The Rake Effect, Venetian Off to Slow Start, World’s Largest Strip Poker Game Planned

by Lou on May 16, 2006

Can the Rake Turn A Winning Player into a Loser

I had a short, sweet, note from a reader, who asked: “How does the rake affect me and can it turn a winning player into a loser?”

I answered succinctly, and told the reader to think of the rake as a cost of doing business. Without the rake, poker would be a purely “zero-sum” game, in which a dollar lost by one player is a dollar one by another.

But the rake, or time charge – depending on the system in use, takes money off the table from all players. In a $10-$20 brick and mortar poker game with a five-dollar per half-hour time charge, each player pays ten dollars per hour to play, or the equivalent of one-half of a big bet.

The best players figure to earn approximately 1.5 BB per hour in the long run, so you have to overcome a rather significant cost to make poker profitable for you. I’ve read estimates that only about ten to fifteen percent of all players are long-term winners at poker, and the difference between the fifty percent you’d expect to see if the game were truly “zero-sum” and the ten to fifteen percent it actually is, can be attributed to the cost of doing business: the rake.

After I responded to the reader’s question, I did some nosing around and found a terrific post about rakes in A Slave to Variance

This is Andrew Prock’s blog and a great resource about questions like these.

Venetian’s Poker Room Off to Slow Start
According to the Las Vegas Gaming Wire,the Venetian’s new poker room is off to a very slow start. With the third-largest poker room — only Caesars Palace and the Bellagio are larger — the Venetian has only the ninth-largest share of the poker market since it opened.

By way of comparison, the Bellagio has a 20 percent share of the poker market. The Venetian’s share is running about four percent since their opening a few weeks ago.
The Venetian will be the world’s biggest hotel with 7,500 rooms when it completes its Palazzo expansion and I’d expect its poker room to get more and more play as people discover it.

World’s Largest Strip Poker Game
An April Fool’s joke generated so much interest that Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power is considering organizing the world’s largest strip poker party in hopes of finding their way into the Guinness Book of Records.

Power hopes to hold the event in August or September. Maybe they can interest Paris Hilton in hosting it. After all, she’s confessed to catching the poker bug, and has stated for the record that she seldom loses. Of course there’s that little matter of the $200,000 Bentley she lost in a poker game a few weeks ago, but where Paris is concerned, a little hyperbole is OK, isn’t it?

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