On Sunday, Dec. 8, WSOP.com released rakeback payments to players from the previous month's promotion for Grinder Appreciation Month after revamping their loyalty program. Quickly, though, word spread that the players were not happy with the results, and many of them felt that they had been underpaid, causing the site to look into the calculation process of how the rakeback was awarded. It then turned out that a mistake in the calculation process was made.
The issue gained awareness after a thread on the 2+2 Forums popped up following the money release to players. A few of the site's top volume players began to express their issues towards the amount of money they received. Players "CtrlAltDel", "NewHeights", "ufo1234" and Jimmy Fricke (known as "gobbo" on 2+2) were amongst those to state how unhappy they were with the result from the promotion.
PokerNews reached out to WSOP.com's Head of Poker Bill Rini and he confirmed a mistake in the calculation process for the rakeback:
"The promotions team that was calculating the amount of rakeback awarded to each player used, in error, a model based on WSOP Points earned rather than using the actual amount of rake generated," Rini told PokerNews. "As soon as the issue was brought to someone's attention, we traced the source of the issue and have begun correcting the player balances according to the the proper formula."
Rini also commented in the thread, "I've instructed them to go back and correct the calculations according to the supplied formula and you should see your accounts updated in roughly 24 to 48 hours."
At the beginning of November, the announcement of the new loyalty program for WSOP.com was made and the details behind the rakeback promotion, in which the following applied:
In addition, for the month of November, WSOP.com is offering extra rakeback above and beyond the new Loyalty Program for players who play 100 raked hands per day or more. The more you play, the more you'll get back at the end of the month! Check out the structure below:
- 100 raked hands per day played in 15 days during November earns 10% additional rakeback for November
- 200 raked hands per day played in 20 days during November earns 20% additional rakeback for November
- 500 raked hands per day played in 30 days during November earns 30% additional rakeback for November
To give you an idea of the amount of rakeback that could have been earned for ring-game players, you can look at how the WSOP.com Action Club awards its Action Player Points (APPs). Based on the monthly status level achieved for Nov. or the amount of APPs earned, a player can estimate how much rake they have paid because "APPs are awarded to the table at the rate of 2 APPs for each $1 in rake collected," according to the WSOP.com website.
|Action Club Tier||APPs Needed||Rake Paid||10% RB||20% RB||30% RB|
The main question was how the rakeback was determined. Discussions swirled about the rakeback being based off of the total rake paid or based off the rakeback already being awarded based on the Action Club tier level. According to one of the posters in the thread, a WSOP.com customer service representative stated, "The rakeback is the total rake paid for the period of the promotion."
While this mistake did affect several of the site's top players, it is a problem that WSOP.com is working to correct. It is important to understand that all of the regulated online poker sites in the U.S. will undoubtedly experience growing pains in the process to fully bringing online poker back to the country.