Winning Poker Network recently overhauled the Sit n’ Crush with not only new tournaments counting towards the weekly sit n’ go rake race, but also a new prize structure that mirrors The Beast much more closely. The hope was that the SNC would get bigger and award more money each week, so how is it doing? Have they accomplished their goal?
Two weeks ago we chronicled the changes that Winning Poker Network, which consists of America’s Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, PokerHost, True Poker and Ya Poker made to its SNG rake race in hopes of making it bigger and better for players. The changes were to flatten the payout structure significantly and to add in Jackpot Sit n’ Go’s, which had previously not been part of the weekly rake race. Overall, it would have to be seen as a success as the rake race has grown in the two full weeks since the change, and games, especially bigger ones, are getting off the ground at a higher rate than they were before. There have been a few downsides though to these changes. We will examine both of those so you can make your own decision.
We will start off by looking at the bad side of these changes for players. The best place to start when evaluating these changes is the number of people getting rewarded in the rake race itself. That number is actually much lower now, as many of the lowest prizes have been cut out of the equation. The minimum amount you can now earn from the race is $50 (with the exception of the 1 person who is awarded a partial tier,) where previously that number could easily be as low as $12. This change means that it is much harder to get an award, because you need more points to place higher than you previously did. Currently you would need about 180 points to place, where previously the number was 120-130 points. This increase of 33% is not insignificant for players.
The other area that has seen a pretty big hit is the types of games that are played. Jackpot SNGs have taken over the majority of games being played on the site. This was likely inevitable as the player base is still small at Winning Poker Network, and so it is difficult to support a big enough ecosystem for regular SNGs and JP SNGs. Still, it’s important to note that getting On Demands and more traditional styles of SNGs is more difficult for players than previously. That being said, there is a lot of reason to think that JPs are actually a pretty lucrative move for players as we outlined in our analysis of this style of game compared to its PokerSars counterpart.
Despite all the doom and gloom of the previous 2 paragraphs, this change has been overall beneficial for players as more money is up for grabs than before. The first two full weeks of this change has seen prize pools in the $20,000 a week range, which is what other sites award in a month, not a week. The size also puts it at about 1/3 of the size of The Beast, in terms of total dollar amounts awarded, which it previously wasn’t even close to. Top prizes are also now more with a $1,250 winner being awarded every week, and many times more than that. Last week saw 2 people with that top award and another with about $125 less than the top award.
The other benefit seen for players has been the increased traffic in the JP SNGs. This increased traffic has two nice benefits for both short-term and long-term benefits for players. The short-term benefits are the ease of getting points to help place higher on the SNC leaderboard. This puts more money in players’ pockets at the end of each week. The long-term benefits are faster point accumulations for different tiers in the lucrative VIP rewards program offered by Winning Poker Network. Both of these are great for players’ bottom lines and are something that other sites are just not offering to US-based players.
Winning Poker Network took some chances by changing the SNC promotion that they had previously. It was working for what they needed it to do, and so changing how the payouts were done is something that could have backfired, but all indications are that it worked fairly well. While players may have slightly less choice in total game selection, they have a chance to earn more rewards than previously. Do you think these trade-offs are worth it? Would you change something? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook!