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Poker news | Dec 26, 2019

MPN Saying Farewell to Online Poker World

By RTR Dennis

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The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) has been running for 16 years. However, the longstanding network now plans to shut down in 2020.

Microgaming CEO John Coleman explained that this online poker network is no longer viable. Noting that he doesn’t see a way for Microgaming’s “strategic vision for poker” to continue, he feels that it’s better for the company to disband the network.

Players Have Plenty of Time to Withdraw Funds

One of the biggest fears when an online poker network shuts down is if the players will be able to get their money. Luckily, this won’t be a problem for MPN members.

Microgaming is one of the world’s largest gaming software developers. Not surprisingly, they’re handling the upcoming shutdown with complete professionalism.

First off, cash games and tournaments will run as scheduled until the 2020 shutdown. Therefore, players won’t suddenly wake up one day and be shocked to find empty lobbies.

Secondly, players will eventually be notified of the exact date when the closure will happen. They have plenty of time to withdraw their money up until this TBA point.

Microgaming Doesn’t Plan to Exit Poker Completely

The fact that the MPN is shutting down makes it seem like Microgaming will get out of poker entirely. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

While the network is closing down, Coleman noted that Microgaming may still be involved with online poker in some capacity. He said that MPN’s closure will help his company “follow a new strategic direction for the vertical, details of which will be revealed in due course.”

MPN Shutdown Could Come in Later 2020

Again, no official date has been announced on when the network will come to a close. But Alex Scott, the company’s Managing Director of Poker, said that they’ll continue running until Q2 or Q3 2020.

Therefore, MPN players will have plenty of time to enjoy the ring games and tournaments at this network until then. The Microgaming Poker Network is still within the top 20 in terms of cash game traffic. Therefore, they’ll likely continue serving lots of players until the closure date.

Once the network does disband, each member site will have to decide its future. However, all of the network members have indicated that they’ll find a new home for their customers.

Scott wrote the following on MPN’s blog:

“If you have money with one of the MPN poker rooms, you don’t need to be concerned. Every one of our poker rooms has told us they intend to find a new supplier for poker software, and we intend to help them make the migration as simple and smooth as possible.”

What to Expect from Microgaming Poker in the Future

Microgaming’s top brass have been pretty cryptic with regard to the exact reasons why MPN is shutting down. However, the likely reason is that networks of poker sites are no longer the same draw that they once were.

Networks have commonly been seen as a way for different skins to pull their traffic together and create huge tournaments and promotions. MPN was once one of the most-successful operations at doing so. Skins like 32Red, Betsson, Grosvenor Poker, and Unibet thrived as part of this group.

In recent years, though, individual sites have come to dominate most of the online poker landscape. Players seem more apt to join a large individual poker room versus a network.

Solo sites have more control over their promotions and tournaments than they do under a network. Many such operations have used such freedom to create promos and features that appeal to the recreational crowd.

Perhaps Microgaming has seen the writing on the wall and realizes that they must adapt. Once a top 10 network, the MPN has tumbled far outside of the top 10 lately.

The most-likely path forward for Microgaming involves concentrating a solo room. They have the resources to make a popular online poker site when considering the success of their casino gaming software. Until then, though, they’ll ride out the final chapter of the MPN.