Merge Gaming to end rakeback at the end of January
The rumors have been circling for quite some time now, and Carbon Poker users have now received confirmation via E-Mail that their rakeback deals will be coming to an end, and all players will be switched to the site’s VIP Rewards Program. Furthermore, according to PokerFuse.com the switch from straight rakeback to the rewards program will not be limited to Carbon Poker, but will occur across the entire Merge Gaming Network.
According to the E-mail sent out by Carbon Poker, the rakeback program will end on January 31, 2013. Because of the switch, rakeback players will need to use their current VIP Points they have accrued prior to January 31 as Merge Gaming plans on “zeroing out” these point balances.
This is not the first time the Merge Gaming Network halted their rakeback program, in the summer of 2011, as the Merge Gaming Network was ascending to the #1 spot for US-facing poker sites in the wake of Black Friday, the network ended rakeback deals for new players –current players receiving rakeback were allowed to keep their rakeback deal at this time.
Roughly a year later Merge Gaming reinstated their rakeback program after Lock Poker left the network and took over the Cake Poker Network (now rebranded as the Revolution Gaming Network) and started offering players a 36% rakeback deal. Merge Gaming offered new players and players who joined the site between June of 2011 and July 2012 to switch from the rewards program to rakeback.
This time around all players will lose their rakeback deals, which could lead to an exodus from Merge Gaming. The network has been dealing with a number of issues in recent months, ranging from the loss of Black Chip Poker to the Winning Poker Network and the closures of Hero Poker and RPM Poker, to aggravating the poker community by cancelling player-to-player transfers and seeing their CEO resign in 2012.
Rewards Programs can be more lucrative to some players than a straight rakeback deal, but many players like the consistency and knowledge that straight rakeback offers. Currently Revolution Gaming Network rooms like Lock Poker offer a 36% rakeback deal, and Winning Poker Rooms like Black Chip Poker and Americas Cardroom offer 27% rakeback deals. The only other serious player in the US market, Bodog, does not offer rakeback.
Here is a look at the most recent traffic numbers from the four main US poker rooms/networks according to PokerScout.com:
* Revolution Gaming – 1,140 rolling-7-day-average: #1 US, #11 Globally
* Bodog – 1,100 rolling-7-day-average: #2 US, #12 Globally
* Merge Gaming – 700 rolling-7-day-average: #3 US, #20 Globally
* Winning Poker — 380 rolling-7-day-average: #4 US, #24 Globally
Tags: Black Friday, Ceo, Confirmation, Current, E Mail, Exodus, Gaming Network, Hero, Lead, Limited, Network Mail, Player Transfers, Poker Network, Poker Sites, Quite Some Time, rakeback, Rewards Programs, Rpm, Vip, Winning Poker
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