Betfair Poker announced that it would leave the Ongame Network to join the iPoker Network, where it will be placed in the iPoker2 platform as it meets all the qualifications required for it.
All the largest skins, where hundreds of new players register every month, are placed in the iPoker2 platform.
Betfair will launch as an iPoker2 skin on Jan 21. Players will be moved gradually to the new network, and throughout the transition period, players can choose one of the networks as long as they register for real money poker play at Betfair before the company launches as an iPoker2 skin. Players who register after Betfair launches on the iPoker Network will be able to use only the iPoker platform. Existing players can continue using the two platforms till the middle of 2013, after which the Ongame platform will no longer be used at Betfair.
Betfair had already gotten into a partnership deal with Playtech, the company that owns the iPoker Network. Another company which has recently joined is Betclic Poker. In September 2012, Betfair had announced that it would move to the iPoker Network in all regulated markets denied to players of Ongame Network.
Over the past few years, Betfair has joined and left four poker networks, and iPoker happens to be the fourth network Betfair has joined. In 2004, the online poker room launched Cryptologic Network, but left it in Oct 2006 when the US government passed the UIGEA. Betfair then purchased the PokerChamps platform and began using it. However, the PokerChamps platform turned out to be full of bugs and Betfair moved to Ongame when it finally realized that it was hurting its own poker product by offering it on a bad platform.
Ongame Network, however, continues to suffer as it has been consistently losing players over the past few years. Last month, it lost the largest number of players when Bwin Poker moved to Party Network as part of the sale of the network to Amaya Gaming. The loss of Betfair will further lower the traffic at Ongame.
Betfair is basically a betting exchange as it matches players and sports wagers and receives commissions. Besides, the company offers a race book and an online casino. Although Betfair Poker is very popular, the betting exchange and online casino are facing a number of problems. Betfair recently angered a number of players by cancelling a promotion called Happy Hour and refusing to pay players who claimed their Happy Hour bonuses.