Thursday, September 09, 2010

Poker Sites and Shared Skins

The entire article is on the PokerNews dot com link on this site. But I thought I would make it front page.

“There are two ways to create a new poker website. First, a developer could create his own software and develop a customer base from scratch to form the player pool on his site.

But it's difficult to get players to sign up and play without an already established group of opponents for them to play against. So the question is how to create something from nothing.

There is a second option. Instead of building his own system from the ground up, a developer could create a "skin," a poker room that uses preexisting software that belongs to an already established network.

The skin has its own brand and user interface but shares the player pool of all of the skins on its network. Although each site may have unique promotions and games, most of the time they share cash games, tournaments, advertising, security, and other features with their sister sites. That means the benefits of the home network should be a major factor in choosing which sites are right for you.

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker each have unique software and networks that they don't share with any other brand names. They are the two biggest by far.

Bodog Poker: The Bodog network includes only one poker room (Bodog) but also has sports betting and casino sites. Executives are currently investing megabucks in increasing the Bodog brand overseas, especially in relation to sports betting. More name recognition can only help the games on the company's poker site.

CEREUS Poker: This network was born when UltimateBet and AbsolutePoker merged. It's not many people's favorite poker client, and the CEREUS name change didn't do much to help players forget the cheating scandals associated with either site's original title. Despite the grumbling, CEREUS still has one of the largest player pools on the market, and it accepts U.S. players. CEREUS network was recently bought by Bianca Gaming.

Cake Poker: This is the network all the cool kids want to sit with at lunch. Victory Poker moved to Cake on September 1. Doyle's Room moved here in 2009. LockPoker, Gutshot Poker, Unibomber Poker, and a variety of other skins also share the Cake Network. Because U.S. players are allowed, and several new skins are working hard to rep the network, Cake's player base is growing rapidly. Victory Poker moves to Cake network.

Everleaf Gaming: Everleaf, home to LuvinPoker and LandShark Poker among others, is one of the few networks still open to U.S. players, yet it lacks the player base big enough to attract more than 1,000 players at any time. It does, however, boast one of the industry's most secure shuffling systems.

Merge Network: Although some of its skins of jumped ship recently, the Merge Network still hosts Carbon Poker, Players Only Poker, Reefer Poker, RPMPoker, and a score of other poker sites. Its software has a few entertaining features, including the ability to muck only one card and rabbit hunt. It's in need of increased traffic, however, before it will be able to support higher stakes.”

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