pokerQ4 does not cuddle up to poker sites, networks and is especially critical of the ones we are affiliated to – out of tough love for online poker. The Winning Poker Network has come in for a fair bit of stick from us but we always give credit where credit is due.
Last month Winning launched a rather intriguing and – from what we can tell or remember in our old age – unique variation of the raked hands race.
The beauty of a raked hands race is that they are rake races in disguise but give better game liquidity valueback to the poker site. The Winning Poker Networks “The Beast” promotion gives players points for raked hands but the higher the table limit the more points you get. Points are awarded in the “Dealt Hand method” so it really encourages and rewards players who multi table to the max.
What they have done is introduce a mechanic where there is in theory no upper limit to how much you can win or the Beast can pay out. They appear to have simply converted the Bad Beat Jackpot table system and tables to The Beast Jackpot tables. To take part in the Beast you play on special Jackpot tables where a portion of the rake adds to the Beasts total prizepool that keeps on growing over the month.
The players play funds the prizepool so the Winning Poker Network does not have to pay out directly for the cash game side of the promotion. Although it may cost the skins and themselves loss of direct rake revenue from individual pots. But you dont have to guarantee a large amount pre promotion, so the Accountants and Managers will be happy to sign it off.
The next good part is at the end of the month they then give away tournament tickets also. There has to be some incentive to players especially in the first month where no one actually knows how much the Beast will pay out.
These tournament seats are a reinvestment into the network as last month 501 players won a $100+9 seat into the Punta Cana Poker Classic Super Satellite. With part of the +$9 going back to the players through their 27% rakeback but also to the skins and networks. These seats into the Super Satellite should guarantee that it will be Super and further increase the numbers who will try to qualify or buy in direct.
The first month of the Beast appears to have been a success on the surface and according to pokerscout where last months active cash game figures leapt up (relatively although still tiny compared to any other networks). The Beast paid out a total of $132,646 ($78,037 cash prizes and $54,609 in tournament tickets) with 1st place winning $10,400.
The 2nd and 3rd month performance will really show if they have worked out the numbers of the Beast correctly. For thinking outside the box and allowing Americans to play we wish the Winning Poker Network and their skins like Americas Cardroom success.