As rumored, French gaming operator Betclic Everest will move its Everest and Betclic poker operations to Playtech’s iPoker network – at both the .com and .fr levels – before the end of 2012. Playtech already handles Betclic brand Expekt.com as well as Betclic’s Italian site Betclic.it. It’s not clear what will become of Everest’s proprietary poker software, although we hear there’s a raft of US casino outfits on the lookout for an online poker product that isn’t Ongame. Betclic purchased a 60% interest in Everest from GigaMedia in 2009 and acquired the remaining chunk a little more than a month ago. While Everest has seen a dramatic fall in liquidity over the past year, it’s expected to join the other five major operators in the ‘top’ tier of iPoker’s new two-tiered liquidity split. Meanwhile, the boost the deal will provide to the struggling iPoker.fr network will be transformative.
Paddy Power, one of the fab five currently in iPoker’s top tier, has wasted no time getting the word out about its preferential status. The media-savvy Paddsters are running a month-long promo of freerolls and special offers, all based around the claim that “the fish tank just got a lot more pleasant for Paddy Power Poker players as we’ve banished the sharks to the deepest, darkest depths.” Subtlety is for suckers.
Not to be outdone, PartyPoker has announced its Rush Poker clone FastForward has officially emerged from beta mode. Players can now operate up to four FastForward tables simultaneously in the same player pool or across multiple pools. And 3D-obsessed online poker outfit PKR has updated its software to allow players to buy in-game ‘drinks’ for themselves and other players’ avatars. Beverage options range from cups of coffee to pints of beer to cocktails. We eagerly await the first player to sue PKR for losses because they were virtually wasted at the time they went all-in on a 2-7 offsuit.