According to reports on several online poker information portals this week, the burgeoning Merge Gaming poker network has joined Microgaming in excluding Kentucky residents from all network activity, presumably as a precaution against the predatory behaviour of Kentucky governor Steve Beshear and his contingency-contracted lawyers in their efforts to seize international domain names .
As far as can be ascertained, the ban does not apply to existing customers.
Merge has been around since early 2007, but its history goes back before then when it was better known as Poker.com. The network attracts around 4 300 simultaneous players on a good night and boasts almost 20 skins, including Poker Nordica, Iron Duke, Jam Poker, CarbonPoker, PDC Poker, Texas Holdem, Golden Arch Poker, Rumble Poker, Poker City, WalkerPoker, BetED Poker, PokerOne, RPM Poker,G2Gpoker, Spin32Poker, Lucky Hog, Reefer Poker, Wass Poker and ACED. The operation carries a Kahnwake licence.
Meanwhile, the characteristically outspoken owner of Doyles Room, poker legend Doyle Brunson, has spoken out against the Kentucky attempt to hi-jack global industry domain names, writing on his blog: "I’m not going to go into all the legal issues, but Kentucky is in for a hell of a battle and every legal opinion I’ve heard says they don’t have a chance of winning."