When I first looked at Carbon poker's "The Race" promotion I was sure it was going to be a slam dunk pile of cash for me. It was on the border of too good to be true at first glance, but the deeper I dug the worse and worse the promotion got.
Why did I believe that this was going to be such a big deal? The reason is poker sites need players. The more players they have the more than can expect to get. If I know there are going to be games going on a site at the stakes I'm interested in I'll keep money on that site and check it often. If they don't have the players once or twice I might never look back.
For the casual player it's hard to find a reason to NOT play on pokerstars. If you want to play $5/$10 limit poker on Carbon you'll probably find one game going. It might be 2 on the weekend or zero on a weekday morning. If there is one game you might have to wait 15 minutes to get into it. That's not long at a card room, but it's forever sitting in front of your computer. On the other hand pokerstars will have somewhere between 10 and 40 games going 24 hours a day. Right now (11 am on a Thursday) there is one $5/$10 game on Carbon and 20 on pokerstars.
What about no limit? Let's look at a popular level like $1/$2 blinds NL. On carbon poker they have eight 6 handed games going (4 of them actually have 5 or less players) and zero 9 handed games. Not bad right. Well pokerstars has 75 6-max games and 60 9 handed games going.
It's hard to compete with that huge load of games. Never longer than 30 seconds to get into a game and if you don't like the players, pick a new game!
The only way to lure players away from pokerstars to other sites is promotions. I thought The Race was carbon making a huge push to lure players away. I thought they might be willing to lose money in the short term to bring in new players and fill up their tables. I was wrong.
After my last post about The Race I realized when I put all of the promotions together I was making about 68% rakeback. I get a flat 75% on cake and on Absolute if you pile up the rakeback, rake races, deposit bonuses, and absolute points it's over 70%. Plus the games are better on AP.
So I bailed on the race. I completed 9 levels and made about $500.