Yesterday, I was asked about Rush poker by someone who reads my blog but who doesn't play poker. They had seen an advertisement on TV promoting it, but they didn't really understand it. I did my best to explain its unique dynamics, but I soon realized that it isn't the easiest of poker variations to explain to someone who has never played online poker. I concluded by saying that I felt it was a great variation of the game for someone like me with limited time to play poker.
The conversation reminded me of a link I had saved months back regarding one website's opinion of Rush poker and my desire to debunk their comments. Now that we have 9 months of Rush poker to observe, I feel reassured with my initial assessment.
5 Reasons Why Rush Poker Will Not Stand The Test Of Time
1. Fish Lose Too Fast
2. Fill Up With Nitty Regs
3. Less Regs In Other Games
4. Death By Rake
5. Novelty Wears Off
My comments are based off my experience with low limit Rush PLO, but I think pertain to Rush NLHE as well.
1. Today's player likes action and speed of play first and foremost. The speed of play may intimidate the complete noobs, but most players prefer more action and hands in less time. The sense of getting strong hands more frequently because you fold poor hands and get new hands instantly is pleasing to players. With the rake, it may not be optimal to play so tightly, but it gives fish the sense they can play their good hands more often, or just play more hands. They aren't as focused on losing a stack if they are enjoying the experience.
2. Players have learned that to keep ahead of the rake, you can't be too nitty. Sure, some marginal hands are folded pre-flop in Rush because they will see another hand immediately. In full ring or normal paced games, they might be played because players are impatient to play a hand. Without a doubt, Rush action is attractive to new and experienced players alike. I notice a healthy dose of both types of players, months later, just as I did in the early days.
3. As each new poker variant comes along, there will be those that are drawn to it. Not everyone likes Rush , or heads up, 40 BB tables, ante tables or whatever. The pros play where they feel they have an edge. There is an equilibrium where they spread out to master a profitable niche in the poker world. If there are too many pros in one area, they generally re-adjust.
4. The rake is proportional to the number of hands you play. The rake isn't any more than any other form of poker. It's just that the hands come faster so the rake per hour is higher, but not the actual rake per hand. you can see 250-300 hands per hour in Rush NLHE and 180-240 hands per hour in PLO. If you have rakeback, you are making more rakeback per hour too. With the recent shift to contributed rake, more active players will benefit at the expense of the nittier players who benefited under the old system.
5. Roughly nine months into the Rush poker era and it seems to be going well. I haven't watched the numbers of players closely, but they have seemed to remain steady for months now. They will increase around a Take 2 type promotion, but the games are running consistently, especially at the lowest limits. The numbers playing NLHE are much higher and proportional to the overall numbers of NLHE players. On the PLO side where numbers are smaller, I've found the Rush games seem to run best when over a minimum player pool of 100 players.
I agree that Rush poker isn't for everyone. The pace of action is fast and the dynamic of constantly shifting opponents requires a different approach to the game. There are less read based and poker tracking history influenced plays available, but it is a fast paced action filled game that is not a fad and is here to stay.