Starting from the ground floor isn’t always the easiest of tasks, especially when breaking into one of the most competitive industries in the world. That was exactly the position the creators of the Equity Poker Network put themselves in 13 months ago. It’s been a rocky first year, to put it lightly, and the loss of another big operator, PokerHost, isn’t going to help matters.
PokerHost hopped aboard the innovative new online poker network just over a year ago, right after EPN debuted its real money poker software on November 8th, 2013. Now 13 months down the road, the online poker room has decided to sever ties with the network. And while PokerHost seems to be keeping things on the down-low, Equity was quick to offer a fond farewell to one of its best traffic contributors.
“We thank PokerHost for their contribution during their time at EPN, and we wish them, as well as their players, much continued success for the future,” read a statement from an EPN spokesperson in a press release announcing the split that took effect on December 9th. The publication confirmed that the online poker operator and network parted ways on affable terms, having mutually agreed to the breakup.
EPN was quick to assure its members that player liquidity has grown steadily and that the loss of PokerHost will not negatively affect their progress. According to the traffic statistics on PokerScout, however, Equity isn’t having the best Q4. Over the last several weeks, starting around the time 5Dimes Poker left EPN on October 31st, the numbers have steadily dropped off; their 7-day average of cash game players having fallen from about 230 to `170 players to date.
At the same time, PokerHost made no public mention of their choice to leave the Equity Poker Network, but did quickly, and rather quietly at that, introduce their new partnership with the Winning Poker Network. WPN is averaging 300 concurrent players at the cash tables and has made huge marketing moves to grab the majority of the American online poker community. Last weekend, for example, a colossal $1,000,000 GTD tournament was scheduled across the whole network, but it didn’t exactly go as planned.
A number of online poker operators have complained of DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial-of-Service), and on Sunday, just as the massive guarantee got underway, WPN became one such victim. The tournament was eventually cancelled and all buy-ins/fee returned, as per the terms of network policy when late registration is still in effect.
Even so, PokerHost should find an amicable home at the Winning Poker Network. Assuming they will attempt to reschedule the $1M GTD for a future date – an event that had already drawn 1,937 entries with another 45 minutes of late registration to reach the 2,000 goals and prevent an overlay – there’s a good chance more American online poker players will flock to the network in the coming year.
As for current members of PokerHost, the majority of them shouldn’t be adversely affected by the change. However, one notable difference is the lack of a Mac poker client on WPN. Whether the online poker room loses any of its numbers for that is yet to be seen, but WPN should see a visible incline in traffic either way.