US online poker’s new rivalry Revolution vs. Merge

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 02, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, US Poker News | No Comments »

On May 31, 2012 Lock Poker officially left the Merge Gaming Network and returned to where they got their start, the Cake Poker Network. However, the homecoming was not a sign of Lock Poker slinking back but rather the site came back as the conqueror, purchasing the entire Cake Poker Network and revamping and rebranding the network to form the Revolution Gaming Network.

Here is a look at some of the differences I’ve noticed since Lock Poker left the Merge Gaming Network and joined the Revolution Gaming Network –which they are the owners of.

Promotions

With Lock launching their own poker network you knew the promotions and bonuses were going to be very good, and Lock Poker didn’t disappoint, bringing back rakeback (at the rate of 36%) along with the capability of further increasing this number through the site’s VIP Program, which could potentially see players receive up to 55% cash-back. Lock also announced a one-time deposit bonus of 200% up to $4,000!

The Merge Gaming Network decided to follow Lock Poker’s lead and reinstate their rakeback program, at the competitive rate of 35%. While there is no word on an increase in deposit bonuses from Merge Gaming skins you can be certain that these are in the works, as well as other promotions to keep pace with what Lock Poker and Revolution Gaming are offering.

Software and Updates

Revolution Gaming is currently using the Cake Poker Network’s software, with a few minor tweaks and enhancements. The site has promised software upgrades in the near future, as many players feel the Cake Poker Network’s software was inferior to the software currently being used at Merge.

Merge is also revamping their software, and plans to have a software upgrade available in the coming days.

Here is a look at the major differences players will notice between Merge and Revolution software at this time:

* Revolution Gaming does not offer Stud, Draw, or Mixed games at this time

* Revolution Gaming’s software requires less CPU, and is faster and smoother

* Revolution does not offer as many features as the Merge Gaming Network like Rabbit-Hunting and the ability to reveal one or two cards

Traffic Numbers

Since the departure of Lock Poker the Merge Gaming Network has seen their traffic decrease from peaks of over 3,000 players (this figure is based on real-money cash games only) to under 2,000, which lends a lot of credibility to Lock Poker’s claims of supplying 40% of the Merge Gaming Network’s player base (considering the network’s traffic has dropped 33%).

On the flipside the newly branded Revolution Gaming Network (formerly the Cake Poker Network) has seen peak traffic increase from around 900 players to over 1,500 players since the addition of Lock Poker.

Right now it looks like the two networks will have similar traffic.

Final Thoughts

Instead of choosing one network over the other I would advise players to continue using both. With the addition of Lock Poker, Revolution Gaming has solved two of the Cake Poker Network’s biggest issues, a smaller player base and extremely slow cashouts. But this doesn’t mean that the Merge Gaming Network is no longer are quality place to play, The network still has top-notch skins like Carbon Poker, Hero Poker, and Black Chip Poker.

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