PKR Online Poker Room Joins Microgaming Network
The popular online poker room, PKR, has recently announced plans to move to the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) at the end of February. It will be joining the well-established gaming network and giving up its independent status after almost ten years of operating on its own.
The site had been revolutionary in the online poker industry for its 3D visual experience, allowing customers to play poker with animated characters emulating a live poker table. The novelty of this attracted huge numbers of players in the early stages of PKR’s existence, a year after it launched in 2006 it had a record number of 15,000 players online and within a few more years it had five million registered users.
In recent years, however, PKR has been experiencing a period of declining fortunes due to some external factors. Traffic was slowly decreasing thanks to the ring-fencing of several European markets, which disallowed them from playing on the PKR site. The novelty of the 3D animation soon wore off and player liquidity declined. PKR did make some improvements to the site, such as launching a mobile app version and increasing the value of the poker bonus but these changes did little to substantially alter the exodus of players away from the site. PKR also made changes to its management in a bid to reverse the decline, as they hired Party Poker’s former Head of Poker Chris Welch as their new CEO, as well as an experienced support team of poker experts from the likes of Ladbrokes and Betway Poker. The new staff didn’t succeed in increasing traffic levels however and the site was facing more problems as a result, such as inability to run regular tournaments. Plans were made to join the MPN as a solution.
Move to MPN
New CEO Chris Welch commented that “PKR has survived for 10 years as a stand-alone poker room, but neither our staff, investors nor players are content with ‘survival’, and we have ambitious plans”. PKR has sustained itself on its own for almost a decade thanks to its original premise, but new players need the promise of higher traffic if they are going to join. Becoming part of MPN will increase the network’s liquidity by an additional 350 players. It already attracts an average of around 850 players, and thanks to PKR’s arrival it will have similar volume of players as the likes of Party Poker.
Joining the MPN will allow PKR to offer bigger tournaments and better prizepools for its players. The VIP scheme is due to be revitalised as well as the new addition of an in-play browser option that will give players instant access to MPN’s fast-fold poker game, Blaze Poker. The site will be introducing two new casinos, PKR Casino and PKR Vegas. PKR have also announced that they’ll be changing currency to Euro rather than dollars, which will hugely benefit the site’s European fan base who won’t have to deal with exchange fees anymore. PKR are the second online poker site to make the move to the MPN recently, following Grosvenor Casino.
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