iPoker set to segregate network on September 1

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 27, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News | No Comments »

On September 1, 2012 the iPoker Network will begin a new chapter when they put in place a bold new policy that will segregate their poker rooms into two separate tiers. The upper tier, which will consist of about five or so iPoker sites, will have full access to all iPoker tables; lower tier rooms will have access to most iPoker tables, sans selected low limit NLHE ring game tables (with blinds of $2/$4 and lower) and some of the network’s Sit & Go tournaments.

So why is iPoker taking this line? The short answer is that it seems that iPoker has finally figured out how to reward their good skins (something many poker sites have tried to do in the past) for having strong traffic, continually bringing in new players, and having a good balance between high-volume and recreational players.

For far too long the poker economy has catered to high-volume players, and some of the smaller skins that operate on large networks have used the drawing power of the Network’s traffic numbers to offer huge incentives to these winning, high-volume, players. In doing so, these skins have thrown-off the balance between recreational and winning players, bringing too many rakeback grinders into the network’s folds. Other networks like Microgaming have tried to punish skins that have too many good players, but the decision by iPoker seems to be the perfect remedy, keeping the mid and high-stakes traffic at full capacity, and making the lower stakes games more sustainable for the players, without directly imposing punishments or sanctions on the skins themselves.

The new segregation will likely have several effects on the network and its sites; one of these effects is already starting to be felt as two of the smaller iPoker skins have been absorbed by Titan Poker. According to an article at PokerFuse.com, Dracula Poker and Celeb Poker have contacted their players and affiliates announcing that they will be closing their doors and migrating their player bases to Titan Poker, the flagship site on the iPoker Network –Titan Poker is virtually a lock to become a Top Tier iPoker room.

While Dracula Poker and Celeb Poker preemptively shuttered their doors, this is the likely outcome for many of the smaller skins on the network. These sites already have a hard time competing with the larger iPoker skins, and now these smaller sites will be put at a further disadvantage, as they are cut off from some of the most popular tables and games. As for the top tier rooms, they are likely to continue to consolidate power at iPoker and absorb more and more of the smaller skins on the network, as the low limit rakeback grinders at the second tier sites find themselves pitted against other rakeback grinders –cut off from the recreational players at the larger sites like Titan Poker and William Hill—they will likely move to one of the Top Tier skins on the network. In no time at all the iPoker could be rid of dozens of underperforming skins.


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