Black Chip Poker leaves Merge: Will other rooms follow?

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 01, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

When the Poker Maximus III tournament series got underway Thursday there were several notable absences of Merge Gaming Network skins, Black Chip Poker, Hero Poker, and RPM Poker. The three rooms had decided to withdraw from the network-wide tournament series at the last minute, a move that came as a shock to many of their players.

With little in the way of an explanation (a mere post on 2+2 by a RPM poker rep was the only communication players received) speculation ran rampant, until an announcement by Black Chip Poker on Friday stating they would be joining the Winning Poker Network beginning December 4th, 2012. The announcement has fueled further speculation that Hero Poker and RPM Poker may also be leaving the Merge Gaming Network over the course of the next week, which would explain their decision to not participate in the 11-day long Poker Maximus III tournament series.

The Merge Gaming Network has had a rough year, beginning with their thorny split with Lock Poker. Now another high-profile skin on the network is leaving, and it would appear that two others may be following suit (it would be a strange coincidence if Hero Poker and RPM Poker both withdrew from the Poker Maximus for a completely different reason than Black Chip Poker at precisely the same time).

The move to the Winning Poker Network will likely further upset the balance of US facing online poker rooms: leaving the Revolution Gaming Network firmly in the #1 spot, and if Merge loses all three rooms to the Winning Poker Network these two networks could suddenly be going head-to-head with one another, trailing Revolution and Bodog.

According to, Revolution Gaming averages about 1,080 real-money cash-game player over a rolling seven-day period; Merge Gaming about 770 players; and the Winning Poker Network about 305.

Here is a look at the joint announcement made by Black Chip Poker and the Winning Poker Network:

San Jose, Costa Rica – December 3, 2012 – Black Chip Poker, Merge Gaming and the Winning Poker Network have jointly announced today that effective December 3rd, 2012, Black Chip Poker, its players and affiliates will move off the Merge Gaming poker network. Following that, Black Chip Poker will begin operations on the Winning Poker Network.

All active Black Chip Poker players and their account balances, as of Moving Day, will be accessible as of the next day through the new Black Chip Poker presence on the Winning Poker Network. Black Chip Poker players will have their client seemlessly upgrade on Monday after it closes on Merge Gaming.

Merge Gaming and Winning Poker Network have arranged for the Winning Poker Network to take full responsibility for all the current player account balances when Black Chip Poker moves. Upon the move to the Winning Poker Network, Black Chip Poker players will have access to their player accounts through the new software at the Winning Poker Network. Following the move, neither Merge nor the Kahnawake Gaming Commission will have further liability for the Black Chip Poker player accounts transferred to the Winning Poker Network.

Affiliates will not be affected, all links will dynamically change and it will be business as usual.

Black Chip Poker thanks Merge Gaming for the opportunity to establish and grow Black Chip Poker as a premier brand for serious poker players. The move to the Winning Poker Network, and WPN’s welcome for the Black Chip Poker players, brand and management team, foresees continued provision to its players of a favorable poker climate and play experience.



Black Chip Poker Affiliates


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