Online poker room Red Star Poker has announced that it is making a move over to the iPoker Network.
Although the Russian online poker room has made no specific timeline public, Red Star is the very first Microgaming Poker Network skin to announce its post-MPN plans.
The development comes after Microgaming announced back in September that it was pulling the plug on its poker operations. Red Star informed the players of the change on its customer support forum, saying,
“We took a long time to choose a network that would be a good replacement for the existing one, and finally we found it.”
At the moment, the iPoker Network ranks 10th in terms of cash game traffic, according to data from PokerScout.com. It was once considered to be a top-five network, absorbing many sites when the online poker industry became chaotic after the UIGEA passed in the United States in 2006. A combination of reduced traffic and the rise of regional, ring-fenced poker sites has pushed it down the standings in the last few years.
MPN verified that it was indeed shutting down its poker network in a blog post that was published on September 20. Alex Scott, who is the managing director of the Microgaming Poker Network, said that an “extensive review into the poker product” had been done before the company came to its conclusion.
“The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business,” said Microgaming CEO John Coleman in a press release.
Coleman added that poker would not disappear from Microgaming. Rather, the company would “follow a new strategic direction for the vertical,” information of which would be disclosed at a future date. Microgaming also offers online casino, bingo, and sportsbook products, among others.
Alex Scott also have an assurance to players that everyone’s resources were safe and segregated from the company’s operating funds. Customers can continue playing on MPN until the network shuts down, which is expected in the second or third quarter of next year.
The Microgaming Poker Network has been one of the last mainstays of the online poker industry, starting its business back in 2003. It was then called the Prima Poker Network. That name made a return in 2018 as the moniker of MPN’s new software platform. And though MPN is shutting down next year, Microgaming did recently release updates to the poker client.
Red Star Poker itself was established in 2005 as an independent site, in the middle of the poker boom. It later joined the now-defunct Cake Poker Network. In 2013, Red Star became a part of the Microgaming Poker Network.