New Poker Network LaunchesMonday, November 11th, 2013 by Ryan
Poker rooms, poker networks, all kinds of new online poker options seem to be popping up out there today, and we’ve just recently written about WSOP.com, and have constantly talked about Ultimate Poker as well. As you know, there are many different online poker networks out there today, and many of them are falling right in the middle, all looking up at poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The rise from the ashes of Full Tilt Poker is one that we love to talk about, but currently we haven’t seen anyone really who can compare to the type of online poker action that PokerStars offers to their players, which is why we can consistently find them ranked number one out of any online poker room.
The more poker rooms and poker networks that come out, the more we notice how strong PokerStars really is. With that being said though, we do have a new poker network that was just launched, called the Equity Poker Network, or EPN for short. This is a network that is focused on supporting the member poker rooms that they have, and it was launched this past Friday. The network is called a “non-profit” poker network, and the entire idea behind the site is one that seems to be interesting. They have vowed to make a change to online poker, but mainly to the way that online poker networks run and operate all together. I’d say that this alone has gained some interest and intrigue for the Equity Poker Network from poker players all over.
They also went on to call themselves “cooperative”, meaning that their main goal is to support the different poker rooms on their network, rather than to have the poker rooms support them. You’ll find that in the bulk of online poker networks that the network is going to give the software that the poker site is going to use, and then offer the backend and the banking options as well, but that’s basically all that’s done from the networks side. After a member poker room launches under their network, they are going to send part of their profits each month to the network, and they are still going to be fighting with other online poker rooms that are under the same network for customers as well. This is where EPN is trying to differentiate themselves, as the member rooms are playing a flat fee of $10,000 per month, which is a fee that will keep the network up and running, and not to make the people running the network a ridiculous amount of money.
It’s an interesting concept, mainly because the Equity Poker Network is looking to get their poker rooms to grow without making a ton of sacrifice in terms of money. The actual voting rights and network profit distribution is going to be based on the individual poker room’s volume, so it will vary by each site under the network.
One thing that can’t really change is the poker rooms attempting to take traffic from other rooms on the network, but there isn’t much of an incentive to do so. After a player signs up at an online poker room under the Equity Poker Network, the room is going to get the player’s lifetime profits under the network. This means that no matter what happens, even if the player leaves to go to another EPN room, they will still get them.
The poker rooms that are under the network are also in charge of running their own tournament schedule and events, and also their own loyalty programs also. This gives them the full opportunity to run things however they’d like to, but there is going to be some network-wide tournaments that are going to run, likely to just to build up some larger fields. Each room will still be able to run their own tournaments though, and this also means that each site is going to be able to set up their own rakeback as well. The only rule that this includes is that you can’t offer more than the equivalent of 50% rakeback to the players.
The network is going to set up what’s called a Shark/Winners Tax, which will help get members to bring in recreational players, which are the players who reload the most. The big rewards and the nice rakeback is likely going to draw in some of the big time grinders out there, but the issue is that the poker room is likely to get hit with more of the network tax from these types of players, as they aren’t reloading as much.
As you can imagine, EPN is still a very small network right now, and they only have four rooms right now. The four rooms are FullFlushPoker.com, GearPoker.com, IntegerPoker.com, and Heritage Sports. The networks traffic has started getting tracked, but when we see the first numbers we expect them to be at the bottom currently since they are so new, and just getting things rolling off of the ground.