100% Rakeback Is Back & Even Better at WPT Global in April 2024

Those tuned into the online poker world will almost certainly remember the 100% rakeback offer from WPT Global this past March. If you’re one of those players, we’ve got good news – rake-free MTTs have made their return to WPT Global through April 28. Let’s take a closer look at how their 100% rake-free MTTs in April will work.

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The Basics on 100% Rake-Free MTTs

From April 1 to April 28, every buy-in will go towards the MTT prize pool in its entirety at WPT Poker. Here’s what they Tweeted to announce the deal.

Previously, in March 2024, the rake was simply returned via three freeroll tournaments. Now, it’s been eliminated entirely. So, for example, if you enter a tournament with a $100 buy-in, that entire $100 will go to the prize pool. That means there’s no rake and no deductions, period.

Keep in mind that although this applies to the vast majority of April’s MTTs, a small number of tournaments, such as qualifiers for live events or affiliate-organized tournaments, may still include a rake. Don’t worry, though – if this is the case, it will be clearly noted in the tournament lobby.

WPT Global Warm Up Festival

If you thought things couldn’t get even better, think again. From April 19 to 28, WPT Global will be hosting its Warm Up Festival, which will also operate under the rake-free model. This creates even more opportunities for players to participate in high-stakes games that will hold even larger prize pools thanks to the omission of rake.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is an excellent opportunity for players of all skill levels to get in on MTTs with no rake and higher prize pools. The continuing offers of excellent rakeback and rake-free promotions continue to affirm that WPT Global has made a strong commitment to offering more value to its players than many other online poker options available today. In the end, it should go without saying that players looking to dive into MTTs would do well to take advantage of the month of April at WPT Global.

Want to get in the action at WPT Global? Click here for a complete site review and exclusive PokerScout bonus offers.

WPT Global Becomes Third Largest Poker Site in the World | Exclusive Interview with WPT President Alex Scott

WPT President Alex Scott

WPT Global has become the third-largest poker site in the world, showing consistent growth as it continues to be a leader in the online poker landscape. Both the intrigue and the excitement around WPT Global are palpable, particularly off the heels of its recent 100% rakeback promotion, which featured over $600,000 in prize money.

We sat down with the president of WPT Global, Alex Scott, to dive deeper into the success of the company and what we can expect to see in the near future.

PokerScout Q&A with Alex Scott

What is your proudest accomplishment thus far during your tenure with WPT Global?

It’s a toss-up. If you’re reading this, you might know that PokerScout has now confirmed that we’re the third-largest online poker site in the world. Seeing that on PokerScout for the first time, after we had suspected it for so long, was a really proud moment for me and the team. Of course, we remain ambitious, and I expect you’ll see us in second place before too long, and eventually first!

The other accomplishment I’m very proud of is the launch of Global Spins, our unique take on the jackpot Sit & Go. This was a format I created years ago and brought with me to WPT Global. It has a progressive jackpot, which means that the top prize keeps getting bigger with every game that’s played until the jackpot is hit. It’s easily the best version of the game available anywhere online, with the lowest rake going out of all our competitors. If you’re a fan of the format, you will love Global Spins.

Obviously, you work with WPT, being WPT Global. Does this benefit your business in terms of brand recognition and being able to offer an online poker product that stands out from others, based on having the backing of such a prestigious name?

Yes, absolutely. We’re really proud to be part of the WPT family and to work with the team behind some of the live poker scene’s very best events, like the WPT World Championship.

How does WPT Global live up to a name like the World Poker Tour?

This is something that we take very seriously. I’ve always been a huge fan of the World Poker Tour. In my early days playing poker, I watched and rewatched the show over and over and dreamed of attending the events. Over twenty years later, the WPT has an unblemished reputation and is beloved by players. We have a lot to live up to.

Every new employee at WPT Global reads my introductory message (below), which explains how important it is that we live up to the standards of WPT, a loved and respected brand, and how to do it justice, we must become an online poker site that is the most player-friendly in the world.

