It’s All About Class

Last week I made a tongue-in-cheek comment about my post regarding bonus whoring being the cause of the Empire crackdown.

It seems my recent post on bonus whoring has set off a industry-wide chain of events resulting in many players being booted from online poker sites. Ok, maybe I’ve got delusions of grandeur (actually, I’m quite sure of it). Anyway, it looks like Empire and UB have sparked widespread panic in the online poker world by cutting off people who are generating negative rake. Don’t get me wrong here but . . . GOOD!

Well, it appears my blasphamy didn’t go unnoticed (tip of the hat goes to one of my new favorite bloggers, asia K). Detective Grinder posted that I tipped off Empire. Yes, Empire was totally unaware of this whole bonus whoring thing until I spilled the beans. I’m such a jerk! Of course, my post was a tad more subtle than, say, being a regular on a site called BONUSWHORES.COM! Empire would have never figured it out if it hadn’t been for that pesky blogger. :-)

What made it even better were the responses. Oh, I can’t do them true justice by paraphrasing so I’ll quote them directly:

steve_bev writes:

Well, then, I hope he gets cancer.

Don’t hold back, man! Let it out.

OK, but seriously, it’s hard to believe that chasing bonuses loses the sites that much money. Unless I have a HUGE day at the tables, my PT stats show I’m getting just about the rake I’m putting in. So they’re making money on the other nine guys feeding the rake while I’m there. And the money I’m winning comes from the other players, not the site (unless Party is employing Props who’ve only read the first chapter of Hellmuth’s book).

Ahhh, the fallacy that if I’m the only one doing it, it must all even out. steve_bev, you model of compassion, what if the other 9 guys at the table are all bonus whores too? Kind of ruins your logic (and I use the term loosely here), doesn’t it?

Also, it seems that you’re admitting you can’t do better than break even? Spend less time jumping sites and more time learning the damn game!!!!! Wait, don’t do that. What’s your Party screen name?

Plus, eliminating the bonuses would destroy some of these sites. His own blog entry says it’s not about site loyalty when it comes to bonuses, to which I say–“Exactly!” I’ve got 20 online poker sites on my hard drive, and I give business to all of them. Cut out the bonuses and what will I do? Stick to one or two of them.

I guess the true tragedy here is that steve_bev doesn’t even realize he’s making the opposite case of the one he’s attempting to make. If you have 20 online poker sites on your hard drive and eliminating bonuses forces you to only play one or two, won’t those one or two be really happy because instead of losing money on you they’ll be making money on you? It’s not like the sites losing money are going to weep that you are no longer allowing them to lose money on you.

So the other 18 places I play every month will lose business… how does he think this helps online poker? What will happen is the whole industry will converge even more–there will be the Party Skins, Crypto Skins, and not much else… the little guys will just buy each other out to survive as a third minor skin unless they’re swallowed up by a bigger one. But without offering bonuses and encouraging play, their player membership will dry up.

Yes, oh master of the twisted logic, they will lose your money losing business! So, is the logic that they should lose money on a larger base of customers rather than make money on a smaller one? I’m gonna take a wild guess they don’t allow you to operate the register down where you work.

No, what will happen is that bonus whores will get kicked off sites one by one and be forced to play at one or two sites where they haven’t been kicked out of where the house will actually be earning a profit on your play. The market won’t dry up because they won’t stop giving out new player bonuses. They’ll just close the accounts of people who bonus whore. New people will keep coming and bonus whores will be kept in check.

Meanwhile, looks like I better stockpile as many Absolute bonuses as I can, and I guess I better hit up the Games Grid 5k…. just so I can go the next year without a reload bonus if it comes to that.

Of course, learning to play the game well enough that you don’t need bonuses to keep playing doesn’t seem to have crossed your mind. Can’t say I’m surprised though by the illogical thought processes displayed in just one post.

Here’s a sample of what the other “nice” folks had to say:

What a pompous stupid fucking idiot.

I’m sorry Pauly, I may replace your Jacques Cousteau of poker bloggers quote with the one above as the tagline for the site. I think it rolls off the tongue a lot better :-)

Did you see his picture on his blog?? What a damn tool. Are you snorkeling you fuckin idiot?

No, it’s scuba diving you dolt. A snorkel is a short open ended hose. A scuba regulator is a mechanical breathing device used to supply compressed air at ambient pressure while submerged under water.

Some are clueless blogging douche bags playing $5/10 and $10/20 – which is why I will bonus whore until I can withstand the variance required to take all of douche bag’s money.

I highly doubt you’ll ever make it to that level but I can’t wait for the day when you get the cahones to try.

I know the types of folks who are likely to make more quotes like the ones above aren’t likely to make it this far into the post but I don’t think bonus whoring is evil. Other things I believe:

I believe that many people use bonuses as a crutch for not being able to play worth a damn.

I believe that people who have 20 poker sites on their machine are taking advantage of the system and shouldn’t be surprised that the industry has finally begun to crack down on them.

I believe that stopping the abuses is in the best long-term interests of the online poker rooms.

I believe that if poker rooms quit chasing new users via weekly bonuses long enough to look at where their money is coming from they’ll start trying to increase customer loyalty with high MGR players by offering rakeback [what is rakeback?] or other programs.

I believe that if someone saying bonus whoring is -EV upsets you so much you wish cancer on them, you’re a sad and bitter person.


Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.