come across as incredibly level headed and rational. JMo pointed out that it is the players’ own self interest or selfish wants that will keep them from participating in mass cooperative efforts like the players strike.  And unfortunately not only is he right, but we did in fact witness many players acting against what I see as even their own best interested, under the belief they are serving their own wants.

But as true is this point is, we should not stop here in our understanding and want for a solution.  For this reason I want us to understand the philosophical basis for bitcoin.

The creator(s) of bitcoin must have had a moment where they knew they could create a finite amount of bitcoin, but still faced the problem of how to get selfish minded peoples to cooperate for the greater good (adoption!). For this we should understand bitcoin’s monetary supply.  In the first 4 years of existence bitcoin’s project released 10.5 million coins of the total 21 million that will ever be mined.

After 4 years the amount of coins released was to be cut in half to 5 million. Every four years this number decreases by half until eventually there will never be any more coins than 21 million in existence.

In other words A LOT of coins were initially released to early adopters but of course back then bitcoin’s had no value for exchange.  The first legitimate purchase with bitcoin was a pizza purchased for 10,000 bitcoins.

The basic point here is by artificially creating a scarcity there is  psychological pressure in the (selfish!) markets because early adopters stand to gain the most.  The 10,000 bitcoin’s paid for that pizza today would amount to over 3.5 million dollars! So there IS a possibility, through game theoretical considerations, to align selfish players strategies with a cooperative effort IF we can collectively think about the problem from a new perspective.

Cheers: To The Levation of An Effective Rake Standard!

Good luck to all the players going forward.  The new changes to our psychology are both exciting and inspiring to me.  I see a new future for the game in which ALL players stand to gain!

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