After iPoker announced that there would be a network split earlier this year, players and operators anxiously awaited what that would mean to them. There was a lot of speculation as to how the network would be divided and which iPoker skins would end up where. We finally know the answers to those questions.
The iPoker2 Network is the home to higher volume skins that bring in consistent player counts and new players. For a skin to be included on iPoker2 it must have a minimum of 6000 active players in a month. The skin must also attract 850 new players. To be considered active or new a player must rake at least $5 in a month.
The poker rooms that met these conditions include iPoker flagship Titan Poker, William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power, and Poker770. When Everest Poker joins iPoker they are expected to join iPoker2 as well. All other skins were assigned to iPoker1. The tables included in the split include all No Limit Texas Hold’em up to 1/2 blinds, 2/4 6 max no limit, all no limit heads up tables, heads up sit and gos up to $30, and all 6 max up to $10.
Players on iPoker1 cannot see the tables on iPoker2. iPoker2 players cannot see the iPoker1 tables. The two networks are completely separate now.
Bet365 and Paddy Power will retain their respective private tables. These games are offered only to players on those individual skins and were not affected by the network split.
Notable losers in this deal are medium sized iPoker skins that failed to make the cut. Brick and mortar powerhouse Genting Poker was among the losers. Mansion Poker failed to make the iPoker2 lineup even though the company uses the same support and affiliate program as Titan Poker.
The traffic counts between the two networks are almost identical. If iPoker has met their goal of rewarding skins that refer new players to the network then the tables on iPoker2 are going to offer higher game quality compared to iPoker1.
The iPoker Network created the separate networks in response to complaints of player poaching among what some operators refer to as rakeback skins. Site operators refer to a rakeback skin as a skin that is designed specifically to poach players from other skins for their own profit. These rakeback skins have no other real marketing efforts beyond offering players higher rewards than other skins. Most large site operators feel these types of skins do not add any new players or value to the network. The iPoker split decision addresses this issue.
Only time will tell what will happen with iPoker1. If history is any indication there may be a dilution of the liquidity on iPoker1 that may cause a steep decline. In 2005, Party Poker removed all of their skins from their network and placed them on their own network. These skins included Eurobet, Intertops, Multi Poker, and Empire Poker. The second network eventually dissolved as all of the skins left except for Empire Poker which was acquired by Party Poker and merged into the Party Poker player pool.