Hero Poker latest casualty at Merge Gaming

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 20, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

merge gaming rakebackIn the aftermath of Black Friday the Merge Gaming network emerged from the ashes of the US online poker industry as the preeminent online poker network for US players. However, throughout 2012 the network has seen its player pool devastated, and its collection of poker skins decimated as some left for other networks while others simply closed their doors. The latest casualty at Merge Gaming is Hero Poker, long considered one of the networks top skins reputation-wise.

The closure of Hero Poker will not affect the site’s players, as they will be moved to another Merge Gaming room along with their account balances and VIP Points, but the closure of Hero Poker is just the latest red flag for the network; a problem that began to rear its head around the World Series of Poker when Lock Poker left Merge Gaming, and has continued with the Black Chip Poker leaving, and several rooms closing, including Hero Poker, RPM Poker, Bluff Room, and FeltStars.

With the loss of so many preeminent rooms, the Merge Gaming Network has just one flagship site remaining in Carbon Poker (which owns the Merge Gaming Network as well as several of the smaller skins on the network) and has seen the number of players at their tables cut in half from their peak post-Black Friday traffic numbers.

It’s unclear what the future has in store for Hero Poker as the site isn’t being shuttered. According to Hero Poker CEO David Jung:

“Simply put, Hero and Merge weren’t going the same direction any longer and it just didn’t make sense on both sides to continue, sometimes in business and most times in life, things work out like this, but again, the priority has been the players and in this respect, Merge has put the players first in this transition process as well, so I’m thankful for that.”

The above statement seems to hint at Hero Poker living on at another network, or perhaps hints at the site making a shift away from offering online poker and towards affiliate marketing or some other ancillary relationship with online poker rooms.

The loss of Hero Poker comes just days after RPM Poker closed its doors, and just weeks after Black Chip Poker’s exodus to the Winning Poker Network –the loss of these three poker rooms, along with the still-stinging loss of their largest skin Lock Poker back in May has many in the poker industry worried about the solvency of the Merge Gaming Network; concerns that really started to gain traction after the network did away with player-to-player transfers.

While Hero Poker’s players were transferred to other Merge skins it will be interesting to see if these latest developments have any impact on the network’s traffic numbers over the coming weeks.



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