iPoker Sows Liquidity Split, Reaps Confusion

Playtech’s iPoker network has long been known for its heavy-handedness in regards to inter-skin player poaching and the recruitment of low-quality traffic by some of its skins.

A few years ago for instance, these were among the reasons why the currently second-ranking online poker network decided to discontinue the iPoker rakeback offerings.
The latest development on this front saw the iPoker network institute an evaluation period starting with July 1 2012, during which it would assess the viability of its various skins, with the intent of eventually splitting player liquidity based on a set of rather strict quality guidelines.
iPoker powered poker rooms would be split into two tiers, a top one and a secondary one, based on the number of new, active players they were able to bring into the fold and their respective critical player liquidities. Poker rooms that weren’t able to maintain an average of 6,000 active players each month (players considered active would be those who would generate at least $1 in rake/month), and 850 new player registrations, would be dropped to the second tier.
The move was aimed at achieving several goals: on one hand, it would certainly appease the bigger iPoker skins like William Hill Poker, which would no longer end up force-feeding liquidity to smaller operators, on the other hand – according to iPoker officials – it would keep the lower rung of the pool more fish-oriented and protected from the high profile professional grinders.
The iPoker split went into full effect on September 1, and while the theory behind it was simple-enough, it ended up creating confusion and panic among players who failed to understand that the split would be a full one, completely separating the top tier from the bottom one. Whether or not this is indeed how iPoker sees the split work going ahead isn’t exactly clear. iPoker has been rather stingy with information and assistance following the September 1 implementation of the move.
What’s clear now is that the current set of rules will hurt smaller operators badly. Several of them (like Dracula Poker and Celeb Poker) have already melted into larger skins like Titan Poker and the above said William Hill.
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