The iPoker network has secured another high profile defection with Betfair deciding to leave the OnGame Network for the iPoker Network later this year. Betfair is the latest of top tier poker sites to abandon there old network for the iPoker Network. Everest Poker recently left there home grown network for iPoker late in 2012.
Betfair released the news on there blog and stated “Betfair plc announced today it will shortly offer its customers poker through Playtech’s iPoker network. “New Betfair Poker” will be launched later this month to run alongside “Classic Betfair Poker”, which will continue to be provided by Ongame, offering Betfair customers a varied, feature rich poker playing experience on the two leading poker networks.”
The iPoker Network split into two separate tiers with the hopes of improving the recreational atmosphere on the site. The split was also designed to stop the cherry picking of players among the skins of the network. Before the split many players would jump from skin to skin since they were being recruited by skins on the network.
The iPoker Network operates with two tiers of operators with tier 2 offering the best overall experience for players and operators. Tier one offers less games and is not as kind on the operators since the liquidity isn’t as good. The tier 2 is reserved only for top poker sites who are able to bring in over 850 new players each month while also maintaining a player base of active players over 6,000. Betfair will join the likes of William Hill Poker, Everest Poker, Poker770, Titan Poker as tier 2 operators on the network.
Sam Hobcraft who is Betfair Director of Gaming had the following to say about the move to iPoker. “Our intention has always been to offer our customers a rewarding and varied poker experience. Launching New Betfair Poker on Playtech’s platform will help us to continue to achieve this goal. It’s a world-class product, offering unique and innovative features.”
iPoker is currently the 4th largest poker network in the world according to PokerScout with a peak active cash players of 5,133. Look to see them rise and possibly give Party Poker a run for 3rd place in the coming years as more skins will most likely decide to join iPoker in the future.
Since Bwin migrated from OnGame to Party Poker this could possibly be the beginning of the end of OnGame Network as the network continues to drain liquidity with high profile defections like Betfair. According to PokerScout OnGame Network is currently the 13th largest network in the world with peak active cash players of 2,403. When Betfair joined OnGame in 2010 OnGame Network at the time was the 6th largest network in the world.