UK online gambling operator Bet365 has become the latest to launch a fast-fold poker product. Sprint Poker follows the by now familiar template established when Full Tilt Poker originally introduced the fast-paced ring-game concept with the once revolutionary (now redundant) Rush Poker. In doing so, FTP also established the precedent for giving any similar product a name that implies swift movement (see Zoom, Blaze, Fast, Speed, etc.). Clearly, with the number of operators out there, the thesaurus will soon be depleted of such synonyms, so it’s time to get creative, people. Gazelle Poker, Quarter-Mile Poker, Premature Ejaculation Poker…
Bet365’s poker network, iPoker, has announced a fixed date for the division of its liquidity into two distinct tiers. Come July 1, the Playtech-owned network will require its skins to maintain a base of 6k monthly active players and to bring in 850 new real-money players each month. A scoring metric will analyze “player segments” based on player contributions. To ensure compliance with its new guidelines, iPoker will conduct monthly audits, the first of which is scheduled to take place Sept. 1.
Failure to adhere to iPoker’s new guidelines will see offending skins relegated to the bottom tier, separating them from the ‘main liquidity pool’ in the top tier. This top tier will offer additional exclusive tables and is widely expected to compromise the mostly recreational poker players on some of the network’s major sportsbook operators, including bet365, Betfred, William Hill and Paddy Power. The lower tier is expected to be where the rakeback-heavy skins end up, potentially creating a scenario in which bumhunters discover they have few bums to hunt, leading to a exodus not seen since Charlton Heston led his people out of Egypt.
iPoker’s stated intent in implementing the changes is to “create a better poker environment” by extending players’ “life time expectancy” on the network as well as their “deposit over spend” period, while “balancing the ‘drain’ volume” among iPoker skins. The move is the latest attempt to address the needs of the recreational poker player, following iPoker’s misguided 2009 decision to fine skins whose overly generous rakeback deals attracted too many winning players and the more sensible late 2011 revamp of its rake distribution model.