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Carbon Poker introduced the Carbon Elite VIP level on Oct 1, 2013 - the new highest status, worth 35% rakeback through the Carbon VIP Program.
Carbon Elite status cannot be achieved through volume of play - it is the first and only VIP level of its kind to be awarded by invite only, with no public criteria.
Elite VIPs can also exchange 1425 points for $50, to earn 35% faster at a lower play volume.
Carbon Poker has chosen not to make it public who they award Elite VIP to, or how. Carbon's webpages state:
Continue playing at this rate [Carbon Plus], and you will be considered for our exclusive, invite-only, Carbon Elite tier!
However players have been told in emails by support that rake paid and length of time holding Carbon Plus status, while significant, is only a part of the equation. One player claims to have raked '$8k+ every month' in 2013 and is still Carbon Plus. Another has raked over $40k lifetime and is yet to receive an invite.
Support also respond to queries with the following message:
We appreciate your interest in our VIP program. Please be aware that the Carbon Elite VIP tier is by invite only and is based on many factors. Our team ensures that all players are considered each month. If you qualify we'll let you know.
Initially there was speculation that the 35% rakeback tier would be awarded to casual or losing players as a way to keep them in the games, and support the general trend in the industry towards a 'recreational player model'. The Merge Network also runs a casino and sportsbook.
No posters on the 2+2 forums (generally winning regulars) came forward to say they'd been invited to Carbon Elite in its first month, October 2013.
Perhaps in response to this Carbon Poker released a statement on Nov 1st:
Accounts have been reviewed (and will continue to be) and there is a significant increase in the amount of players offered Carbon Elite status for November.
Reports of being invited to Carbon Elite status or hearing more from support then started to surface in November. While these don't guarantee that those in similar circumstances will be invited, they provide some grounds for speculation as to how the Carbon VIP Program works.
No idea why I got chosen for Elite, but I did. I was on the road a lot in October and only played 18k hands, primarily at 6 max 100NL with some 50 and 200 thrown in. I'm a winning player overall and won in the month of October. For what it's worth, I did e-mail them last month asking what it took to be Elite and they gave me a generic answer. I also start up tables on occasion. I signed on for Carbon around January and have never been high volume. I raked $1,600 in October; my highest month was $2,300 in September.
Posted by 'zegota' on the 2+2 Forums
I Just got chosen for VIP elite. I 12tbl 50-200nl 6max for about 10 hours per week. Winning player. Invite came after I bet $1k on sox series so I'm wondering if that might have something to do with it. I don't bet sports on carbon a lot, maybe a $100-200 bet a few times a year.
Posted by 'WowLucky' on the 2+2 Forums
I raked a few hundy there last month, told them I'd rake 1-2k a month steady if they upped me to Elite. They said to get plus for a few months, and that between that and "other factors" which they wouldn't get into, would determine whether I get accepted into it in the future.
Posted by 'NoDuteAbuteIt' on the 2+2 Forums
I was invited to the Elite VIP program as a SNG grinder.
Posted by 'dirtyjb30236' on the 2+2 Forums
The players at the bottom are getting more and more 35% invitations. I have seen it with my own eyes.
Posted by 'kahntrutahn' (an affiliate with connections at Merge) on the 2+2 Forums
Invites to Elite VIP on Carbon Poker | Speculation
We can speculate that the following may improve players' chances of an invite to Carbon Elite:
- Sustained Carbon Plus play ($500+ rake / month)
- Non-bumhunting activity improving the site economy, i.e. starting tables, sports bets
- Emailing [email protected]
- Getting lucky!
Lifetime rake, games and stakes played do not seem to be a factor, as long as monthly rake paid is enough to sustain Carbon Plus VIP status. Multitabling and winning also thankfully do not seem to count against you.