WPT Poker Message to Employees
Alex’s Introductory Message to New Employees

The amount of poker expertise on your team is clearly depicted through the quality of WPT Global. Do you find benefits to hiring from other backgrounds, such as Silicon Valley tech workers, scientists, and engineers, for example? Or do you prefer leaning toward a passion for poker?

It depends on the role. Our founders are entrepreneurial, Silicon Valley types, and they bring a culture of agile working and startups to our business, which helps us to work smarter and move quickly. They are also passionate poker players like me, and that knowledge of what it’s like to actually play the game is absolutely crucial.

We’ve hired a mix of skills. Working for our tech supplier, we have AI experts and data scientists who have helped us build the very best platform for Game Integrity and Fairness. The systems that they have built based on modern AI tech have helped us to have incredibly high proactive detection rates for cheating, and also form the foundations of our Ecology Management System, which balances games by limiting the number of highly skilled professionals that can sit at each table (more about this later).

Some roles absolutely require poker experience. The product and promotions teams, for example, couldn’t build compelling offers if they didn’t understand poker. Similarly, how could we offer a good tournament schedule if the poker room managers didn’t ‘get’ poker? Every customer support employee is screened for poker knowledge and competence before they are hired to ensure that they can fully understand any issue or concern from a poker player’s perspective.

What’s your favorite offering that WPT Global features in terms of tournaments, promotions, cash games, etc.?

One of my favorite offerings is the ‘Bump it Up’ promotion for our big Sunday tournaments. We’re investing in the growth of our MTT schedule, so every time one of our Sunday majors hits its guarantee, we increase it by at least 10% for the following week! The guarantees have hit for the last two weeks in a row, and if it keeps going at this pace, we’ll have a weekly $100k in just a few weeks’ time.

Where did the idea to offer 100% rake-free MTTs throughout the month of March come from? Do you have any future plans to offer similarly generous promotions?

It came from a team get-together, from some brainstorming around how we can grow our tournaments as quickly as possible and give something back to the players who have supported us so far.

Throughout this year we have lots more ideas for generous promotions that will make us the very best value place to play on the internet. Just wait until you see what we have planned for April!

Can you give us some insight into future plans for WPT Global that we, as players, can get excited about?

The thing I get asked about the most is when we will enter new countries – regulated markets like the UK. This year, we will start to make real progress on this, beginning with an imminent relaunch in Mexico, followed by other new markets in the coming months.

Besides new markets, we also have plenty of exciting new software features to look forward to this year. Our roadmap is a combination of popular and much-requested features that have been very successful elsewhere, along with some things that will be completely unique to WPT Global. The common theme running through everything is that we’re focusing mainly on our core market of recreational players, so expect to see developments that reinforce WPT Global as the most fun place to play poker.

What are some upcoming tournaments or series that players can expect?

This year, we’ll run at least six tournament series, one each season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), plus at least a couple of others like February’s KO Series. Our goal is to grow each one of these series to be bigger, better, and more exciting than the last!

What are some unique features on WPT Global that aren’t commonly found elsewhere in the online poker world?

Probably the most important, unique feature is our Ecology Management System. This feature, grounded in our AI technology, predicts the win rate of every player within a relatively small sample of hands – essentially, measuring their skill level.

We then use that information to curate the games, just like the host of a private game would. If you were running a private game, you wouldn’t invite only pros – you’d instinctively recognise that the game would only work if there was a sensible balance of pros and casual players. Pros are needed to start the game and keep it running, but the game won’t last without casual players bringing action.

We do the same. At an eight-handed table, we reserve six of the seats for recreational players. A maximum of two seats at the table can be occupied by highly skilled professionals. This makes the game much more fun, beatable, and sustainable, without having to segregate players from each other like some sites have tried in the past – and it allows everybody to achieve a higher win rate than they otherwise would. As a result, the typical win rate of a successful player at WPT Global is five or ten times higher than on competing sites – and this is a very powerful retention tool.

Have you received any interesting player feedback that you’d consider implementing?

One of the reasons I’m out here engaging with the community is because we want to understand what our players think, what they care about most, and where we should focus our efforts to make them as happy as possible.

