Online Poker Networks

There have been so many changes that have taken place in the online poker landscape over the years with established networks getting acquired from other gaming companies or shutting down and new networks emerging from the shadows to have a crack at the big players in the industry.

Revolution Gaming Network

The Revolution Gaming Network was founded when Lock Poker left the Merge Poker Network (then the largest US-facing network) to form its own online poker network. At the time, Lock Poker purchased and rebranded what was formerly the struggling Cake Poker Network.

A big part of the reason why the Revolution Gaming Network was able to take the #1 spot as the top US poker network was due to the fact that Lock Poker was the highest trafficked skin on the Merge poker network, and so many players left Merge to join Revolution Gaming.

Equity Poker Network

The Equity Poker Network (EPN) is a new online poker network that came onto the scene in 2013. EPN’s flagship skin is Full Flush Poker, which is a US-friendly site, but it doesn’t operate in the US regulated market.

The network operates differently to most of its competitors in that instead of getting a percentage of revenues from each of their skins it charges a flat fixed fee per month. It also gives skins more control and encourages them to attract recreational players by penalizing skins that have an imbalance of recreational-to-winning players.

Winning Poker Network

The Winning Poker Network was formerly the Yatahay Network when it was launched back in 2001. They’re a smaller US-facing network with a select number of skins, including Americas Cardroom, True Poker, and Black Chip Poker. The network was well known for its 3D poker graphics but in more recent times they have gone back to a more traditional 2D poker environment to improve the speed of gameplay.

Merge Gaming Network

The Merge Poker Network originally started as Poker.com back in 2004. It had slow and steady growth but in 2011 the network benefited greatly from the Black Friday indictments when the top three poker sites accepting players from the US were shut down. As a result, many players in the United States flocked to skins on the Merge network, as it was the best option in terms of its software, player traffic, and game selection.

iPoker Network

Playtech is the company behind the platform for the iPoker Network. The iPoker network is one of the highest trafficked online poker networks in the world. This is mainly due to the large number of European players that can be found on their skins.

In 2012, the iPoker network split it’s player pool into two tiers, to form iPoker 1 and iPoker 2. Different criteria was used by management to determine what skins belonged in each tier.

The iPoker network split was enforced to benefit the better skins and penalize smaller skins that were taking part in illegal rakeback deals in order to attract more players. Due to the tiered structure most games on the iPoker network are segregated besides the higher stakes games, which combine player pools since there isn’t as much action.

In addition to the usual online poker games you will find Speed Poker on all iPoker skins, a popular fast fold poker variant. A popular skin on iPoker is Bet365 Poker, a subdivision of the online sports betting site.

Ongame Network

The Ongame Network was formed by Pokerroom.com back in the year 2000 and since then has grown and declined on a massive scale.

As the years went on, more skins joined the growing network, when it was then owned by a Swedish company. A big milestone for the network came in 2005 when it was named “IT Company of the Year” after hitting 6 million registered users.

In 2006, sports betting giant Bwin, purchased the online poker network for $570 million. Being such a huge brand in the sports betting world, this acquisition brought even more players to the network.

Today, the Ongame Network comprises of several well known skins including Betsafe, Betsson, and Redkings. Unfortunately, however, the network has suffered from a steady decline in player traffic. Part of the decline was attributed to losing a few of the bigger skins. The network was owned by Bwin, which merged with Party Gaming in 2011. After that happened, the network was sold to Amaya Gaming and the players on Bwin were moved to Party Poker.

Microgaming Poker Network

Formerly the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN). Founded in 2003 it is one of the long standing online poker networks. Flagship skins on the network include 32 Red Poker and Ladbrokes Poker.

MPN is a high traffic online poker network with reliable software and the skins have good promotions. Microgaming poker skins also provide flash poker clients so that an instant player version of the online poker games is available.