Hero Poker is leaving the Merge Gaming Network in the coming days. Hero Poker has removed the download link from their website. The CEO of Hero Poker also made an announcement in the Hero Poker Two Plus Two thread today that makes it clear that something is going on behind the scenes. He had this to say:
I know there is a lot of speculation out there, I’m not on any gag order of sorts, but I’m just waiting on some final confirmation to some details, but I will be posting as soon as I get such confirmations.
Just know that my priority is our players first and the lack of communication on my part, is more towards ensuring and confirming details that do benefit the players first.
This was the first post in nearly three weeks by Hero Poker. As a sponsor in the Two Plus Two forum, this is very unusual.
Players do not need to panic. Their funds are safe. There are some steps that players need to take though to make sure that they get the most value out of the move.
Hero Poker Players Need to Spend VIP Points Immediately
The first thing that players need to do is spend their VIP points. The only way for rakeback players to convert points to cash on the Merge Gaming Network is to use them to enter tournaments. Players can use their points to buy into many multi table tournaments and select sit and gos. Players may not want to wait until the major tournaments on Sunday. Considering the download link has been removed from the Hero Poker website, the closure could be just hours away. VIP players can find other ways to convert their points to cash through the VIP system.
Players that have been on Merge Gaming skins that closed in the past lost all of their VIP points. It is extremely important to spend the points now as they will likely be lost if Hero Poker players are moved to other Merge Gaming skins.
Closing or Moving to Another Network?
Hero Poker could take one of two actions. They could either move to a different network or they could close entirely and get absorbed into other skins on the Merge Gaming Network. If Hero Poker does gets absorbed by the network then the recent RPM Poker closure will likely be similar to that process. RPM Poker players were encouraged to sign up at Sportsbook, PlayersOnly or Carbon Poker. Hero Poker players should decide now whether they want to sign up for rakeback or the VIP program on these skins.
In this scenario, Hero Poker players would be able to move to other Merge Gaming skins. While this is an option, the network appears to be moving away from white label skins. The recent closure of RPM Poker and the migration of Black Chip Poker are examples of this. Merge Gaming white label skin owners have expressed that they feel they are being pushed out the door due to the loss of player to player transfers and higher fees being passed on to skins. This leaves the possibility that players that move to other white labels would be forced to move to a different skin again in the future if they do not move to one of the main skins as the white labels may continue to close. White label skins are the ones that are using the main Carbon Poker cashier and not one tied to a sports book.
Hero Poker may also move to another network. While Merge Gaming accepts new U.S. players, Hero Poker has not accepted new U.S. players since May 2011. This may give them more options for a new network due to have many non U.S. players. Hero Poker may choose to move its non U.S. players to an international network while sending their U.S. players to other Merge Gaming skins. They may also choose to move to Winning Poker Network like Black Chip Poker did, or move to Revolution Gaming since they still have active U.S. players but do not accept new ones. That policy is consistent with Revolution Gaming as there are only two skins that still accept U.S. players. Those skins are Juicy Stakes and Lock Poker. Many other skins still have grandfathered U.S. players even if they do not accept new ones.
Evidence Was Clear Hero Poker Was Leaving Merge Gaming
Hero Poker leaving Merge Gaming should come as no surprise. Hero Poker opted out of the most recent Poker Maximus series. This was presumably done due to the fear of tournament overlays being passed on to skins. The potential of closing during the series may have been a factor as well. Hero Poker’s silence throughout December was another sign that something was going on behind the scenes. RPM Poker was also quiet up until their closure.
The status of Hero Poker will be known in the coming days. Players should be aware that it is time to spend their points so that they do not end up losing their value.
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