A great example of this was when we reduced our rake in Global Spins. As previously mentioned, our version of the game has a progressive jackpot, so the top prize is constantly increasing until it’s won. Thanks to player feedback, we were able to optimise the pay table for this game – and now, we offer the lowest rake in the industry, combined with the unique ever-growing jackpot, which makes for the best possible experience.

Cheating has been a huge topic in online poker over the past few years. What does WPT Global have in place to prevent wrongdoing in online poker?

WPT Global has the best anti-cheating tech I’ve seen in my nearly 20 years in the poker business, and it’s because the platform has been built with Game Integrity in mind from the very beginning. The foundations are in big data, machine learning and AI – in fact, our technology supplier was working with AI long before it was fashionable.

Within WPT Global, we have a team of data analysts, poker experts, and former professional players whose sole responsibility is to detect and, more importantly, prevent cheating of all kinds. There are around 50 people in this team working to monitor the alert and reporting system 24/7.

We measure this team’s success a little differently from the other places I’ve worked in the past. Instead of incentivising the team based on how much money they seize, accounts they close, or cheaters they detect – we measure the team based on how successful cheaters are on WPT Global. Can cheaters sustain a positive win rate? If they do win, can they get that illicitly-gained money out of the system? Our goal is for our prevention techniques to be so good that anybody attempting to cheat loses money.

Do you foresee an entry into the US online poker market any time soon? Are you bullish on the future of online poker in the US?

To be honest, I’m very disappointed with how the US online poker market has developed over the past few years. The US is the home of poker – the game is part of America’s cultural fabric. There is such potential in the US market, but nowadays, it’s mainly served by illegal operators.

I think US lawmakers sometimes think that they are protecting their citizens by making online gambling illegal and not regulating it. But the truth is, online gambling is already there – it is inevitable and unavoidable, and without regulation, the void is filled by illegal black market operators. Regulating it in a smart and sensible way is the only real way to protect players.

It’s akin to the music, TV, and movie industry’s piracy problem. It wasn’t solved by laws making piracy illegal. It was solved by the advent of streaming services like Spotify and Netflix that made access to digital music much easier and more convenient for everyone. If online poker has a convenient, legal option, players will flock to it over the awkward illegal choice.

In the near future, there’s limited opportunity in the US market. We will definitely be looking to enter in the future, however, when regulations have improved, and we’re ready to make that leap.

In the meantime, US players can find a home with our friends at Club WPT!

BIG DEAL: GGPoker, WSOP Agreement Brings New Super Circuit Online Series

The WSOP and GGPoker recently announced a partnership on the new Online Super Series.

GGPoker continued its growth as a global brand by announcing a new deal with the World Series of Poker on Wednesday. The two companies will now partner on the new WSOP Super Circuit Online Series.

The series debuts in May and is expected to play out over three weeks with hundreds of events. Highlighting the schedule will be 18 WSOP Circuit championship ring tournaments.

“I’m thrilled to reveal that GGPoker will be hosting the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series in partnership with World Series of Poker,” head of GGPoker Jean-Christophe Antoine said.

“A GGPoker and WSOP partnership brings together two like-minded global organizations, and I can’t wait to see GGPoker players competing for WSOP Circuit rings online.”

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A look at the GGPoker/WSOP Super Series

Players around the world will be pleased to see more major action coming online during the Coronavirus pandemic. The WSOP Circuit was forced to cancel several events because of the virus.

Online rounders now have a chance to battle online for a championship gold ring. The full tournament schedule will be announced at a later date.

WSOP officials were pleased with the deal and seeing the series launched on such a growing brand.

“We’re thrilled to partner with an operator on the rise who is both aggressive and passionate about growing poker engagement around the world,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release.

“It was unfortunate that we were forced to cancel so many offline WSOP Circuit events this spring, but with vast reach GGPoker plans to dwarf the prize pools of the suspended events all at once in one truly Super WSOP Circuit.”

What to expect from WSOP, GGPoker events

In March, WSOP.com held its own Online Super Series with a $1.24 million guarantee. That total was smashed, however, with more players at home and looking to play online. The series ended with more than $3.9 million awarded to players.

