Poker Networks consist of 2 or more poker sites who share the same software, cashier options, tables and games while marketing to their own players. This allows new poker sites to share operating costs in order to compete with industry giants like Full Tilt and Poker Stars, who both own their own software and as such are not part of an online poker network.
The most popular poker networks are available internationally, and three major networks are available to US poker players for real money depositing. The most popular poker networks are:
Ongame Network – Extremely popular network in Europe and Canada, players are attracted by the bottomless reload deposit bonuses and loyalty programs.
Ipoker Network – Exploding in popularity internationally but not available to US players.
Microgaming Network – Medium sized network that is not available to US poker players.
Cake Poke Network – Popular poker network for cash game players, US players accepted and exploding in popularity with the addition of Doyles Room in mid-2009.
Cereus Poker Network – US allowed, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are the only two poker sites on the Cereus Network and is 3rd ranked US poker site behind Stars and Full Tilt.
Boss Media Network – Small network that mostly exists for casino players, mostly popular with cash game recreational players.
Merge Poker Network – Growing but small network with great promotions geared towards low and middle stakes cash game and tournament players. Merge accepts US players and has made significant software improvements recently.
888 Network – Pacific Poker and the new brand LuckyAce are the two sites on this medium sized network that is extremely popular in Canada.
I personally think poker networks are great, it makes it easier for investors to open more poker sites that compete with other sites on promotions and value programs, instead of focusing on deposit and withdrawal processing setups and software development.
In coming years we are likely to see some poker networks go bankrupt while others stay in the market and thrive. We find all networks to be safe and secure, and more poker sites on networks will lead to bigger and better promotions to all real money online poker players.
As a player I like to sign up at poker sites on shared networks because I can make a deposit, claim a new bonus, and clear it before moving on to follow the same process at another poker “skin” on the network.
Even if I am only capable of playing “break even poker” by not winning or losing much but instead playing a lot of hands and keeping my bankroll about where it started, clearing the deposit bonus will add thousands of dollars in profit to my account.
Smart poker players will do this over and over again. There is a few new poker networks on the market, Everleaf for example. We hope to see the network succeed, as they do allow American players and deposits. The software is great but marketing is a bit slow on all skins, which seem to mostly be focusing on rakeback grinders from the United States who have fewer poker network choices than their international counterparts.
The poker network is here to stay, and we hope upcoming legislation in the United States will help encourage some major land based casinos to join an existing network instead of creating their own competitive “stand alone” poker network like Poker Stars and Full Tilt have done, but only time will tell.
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