PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.com to Leave Cake Poker Network Posted: 03 Feb 2010 03:21 PM PST Rumblings in the recent London Affiliate Conference (LAC) were that by mid-2010, PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.com would be departing the Cake Poker Network. Instead, shareholders of Sportsbook.com, which owns both sites, have allegedly acquired the Merge Gaming Network. PokerNews Daily sought comment from the Cake Poker Network. Likely within the next couple of months, PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.com will join the Merge Gaming Network, whose flagship site is Carbon Poker, although a firm timeline does not appear to be in place. Both sites, according to Cake Poker Network officials, brought seasonal player bases to the table, as operating a sports book remained their central focus. Major sporting events brought a spike in traffic, which then fizzled during the low season. Sportsbook.com has been a member of the Cake Poker Network since 2006, while PlayersOnly began accepting customers from across the globe in October. Prior to that, PlayersOnly was only available to poker fans in the United States and Canada. Cake Poker officials told PokerNews Daily that the family of sites will still experience growth in 2010 despite the rumored departure: “We’re expecting good growth in 2010 as a result of some significant new partners and the expansion of existing brands on the network.” For example, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak recently launched Unabomber Poker on the Cake Poker Network, bringing his unique flair to an online site. A total of eight new Cake Poker Network rooms hopped onboard in recent days, a list that includes 7Win Poker, Redback Poker, Amsterdams Poker, Safari Poker, Dimeline, Rags2Riches Poker, and Burro Poker. Cake Poker Network officials labeled the potential departure of PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.com “unfortunate, since they were a great group to work with,” but touted their surge of new partners as well as a new poker client expected to debut in the near future: “We’re working on a new client that we are really excited about. It has new features, better graphics, and higher reliability. We’ve put a lot of thought and a lot of work into this and hope to have a beta into some players’ hands no later than April.” The network’s software allows users to change player names with regularity, hindering the ability of database programs like PokerTracker and Holdem Manager to keep track of the competition. Rumors also abounded during the recent London Affiliate Conference (LAC) that DoylesRoom, fronted by ten-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, was on its way out of the Cake Poker Network as well. However, PokerNews Daily can squash those rumors. DoylesRoom, which will host this week’s Bounty Tournament at 9:30pm ET tonight, features a stable of pros that includes Chris “moorman1” Moorman, Zachary “CrazyZachary” Clark, Amit “amak316” Makhija, Dani “ansky” Stern, and recent World Poker Tour (WPT) Southern Poker Championship winner Hoyt Corkins. In addition to Carbon Poker, the Merge Gaming Network includes ACED, IronDuke, Poker Nordica, and Reefer Poker. Its cash game traffic, according to PokerScout.com, has shrunk in recent months. It saw a 24-hour peak of 632 real money ring game players on December 14th, but has jumped above 500 just once since. At the time of writing, the Merge Gaming Network boasted a seven-day running average of 245 real money ring game players, good for the 20th largest tally worldwide. The Merge Gaming family of sites welcomes players from the United States. The Cake Poker Network, meanwhile, is the tenth largest in the business, boasting a seven-day running average of 2,100 cash game players, or nearly 10 times the traffic of the Merge Gaming Network. Besides Cake Poker and DoylesRoom, other network sites include Power Poker, Poker Host, and Bet US.
------------ Don't think the 'takeover' bit is accurate but it's certainly a big boost for Merge in terms of traffic!
Edited by __BigBetPoker (09 February 2010 @ 20:42 GMT)
Joined: Nov '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 43 (M)
Hmmm dont make any difference to me as i dont play there but it would be good to get a little more competition in there for the big two ie Fulltilt and Pokerstars. then they could have there own little war and then the consumer will be the winner.
Joined: Jan '08
Age: 43 (M)
Maybe adopting Cakes policy on changing screen names would be a move forward, actually thats the only thing I like about Cake. If initial intention of Merge was not to allow players using hand tracking software gain advantage this seems to be the only way. Converter has become available, didnt and wont test it, but I was compelled to make one myself a while ago.
Joined: Jan '09
Location: New Zealand
Age: 32 (M)
Cake really needs to improve their software. Plus their dealt method rakeback system makes the entire network full of nit players. Good thing for merge though since sportsbook are full of juicy fish, its just going to make merge a lot nicer place to play