GG Network Will "Probably" Launch Short Deck Poker in 2019 GG Network Will "Probably" Launch Short Deck Poker in 2019

GGNetwork (GGN), one of the industry’s fastest-growing online poker networks, has confirmed that Short Deck Poker will likely make its debut on the network this year.

In an exclusive interview with the newly appointed Head of GGNetwork, Jean-Christophe Antoine, sat down with Poker Industry PRO to answer questions about the direction of the network, its plans for market expansion, and its software development strategy. The full interview is available to the subscribers of Poker Industry PRO.

When asked about plans to launch Short Deck, a variant that originated in Asia, Antoine answered that the network is aware of the game’s popularity and is keeping close track of the game. He also said the network is “happy to wait” before releasing the game as they want to ensure that their version of Short Deck is the most appealing. Antoine also hinted that their version could come with additional “perks.”

“GGNetwork is the world’s largest poker network today and we’re putting a lot of effort into making the beautiful game of Poker fun again, so we are indeed watchful of what happens in the poker live scene, especially the popularity of Short Deck/Six Plus Hold’em,” said Antoine to PRO.

“We’ve been observing how it’s been faring for the past couple of months and we are happy to wait a bit before releasing it. We want to make sure our version avoids pitfalls and comes with extra perks. We will probably launch it sometime in 2019,” he added.

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Short Deck (also known as Six Plus Hold’em) plays similarly to Hold’em except that 16 cards from deuces through fives are removed, creating a lot more action and bigger pots. As the game is played with a deck of only 36 cards, hand rankings are modified. Flushes beat Full Houses and in some variants, Three of a Kind beats a Straight.

While the game has been around the poker community for years, interest in the game picked up significantly last year after it made its first televised appearance during the Triton Super High Roller Series in Montenegro.

The same series also debuted the tournament version of the game featuring three Short Deck events including an HKD 1 million buy-in. Phil Ivey, one of the early proponents of the game, won the first-ever live Short Deck tournament defeating Dan “Jungleman” Cates heads-up for $604,977.

Since then the game has gained widespread popularity among players, especially among the high-stakes community. It also made its debut at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas as well as in the US Poker Open last year. The game also caught the attention of the World Series of Poker organizers who scheduled bracelet events in the variant at both the WSOP this summer and the WSOPE.

In the online field, the US-offshore unregulated network, Winning Poker Network was the first in 2018 to introduce this game. A few months later, PokerStars also debuted the game across its global player pool in January and later launching it in the ring-fenced Italian and Indian markets. The operator has also scheduled 6+ Hold’em MTTs to its ongoing Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) series.

partypoker was the next major online operator to join the Short Deck craze, adding it with a twist by allowing players to partially remove additional chips from their stack once it reaches a specific size, without having to leave the table. It boasts that it is the only online poker operator to follow the same set of rules adopted by the Triton Series.

In April, the Latin-based Aconcagua Network also started offering this game as did the Chico network, another US-offshore unregulated site.

Other rooms, including Coin Poker, a small cryptocurrency-based online poker room, and many Asian-based online rooms, including J88poker and vbet poker, are known to offer this variant.

If the craze continues, it wouldn’t be surprising to see 888poker also launch this game in the near future. In fact, 888 already wrote a blog post on it last year suggesting that the game could be in the pipeline for the operator.

The game is also on the radar of the newly launched Run It Once Poker. Phil Galfond, founder of the site, commented on Reddit hinting that the game could be added to its game offerings down the line.

“We won’t have short deck at launch or soon after, but it’s definitely one of the games I’d be interested in adding,” Phil Galfond commented on Reddit when asked if there are any plans to add Short Deck Poker.