Weekly Roundup October 11 2013
This past week saw news at two US-facing online poker sites, as well as news out of Nevada and New Jersey.
Merge Gaming Tournament Structure Changes
Merge Gaming rolled out an unusual tournament structure this month. The changes started with uniform level structures. This was welcomed by players. The issues began when players started noticing late registration being allowed four hours into some tournaments. This has caused problems with players being able to angleshoot events by entering them when tournaments are at or near the bubble and hoping to make a a few quick double-ups.
The tournament schedule has also been modified. Many early morning tournaments have disappeared. The guaranteed tournaments have seen drastic changes in the prize pools. All of these changes have left Merge Gaming players unhappy.
It has also been reported that Sportsbook.com and PlayersOnly has completely segregated player pools. This includes sit and gos and multi table tournaments. Some guaranteed tournaments at Sportsbook.com and PlayersOnly have seen substantial overlay.
Juicy Stakes Acquired by Zagox Management
An apparent unknown company by the name of Zagox Management has acquired Juicy Stakes, a struggling US-facing skin on the Revolution Gaming Network. An email was sent to all Juicy Stakes players Thursday morning alerting them to the news. The email stated that all pending bonuses and cashouts had been canceled. This may not be a bad thing. Players may place a new cashout request. It appears that these cashouts will be honored in a timely manner.
The bad news is that new Juicy Stakes cashouts will carry a large fee if requested by a US player. Checks, which were once free but took about 9 months to process, now carry a $100 fee. This is the highest fee in the US online poker industry. Cash transfers are now available. These were not offered by the previous management. The fee for a cash transfer is $100 on requests under $1,000 and $180 on requests up to $1,990.
While Zagox Management may be an unknown company, well respected Intertops appears to have faith in its legitimacy. Intertops announced that it would pool its player base with Juicy Stakes after news of the acquisition broke. Intertops had previously segregated most of its higher limit cash games, sit and gos with a buyin higher than $20 and multi table tournaments with a guaranteed prize pool higher than $1,000.
Borgata Receives First New Jersey Interactive Gaming License
Borgata became the first company to receive an interactive gaming license in New Jersey this week. Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts and is the highest grossing casino in Atlantic City. Borgata partnered with bwin.party to provide online gaming software. There have been no reports as to whether bwin.party has received approval on its gaming application.
Nevada Breaks Market Traffic Records
Nevada broke its previous record for online poker traffic. The average number of combined players at Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com reached 232 this past week, according to a report from Pokerfuse. This broke the previous record of 227, which was set shortly after Ultimate Poker launched on April 30, 2013.