I rarely actually write about poker subjects these days, but I’ve been following the A/R forum on 2+2 and the rakeback forum on P5s. I’ve seen a bunch of the same issues come up over and over, so here goes…
As everyone knows, rakeback is a really controversial subject these days. In forums, people talk about it all the time and, unfortunately, a lot of people have been left out on Full Tilt due to signing up too early. And, of course, PokerStars doesn’t offer rakeback (although they offer modified version through a VIP program). The problem for most players is that, in the post UIGEA world, rakeback can make the difference between profitability and lack thereof. Therefore, for anyone grinding low to mid stakes, I would offer the opinion that rakeback is NECESSARY and that you’d be making a big mistake playing somewhere without it. But what if you’re one of the unfortunate ones on Full Tilt and you signed up in 2005 in the pre-rakeback days? You might be out of luck there unless Full Tilt can come up with a solution for you (seems to be rare, although it does happen). The other alternative is to sign up for rakeback with a new site that you don’t have an account on. Two options for US players are Cake Poker and Carbon Poker.
- Cake Poker Rakeback – Cake Poker is growing at an amazing pace. They’ve really expanded and they’ve become a huge cash games site for the low to mid stakes for US players. They offer 33% rakeback, which is among the highest % you can get on a major network anywhere.
- Carbon Poker – Carbon Poker, which used to be poker.com, is also a growing network for US players. Carbon is on the Merge Network these days — Merge is also home to TexasHoldem.com and IronDuke. Carbon doesn’t have as much traffic as someone like Cake Poker, but it still has enough traffic in the low to mid level NLHE cash games for you to get your grind on and make some money. Carbon offers 30% rakeback, which is not quite as high as Cake, but it’s still better than Full Tilt’s 27%.
Anyway, those are two of the better options. Obviously, the Cereus network is another US-facing rakeback room, as well as other Merge rooms (ie, PokerNordica). However, there really aren’t many good options outside of the ones listed above. If you’re putting in tons of volume and you’re not getting rakeback, then consider trying it out. You might find that it makes a huge difference for you.