The Beast started in October 2012 as a monthly competition. I don’t think anyone had in mind the type of volume players could put in. Month after month, we top couple players would grind hard for a week and race to about 85K points. Then…we’d sit there…for the remaining three weeks. I was always in first, keeping about a 10K lead over second. Third usually with a third or even a quarter of my points. Clearly the stagnant three weeks isn’t what the Winning Poker Network hoped for when creating the Beast. But who would have guessed players would put in 200,000 hands inside 4 days. Month after month.
So, in September of 2013, WPN changed the competition to a bi-monthly contest. This change helped them get more volume. Now we top players put in 200,000 hands twice a month—increased volume for WPN. However, we still put in all our volume inside 5 days or so each competition. There was still two weeks of lower volume during the month.
So, WPN is changing it once more. This time they’re going weekly. This time everything changes. “Why?” you ask?
I keep a keen eye on my opponents. Most of the guys that rush to the top spots lose a good deal of money on the way there. Some of the players routinely lose $6K on their way to first place. Others lose $4k on their way to second. The prize pools have always supported this type of loss rate. You could lose that much money and still make a good hourly rate when the competition ended.
Now that the competition is weekly, first place will likely get about $5K and second $2.5K. The prize pool no longer supports massive losses. Of course, the problem is if players grind at their usual pace, they’ll have the same points inside the week as they’ve done when it was monthly and bi-monthly. So, unless they improve their results somehow, they’ll work for nothing…or even worse, lose money for 100+ hours of grinding in a week.
I’m not sure who’s thought this through yet, but players will find out very quickly. I’m guessing WPN can expect the crazy, initial volume in races to cease inside a couple weeks. Players will have to slow down, play fewer tables, and put in more hours. This should give WPN consistent, decent volume on the network.
WPN still need to work out some payout kinks for players in the mid spots. If they get that fixed, and make the Beast drop come out of the rake instead of the player’s pockets, I think they’ll have an attractive promotion, indeed.
In the meantime, everyone needs to figure out what makes sense for his/her play. Then make it happen. It’s going to be interesting, I’m sure of that.
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