This division was strongly driven by several of the larger poker rooms on the network run by sportsbooks who complained that they contribute more than other rooms to the network’s liquidity and supply of fishy players. This division would mean that there would be 2 iPoker networks and that the network’s some 3000-4000 active cash players would be split into 2 networks.
This split is not the best thing for Playtech, the operator of the iPoker network which currently sits comfortably as the 2nd largest poker network in the world behind PokerStars, but clearly they have decided to listen to the larger customers such as William Hill and Bet365 who threatened to pool together to form a separate network apart from the other operators. Instead they have introduced a new set of network rules that will grade operators based on active and new player numbers, with certain tables only available to top-tier rooms. These new rules will come into play effective July 1st ahead of the network split scheduled for September 1st.
Poker rooms will begin getting graded on a number of performance indicators, which will divide the poker rooms into 2-tiers, a top and a bottom tier with corresponding separate player pools.
For a poker room to be in the top tier, it must meet a set of monthly targets in terms of active players, new player acquisition, and a scoring metric that takes into consideration player balances on the poker room.
According to a document introducing the new rules, Playtech’s “sole aim and purpose” of the changes is “maximizing end user experience,” with a focus on two key indicators:
(i) LTE – extend players’ life time expectancy on the network, as well as extend the deposit over spend period for players.
(ii) Drain – Balance the “drain‟ volume amongst network’s card rooms.
The iPoker network consists of some 40 rooms and there is currently no word on how many rooms will meet the new criteria to be allowed into the top tier network.