The Equity Poker Network (EPN), “the world’s only cooperative poker network,” launched late last week with its first online poker skin, Full Flush Poker.
The network debutant currently offers only play chips tables, plus a $500 freeroll on Sundays, for the “soft launch” period. The poker room plans to accept players around the world for real money play, including from the US, under its Curaçao online gaming license.
The room is unaffiliated with Luke Schwartz, best-known by his online handle __FullFlush1__.
EPN was first announced back in March as a “non-profit” online poker network, where all network revenue would be redistributed to its operators. A “shark tax” would reward skins that brought in new depositing players, and its “Clearing House” facility would ensure there is always enough money to cover cross-operator reconciliation payments.
It was originally slated for a June launch, and at the time five operators were said to be interested.
Clive Archer, EPN founder, told pokerfuse at the time: “[The network] operates on the basis of a fixed fee of $10,000 per month and this is used to pay for the operation of the network. The cooperative means that the members of the network make up the management committee which runs the network with voting power based on what volume they have of the network’s business.”
According to the latest press release, operator are “afforded a level of autonomy to configure their own tournaments and promotions, and to allocate rewards, bonuses, and even rakeback,” up to network maximum of 50%.
“The number of well-established, licensed operators already signed on to become part of EPN is a testament to the early-success,” reads the press release, though no further details on the other operators involved, nor a go-live date for real money play, were revealed.
Archer was previously the COO at the Action Poker Network, and the CEO of BetOnline. Action Poker Network was later renamed Chico Poker Network. Players on the US-facing network have faced payment problems over the last two years due to extended legal disputes following its acquisition by Julian International Holdings. In August 2012, a legal resolution ultimately resulted in the repayment process to players commencing. Though still ongoing, players continue to report successful and relatively fast cashouts.
Chico still operates today, through Action Poker, PayNoRake, TigerGaming and other skins. It has seen cash game traffic growth in the last three months, but remains a minnow in the US-facing offshore regulated market.
EPN uses the same software as Chico, which for several years has been owned and marketed by the Swedish software firm Playsafe Holding AS.