Numerous big-names also got in on the action. It’s a good bet that may continue with the GG series.

The GGPoker Super Series should easily shatter that US event total with players around the globe able to play. GG players can also qualify for events in satellites throughout the series.

Beyond that, the Super Circuit also offers a chance to qualify for the $1 million guaranteed WSOP Global Casino Championship. Winners of the Main Event and player of the series leaderboard earn free entries into the popular bracelet event.

GGPoker continues growing and making news

As a growing international site with significant reach, the new GG series brings more momentum for the site. GGPoker regularly ranks among the top five in the world in site traffic.

The Super Series also adds to its growing slate of events. The site is currently running the GGSeries through April 26, with a massive $50 million in guaranteed prize pool. 

The series includes an ongoing $300,000 leaderboard and features numerous daily events in four tiers:

  • Low
  • Mid
  • High 
  • High Rollers

GG also continues to offer huge Sunday GGMasters tournament guarantees. The events feature a $150 buy-in, a $300,000 guarantee, and a freezeout format.

In March, the site also restructured its Sunday lineup with 174 tournaments with $2 million in guarantees.

GG ambassador Daniel Negreanu comments on WSOP deal

Some of the biggest news for GGPoker came in November when it added six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. As the site’s ambassador, he sees the announcement as a huge opportunity for the brand.

“The WSOP is the most prestigious brand in poker dating back to 1970,” he told PokerScout. “Anytime you can be in a partnership with the WSOP, that’s a great opportunity and I was thrilled to see GGPoker partner with them.

“How does this help the WSOP? Well, I strongly believe that GGPoker offers the best software and player experience you’ll find anywhere online. Especially the mobile client which is in a league of its own.”

The poker star believes that quality software and efforts at keeping fun in the game add to GG’s growing popularity.

“Since signing with GGPoker I’ve had countless industry insiders, Twitch streamers, and casual players rave about the playing experience and the software,” Negreanu says.

“The goal was always to make the game fun and engaging with all the bells and whistles that help accomplish that. Whether it’s squeezing your cards or rabbit hunting, the focus is always on fun.”

For a complete GGPoker review including an exclusive new player bonus of 200% up to $600click here.

Phil Galfond Discusses Run It Once Year 1, Luring PokerStars Players

Phil Galfond spoke with PokerScout about the future of Run It Once Poker.

Launching a new online poker site is no easy task. But that’s the scenario poker player Phil Galfond faced when he launched Run It Once Poker almost a year ago.

In a Jan. 6 Twitter video, Galfond discussed the company’s future. Run Ir Once focused on software in 2019 and now hopes to increase its player pool. The video included a direct appeal to PokerStars cash game players.

The direct appeal to poach Stars players offered a glimpse into the company’s new efforts at growth. RIO is offering several bonuses for new players. Galfond spoke recently with PokerScout about the company and its future.

A look at Run It Once after its first year

Building a player pool and marketing a new online platform is a herculean task. After a beta launch in February, there were some bumps along the way. Galfond says it was a long road to get to the launch point.

That first week went well in terms of traffic, but Galfond admits the software wasn’t as ready as his team hoped. RIO struggled to sustain traffic through the first half of the year because of that. Things improved through the second half of 2019, he says.

“Our software is much stronger now, and we have new updates coming soon with a number of exciting additions,” Galfond says. “The story lately has been more about getting those players who had a bad start with us back to see all the progress we’ve made.”

The site added to its Legends rewards program in November, which helped. Galfond expects traffic to continue growing with the platform and rewards improvements.

Poker promotions and unique features

Run It Once is available in numerous countries around the world including those in Europe, Asia, and South America. What sets it apart from a plethora of online poker sites?

As a player himself, Galfond hoped to build RIO with unique features to solve some problems the industry faces. He notes that most industry standards were created 15 years ago. A few RIO features include:

  • Table Alias and Dynamic Avatar systems – This ties in with the site’s no-HUD policy and protects casual players from feeling preyed upon. It also brings a sense of live poker with avatars that change based on a player’s style at the table.
  • Splash the Pot rewards program – This offers up to 75% rakeback with 30% going to the table in random pots. Galfond believes this adds an exciting element to the game while also serving as a bot deterrent.
  • Legends rewards program – This new program offers generous rewards for high-volume players and us still accessible and fun for casual players.

