iPoker has implemented its new strategy and split players into two tiers depending on which skin they come from. The move has caused confusion and uncertainty exacerbated by the absence of any official notification from iPoker.
Effectively there are now two completely separate player pools at the lower stakes. As far as pokerfuse could see, players from the so called Tier 1 sites are not playing against players from Tier 2 sites; there has been a complete split. Tier 2 skins have larger numbers of players and proportionally more of them are recreational.
The new regime affects No Limit Hold’em 6 max cash tables up to $2/$4 and Full Ring tables up to $1/$2. Speed tables are not included in the split. Heads Up SNGs with buy ins over $30 and 6/9 man SNGs over $10 are also unaffected, as are all jackpot, promotional and satellite SNGs.
Many of the table names are the same, but the players on each table are different. This has led to a lot of confusion among players who have not realized that the player pools of Tier 1 and Tier 2 sites have been completely separated.
There has been an almost complete absence of information emanating from iPoker’s owner Playtech about the change. There has been no publication at all of which rooms are in which tier. The only information players have received is from respective sites and their affiliates who are hardly disinterested parties.
Although unannounced, the rooms in the larger liquidity pool (Tier 2) are known to include Titan Poker, bet365, Paddy Power, Poker770 and William Hill. A number of other rooms retain access to Tier 2 but may drop back to Tier 1 depending on their success at meeting the iPoker threshold standards at audit.
Some smaller rooms have already amalgamated with larger rooms in advance of the announcement, judging that they will not be viable as standalone sites. Dracula Poker and Celeb Poker have joined Titan Poker and closed their own branded sites.
The threshold requirements have been published as maintaining a sign up rate in excess of 850 new players each month, and to retain an active monthly player base of over 6,000. The requirements have been introduced partly to protect the recreational players on the network from predatory regular players and also to reduce inter-skin poaching of players.