The iPoker Split

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      The iPoker network split its player pool into two tiers, effective 4 September. Since neither the network nor the rooms have issued any official statements on the matter yet, most players are uncertain concerning their situation. We have looked into it a bit more closely.

      As reported, the iPoker network split its player pool into two tiers on Tuesday, 4 September. The network started to rate its rooms, starting 1 July, and getting into the top tier required at least 6,000 active real money players to play in the room every month (an active player being one who generates at least $1 rake), in addition to acquiring 850 new real money players. They also considered player balances and the regular:fish ratio.

      With the split, two separate player pools have been created on the lower limits; where there had been one network, now there are two, so to speak.

      Separated cash games:

      NLH HU, 0.02/0.04 and above, all currencies
      NLH 6-Max, 0.01/0.02 to 2/4, all currencies
      NLH Full Ring, 0.01/0.02 to 1/2 all currencies

      Separated SNG games:

      NLH HU SNG, to $30/€30/£30 buy-in
      NLH 6/9 SNG, to $10/€10/£10 buy-in
      In the games listed above, players of the first and second tier may NOT play against each other.

      Players of iPoker are now confused, in most part due to the fact that the Playtech-owned network has not yet released an official statement and failed to inform its players properly. At the time of the publication of this article, iPoker has not yet released which rooms are in the first and which are in the second tier. Unofficially, William Hill, Poker770, bet365, Titan Poker and Paddypowerpoker are likely to be part of the top and the rest (including Betfred and Mybet Poker) are part of the bottom tier.

      As one can guess from this short list, iPoker is unlikely to reach its goals with the split. Few rooms could live up to the increased expectations and, in practice, the original plan to create a network with a large and weak player pool (with a high number of recreational players) and a smaller, stronger one, seems to have failed. At the moment, there are two networks with roughly the same features and half the traffic players are used to on iPoker. Several players complain on the international forums, both top and bottom tier, who have a hard time finding any action non-peak time.

      It appears that the split in the network was a mistake on the part of Playtech, reducing a high liquidity network into two weak ones. Top tier players currently have no advantages, making it of little importance if one is playing in the first or the second tier.

      Given that no official information is available on the player pools, we took it upon ourselves to check out three rooms to see how many tables are running. We experienced the same as is voiced by the international forum members: there are about the same amount of action going on in the separated tiers, with the second tier showing a little higher traffic.

      Most players of the iPoker network are displeased with the split and the resulting drop in traffic. Some report the same traffic in both tiers at the same time, with few fish in the bottom one; others criticise the dead periods outside the rush hours that are unsustainable for regular grinders who play 6-8 hours a day.

      In case Playtech or the rooms issue any official statement on the split, we will report it here at


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