CarbonPoker to Eliminate Rakeback, Entire Network to Follow?

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CarbonPoker, an online poker room on the Merge Poker Network, announced Tuesday that this will be the last month for its rakeback program. Citing benefits to the overall poker economy, a representative from CarbonPoker also said that rakeback will likely be eliminated across the entire network.

Yesterday, CarbonPoker representative “CarbonRyan” posted the news in Two Plus Two’s dedicated CarbonPoker rakeback thread, writing:

CarbonPoker has decided to remove rakeback entirely as of January 31st, 11:59 PM EST. All players will be transferred from the rakeback program to the VIP program.

This change enables us to offer larger and more beneficial bonuses and ultimately allows for an improved distribution of bonuses to our players.

Players can receive similar benefits and rewards as they would have with the rakeback program through our evolving VIP program. Removal of rakeback applies to all existing and new players. *Please note that VIP points earned by players in the rakeback program are not transferable.

The same message was sent to CarbonPoker players via e-mail.

When asked if this would be a network wide removal of rakeback, CarbonRyan replied, “Definitely network wide. No one on the network will be offering rakeback any longer. I believe we were one of, if not the last, skin to still be offering rakeback on the network.”

Merge Gaming had been one of the more popular networks for poker rakeback over the last year or two, partially because it was one of the few networks that was still open to players in the United States, and partially because the industry’s biggest poker rooms – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and PartyPoker – either didn’t have rakeback (Stars and Party) or were gone (Full Tilt). But as CarbonRyan said, many of the Merge Gaming rooms had done away with rakeback, leaving CarbonPoker as one of the few where it was still available (depending on the affiliate, rakeback deals at Aced, PokerView, Poker Nordica, and Overbet could be found).

CarbonRyan also clarified that not only are VIP points earned in the rakeback program not transferrable, but they will also be zeroed out at the beginning of February. Thus, anyone with rakeback-earned VIP points needs to use them within the next week. CarbonRyan has suggested using them to buy-in to tournaments, which are noted with a black flag in the lobby.

As one might expect, this news was not received well by the poker community. After hearing some of the complaints (mainly of the “you just lost a customer” variety), CarbonRyan said:

After being able to digest this for a while, we believe that moving away from rakeback, to an improved VIP program, is the best way to build and improve the overall poker ecology of our network.

While we understand that many people who currently receive rakeback will not feel the same way, we are taking these steps now to secure the longevity of the network, and to put ourselves in a position to offer more rewards, more evenly distrobuted across the entire playerbase on the network.

We believe wholeheartedly that it is the best option for all our players, and are excited about what is to come.

No details of the revamped VIP program have been released, but CarbonRyan has promised to update the poker community with that information when it is finalized.

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