POKER

Everest to join iPoker; Betsafe opens Microgaming skin; Merge closes tables

TAGs: Betsafe, Everest Poker, iPoker, Merge Gaming, Merge Gaming Network, Microgaming, WCOOP

everest-betsafe-wcoop-mergeCiting “sources close to the issue,” PokerFuse is reporting that the Everest Poker site is set to ditch its independent ways and join Playtech’s iPoker network. Everest currently consists of a Malta-licensed poker room serving international customers and a French-only site licensed by French gaming regulators ARJEL. The move comes just weeks after BetClic acquired the remaining third of Mangas Everest it didn’t already own and just a week before the promised Sept. 1 division of the iPoker network into two separate liquidity pools. The latter move is considered to have prompted the decision by two of iPoker’s lesser skins to allow themselves to be assimilated by iPoker’s largest skin, Titan Poker. It’s not clear where on iPoker’s two-tiered hierarchy Everest will end up, given that iPoker was subjecting its skins to monthly traffic audits starting July 1 in order to sort them into ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ categories.

Earlier this month, Betsafe launched a new skin on the Microgaming Network it dubbed Poker Black. Betsafe already operates a skin on Bwin.party’s Ongame network dubbed Poker Red. It remains to be seen if Betsafe’s owner, Swedish operator Betsson, will follow suit with its own Microgaming presence. Betsson currently operates skins on both Ongame and IGT/Entraction.

Merge Gaming has shut down a number of tables in an apparent bid to boost the health of its poker ecosystem. On Friday, “Gildwulf,’ a poster on popular poker foum 2+2, reported that Merge had “quietly” eliminated Limit Hold’Em at the $4/8 and $6/12 levels, while putting the kibosh on all heads-up tables $15/30 and above.

The PokerStars 2012 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is set to get underway on Sept. 2. The 2012 WCOOP consists of 65 events, with the set-piece being the $5,200 main event, which carries a guarantee of $5m, with at least $1m of that destined to go to the eventual winner. Last year’s WCOOP main event winner, Thomas Pedersen, earned $1.26m for outlasting a 1,626-strong field. The first two events on the 2012 sked are $215 buy-ins with guaranteed prize pools of at least $1m and $1.5m. The full sked of events is viewable here.

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