“In total, I believe we’re giving out higher rewards than anyone by a nice margin,” Galfond says.

This is another thing that we do to set ourselves apart – I make myself accessible to the community and explain exactly why we’ve made the decisions we have for our poker site and what we’re hoping to accomplish.”

Marketing the Run It Once poker brand

Creating unique features and top-notch software is one thing, attracting players is another. The site isn’t among the PokerScout worldwide traffic leaders, but Galfond is hoping to get closer. Some of its recent promotional efforts might help.

What are some challenges to finding space in the online poker market?

“We have an advantage given that the RIO brand is well known and trusted, which is a challenge for many other new sites – getting seen and being trusted,” Galfond says.  “Even with that advantage, the most difficult thing for a new site in a crowded market like this is getting liquidity.

“Having a large player pool makes your product better – the availability of games and stakes at all hours of the day is something that players want, and therefore leads to more players playing.”

It’s a catch-22 for poker sites – the need for a regular group of players to get more players.

“You could have the absolute best software and policies, but if you don’t have players in your games,” Galfond says, “then your product can’t compete with the big guys when it comes to game selection for your players.”

In the first year, almost all RIO marketing was word of mouth. Galfond didn’t feel the product was ready for traditional marketing.

The company has also used its StreamR program as a promotional vehicle. The program offers additional rakeback to players who stream their play on RIO. The site also has an active Discord community of players.

“One big challenge has been that people assume because the RIO brand is associated with expert poker training that our games must be terrible, which is not at all the case,” Galfond says. “Our ambassadors, especially our streamRs, shed some light on that truth.”

Chasing PokerStars players and growing the player pool

Galfond made some waves with his new video directly appealing to PokerStars players. What’s the goal and what does RIO offer them?

“The primary goal is simply to grow our traffic, which I think we’re seeing is working so far over an extremely limited sample,” Galfond said shortly after the effort began.

That includes double Legends rewards for three weeks, followed by 1.5X rewards for five more weeks. Galfond notes that Splash the Pot and Legends give most players between 40-75% rakeback. That could even be higher through short-handed play multipliers.

“The Legends reward multiplier means that reasonably high-volume players will likely be playing near rake-free to start their journey at RIO Poker,” he says. 

New players receive free lifetime access to RIO Training’s “From The Ground Up” course and up to three months of RIO Essential membership.

Every site needs casual and recreational players. Galfond sees RIO’s efforts as a way to keep recreational players in the game and working on their skills. Building a thriving player pool is the focus, not necessarily higher-limit players.

“Through these resources and policies that can protect losing players, we’re hoping to give these players a much better poker experience,” he says. “We’re primarily targeting recreational players, but of course, all players are welcome.

“I don’t think RIO reaches a lot of pure beginners – the type who see a PokerStars ad on TV and play poker for the first time. But I think we do very well attracting recreational players who are already involved in poker. This is a more knowledgeable, sophisticated category of recreational player, who loves the game but doesn’t play it primarily to earn money.”

The efforts have created an ecosystem focused more on sophisticated recreational players than professionals. Galfond sees professional players as less likely to join a new site. Many don’t want to adjust to new software, he says, or leave consistent stakes on sites they’re used to.

“The players who love what we’re doing and who love poker but don’t depend on it for income,” he says, “those are the players who more often jump to Run It Once without hesitation.”

The future of online poker

As a poker player and proprietor of popular training and online poker sites, where does Galfond see the industry? Bringing in more players is obviously important to the health of the industry.

But Galfond also believes in having regular poker players involved in the process is critical.

“I think the future of online poker will be much brighter if there are more poker sites led by poker players,” he says. “Poker players understand the challenges facing the industry, of which there are many.

“I believe they can come up with creative solutions better than anyone. RIO isn’t the only poker site led by a team of people who truly care about online poker, but there aren’t that many others in my opinion.”