Hero Poker latest to flee Merge; RedBet join Ongame; PartyPoker Android app


hero-poke-merge-network-redbet-ongameHero Poker has officially boarded up its former home on the Merge Gaming Network, although where our Hero will wind up next remains a mystery. After weeks of speculation, Hero CEO David Jung went on the 2+2 forum on Thursday to announce players would be transferred to one of the “preferred Merge partners,” effective immediately. Promising a “full update within the next couple days on where Hero is going,” Jung addressed past problems with Merge by saying the two companies “weren’t going the same direction any longer and it just didn’t make sense on both sides to continue.” That said, Jung said Merge “has put the players first in this transition process,” meaning VIP point balances and tournament tickets will be transferred to players’ new accounts.

Hero was one of three skins – along with Black Chip Poker and RPM Poker – that backed out of Merge’s Poker Maximus III tourney shortly before cards were dealt. Black Chip has since landed on the Winning Poker Network, while RPM landed in the wastebasket (RPM players were invited to join poker rooms related to the Jazette group of sportsbooks). Two other Merge skins – Bluff Room and FeltStars – shut down in October. It’s been a rough ride for Merge since the departure of CEO Anthony Taylor in September and the network’s decision to curtail P2P transfers the following month and switch its primary skins over to the Jazette cashier.

The loss of liquidity suffered by the Ongame Network via this week’s scheduled shift of Bwin.com’s poker players to PartyPoker has been somewhat lessened by the arrival of players from Swedish operator Redbet Gaming Ltd. The two-year deal RedBet signed with Ongame’s new owners Amaya Gaming will allow Ongame to welcome players from RedBet.com, a former Entraction/IGT skin, plus sister sites Whitebet.com and Heypoker.com.

To celebrate the arrival of Bwin players, PartyPoker has launched a mobile app for Android devices running Android 2.1 or higher. The app is currently available only in beta form, offering Texas Hold’em cash games and Party’s Rush Poker clone FastForward Players who want to use the app for real-money games need to have an existing Party account and there are no deposit or withdrawal options so far, so don’t chuck out your desktop computer just yet. The app’s play-money mode obviously doesn’t require such functions, so knock yourself out. A companion iOS app is apparently in development.