Poker props get paid to play. They are basically given rakeback deals so generous that at the end of the day, they make money every time they play in a hand which generates rake. The setup is indeed a great one for players. Too great in fact according to some. Why do poker rooms hire poker props? What kind of rationale is behind the generous rake rebate deals and do these poker rooms ever recover the money they spend on their props?
The thinking behind the hiring of these poker props is quite straightforward actually. The starting of a new online poker room is a bit like rolling a boulder uphill. It’s really tedious and often quite frustrating until one reaches the top of the hill, which in the case of online poker operations is the point when critical player liquidity is reached. Critical player liquidity is just a fancy term for having players at the tables in sufficiently great numbers at all times in order to retain new player interest. Without critical player liquidity, a poker room simply cannot function. New players who sign up will only find empty tables and thus deprived of a way to redeem their bonuses or to simply do what they signed up to do, they leave never to return again. Without critical player liquidity a new online poker room cannot retain and build traffic. Poker props are hired to contribute to the critical player liquidity, and because they’re pretty much paid to play, poker props tend to be much more loyal than regular players.
The hiring of poker props allows the online poker operator to just heave his metaphoric boulder right to the top of the hill by simply throwing some money at it. Once there, things will quite literally start rolling and gathering momentum unaided. Does this mean poker props will be fired once the operator reaches his critical liquidity? Nope. Like regular rakeback players, poker props will continue earning fabulous rakeback for as long as they play, even if the prop program of the site is discontinued.
The scheme is not in fact too good to be true: it is entirely legit indeed and poker sites do use it, even sites that are no longer battling for critical player liquidity, but merely looking to generate additional action on some of their less popular tables.