I’ve spent some time playing at WPEX lately.Â For those of you who don’t know, WPEX is a room that is running a 100% rake rebate deal.Â Each week, they accumulate your rake and give it back to you.Â I assume that one day they plan to stop (because otherwise they don’t make any money), but for right now it is a fantastic deal.Â The best rake rebate offers are usually in the 20-50% range and the sites at the higher end are typically the lower traffic rooms.Â I personally get annoyed at the degree to which the poker rooms make too much money from us on rake.Â They provide generous kickbacks to the affilliates (which is a corrupt system, anyhow) and rake at rates nearing those charged in live casinos.Â This is bogus, since the costs of an on-line room are clearly much lower than a B&M casino.Â Rake is the enemy of the poker player.Â At lower limits, the penalty imposed by rake is so high that it is difficult to overcome.Â If it weren’t for the inexhaustable supply of bad players, it would be insanely difficult to make any cash at the lower limits.
WPEX seems to have good traffic at limits of 5/10 and below.Â I almost never sign in without seeing several games going at each of the lower limits.Â Given that these are the limits where the impact of the rake is the most punishing, I really think that everyone ought to be playing there.Â There are relatively few bonuses that make the cost of playing poker better than rake-free.Â It doesn’t appear to me that the games are full of rocky players.Â In fact, my experience is more that there are some overly loose aggressive types who give too much action.Â This is ideal for the low limit grinders out there.
The problem for me is a lack of action at my target limits.Â They tend to have 10/20 running most all the time and 20/40 running intermittantly.Â I’d prefer to play 30/60 right now.Â They have some bigger games that usually run, but I’m not yet comfortable playing in those games.Â I’ve actually lost about 40 BBs playing at WPEX, but I’ve got about 25% of that back in rake rebate.Â I believe that the games are very beatable, even at 20/40.Â There are a number of regulars, and I think that I tend to do the best when I play the same people over and over, because I think my superior preperation and note-taking tends to give me an advantage over most of them.Â The 20/40 crowd is looser than most at Party/Stars, but actually reasonably clever post-flop.Â I think I should still be a winner in this game, but I’ve not got enough hours in to be sure yet.
There are a few drawbacks.Â The software is pretty crappy.Â You have to request email hand histories and you are limited to 100 at a time.Â The site responds to email requests for hand histories intermittantly.Â Sometimes it works nicely, but other times it will refuse to send emails for hours at a time.Â I also run into a situation where the poker client runs at 100% of CPU for several minutes and will either refuse to respond or responds very sluggishly.Â It always eventually clears up, but it is quite annoying.Â It is extremely intolerant of momentary dropped connections and has folded me out of hands that I would have won more than once.Â They promise upgrades to their software that will provide local hand history files (a big upgrade) and presumably will fix some of the other reliability bugs.
I’m going to continue to look for games here for a while.Â I haven’t decided if it will be my primary home or not.Â If I was playing lower limits, I would certainly make this my primary site without a second thought.