Friday June 22, 2012 : iPOKER CONFIRMS RUMOURS OF A LIQUIDITY SPLIT
Much-anticipated controversial move designed to “create a better poker environment”
Playtech's iPoker Network has followed press releases on its launch of fast-fold product Sprint Poker with a more controversial advisory on a policy change designed to divide player liquidity by grading operators on their active and new player numbers, with some virtual tables only available to top-tier rooms.
The rumours of a new liquidity policy at the network have been circulating for weeks, but on Thursday iPoker published its plans and how it intends to implement these from July 1 2012.
The company essentially intends to divide players into two separate liquidity pools or tiers, defined by grading network operators on their active and new player statistics, and reserving top tables for top operators.
The top tier will consist of skins that maintain a minimum base of 6,000 monthly active players and recruit at least 850 new real-money players each month. The network will test the numbers provided by operators and a scoring process by conducting monthly audits from September this year.
Skins that cannot meet the minimum requirements will have access only to the second tier player pool.
Explaining its motivation this week, iPoker vowed that it wanted to "maximize the end user experience,” and create a better poker environment by extending players’ life time expectancy on the network and the deposit over spend period for players, reducing what it referred to as the “drain volume" amongst iPoker card rooms.
Observers speculate that the ultimate objective is to attract more recreational players and reduce the number of "sharks" or winning players.
It is expected that major iPoker operators will dominate the top tier, including companies like BetFred, William Hill, Titan Poker, Paddy Power Poker and Bet365.