Cake Poker Bought by Lock Poker to Form Revolution Gaming
While legal poker at the federal level likely won’t happen in the very near future, waves are still being made on the intrastate level. The Merge Gaming Network emerged after April 15, 2011 as pretty much the only ballgame in town for American poker players, as almost every other site left the U.S. market. Former powerhouses in the States fell by the wayside, such as Bovada (formerly Bodog) and Cake Poker. Both of these sites were simply unable to maintain their former footholds in the American market.
It appears that Cake Poker might have some better days soon, however. It came out in early May 2012 that Lock Poker was planning to depart from the Merge Gaming Network. This news came out just a short time after the proposed LOCKOPS tournament series was cancelled without explanation. It may have had something to do with plans to depart from the Merge Gaming Network and to purchase the Cake Poker Network. The new entity will be controlled by Lock Poker management and will be rebranded as Revolution Gaming.
For players on Lock, the move should be relatively simple and done through a software update on May 31st. Rough numbers have Lock Poker accounting for 40% of Merge Gaming Network’s traffic. This will likely put a big hole in Merge while giving Cake Poker a much needed boost.
At some points during the pre-Black Friday online poker world, the Cake Poker Network was amongst the biggest online poker sites in America. Unfortunately, cashier problems began to plague them, which caused their player base to dwindle and move to other sites such as Lock Poker and Carbon Poker. Exact details of how the cashier and player bases will be sorted out on the new network have been scarce. These details should come out soon, as Revolution Gaming will be going live on June 1st.
PokerStars Buys Full Tilt Poker
If you have been playing online poker for a while, you have probably been following the Full Tilt Poker drama for over a year now. Groupe Bernard Tapie had been in talks with the Department of Justice about buying Full Tilt for seven months now, so it appeared that a solution was within reach in the near future. It was an exciting prospect because some thought that Full Tilt might have a chance of becoming one of the few US facing poker sites again.
The talks between Groupe Bernard Tapie and the DOJ have stopped, however. The two stopped negotiations as it became clear that the DOJ would never become happy with Groupe Bernard Tapie’s solutions for paying players back. The main problem was that players would have been required to play on Full Tilt to unlock their money if they were owed over $100. Add in the fact that there would have also been penalties for inactivity, and you can see why the DOJ refused to do the deal.
An unexpected party is now thought to be involved in talks with the DOJ about Full Tilt, however. The same team that runs the mega poker site PokerStars is rumored to be attempting to buy the Full Tilt Poker brand, and people think that they are doing this to clear their name with the United States government.
No one would blame you for thinking that these rumors are ridiculously optimistic, but a surprising number of credible sources are backing the idea up. For example, the Wall Street Journal’s website ran a story on it. Other insiders in the industry are also saying that they believe the rumor to be true. PokerStars has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations. They have only stated that they cannot discuss their talks with the DOJ.
While we are waiting for more news, many questions remain unanswered. How will this affect Isai Scheinberg, the founder and owner of PokerStars? If PokerStars owns Full Tilt, will they relaunch Full Tilt under its existing name and with separate software, or will everyone be merged into the same site? Or will Full Tilt Poker be closed completely once players are paid back?
You can read our review of PokerStars and their welcome bonuses here.