iPoker Network undergoes 2 major changes

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 23, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

It was a busy week for one of the most heavily trafficked online poker networks, iPoker. The network which is currently in a neck-and-neck race for the #2 traffic spot against Party Poker, but still well behind PokerStars, has decided to split its rooms into two separate tiers. The move has been rumored for somed months now, and this week iPoker made it official. There was also some news coming out of iPoker skin Bet365 on Friday, as they announced the launch of Sprint Poker, their own version of Rush/Zoom/Blaze Poker.

The Network Split

The rumors from a month ago have proven true (which is often the case in the poker world so long as a sale of Full Tilt poker isn’t involved) as iPoker has announced that they will be dividing their network into separate tiers. Lower graded poker rooms on the network will have access to only a specific pool of tables, while top rated rooms will be able to offer their players access to special tables not available to Tier 2 rooms.

PokerFuse was the first outlet to report on the potential split back in February, and the site has the most detailed breakdown of what the split will mean for both players and iPoker skins. Likely Tier 1 rooms include Titan Poker, William Hill and Bet365.

Each skin on the network will begin being graded, using a variety of different metrics, beginning in July. By July the network will have the two tiers configured and rooms must meet eligibility requirements each month to stay in the higher tier.

According to iPoker, the decision was made for two main reasons:

1. LTE – extend players’ life time expectancy on the network, as well as extend the deposit over spend period for players.

2. Drain – Balance the “drain? volume amongst network’s card rooms.

Details are still scant on precisely what the criterion for Upper Tier rooms will be at this time.

Sprint Poker

The iPoker Network is apparently joining the ranks of online poker rooms offering fast-paced poker games, first brought to bear by Full Tilt Poker’s groundbreaking Rush Poker. The iPoker version will be known as “Sprint Poker”, and at this timed only Bet365 is offering the game.

Bet365’s Managing Director of Games, Steve Ibberson, said, “We’re excited by the launch of Sprint and we think that our players will be too,” about the launch of Sprint Poker. Ibberson went on to say, “We want to provide the latest innovations so it’s great to be first into the market with Sprint: it keeps us ahead of the competition. With this format, even if you’ve got the same amount of time to play, you can play more hands and make more decisions; so it’s more intense than normal poker.”

My guess is that once all of the kinks are ironed out the rest of the iPoker Network will follow suit and adopt Sprint Poker games.

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