Carbon Poker Eyes 20% Growth from Merge Gaming Network Expansion

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On Thursday, the USA-friendly Merge Gaming Network will officially welcome members of Players Only and, potentially growing the family of sites by as much as four times. The Merge Gaming Network’s flagship site is Carbon Poker.

One day prior to the player acquisition of Players Only and, both owned by Jazette Enterprises, Poker News Daily sat down with Carbon Poker Marketing Director Ian Williams, who shared his insight into the effects that the player migration may have. To celebrate, the Merge Gaming Network is holding a massive $100,000 freeroll on May 30th. In addition, the maximum rakeback offered on its family of sites will balloon from 30% to 35%.

Poker News Daily: Thanks for joining us. What boost in active membership will Carbon Poker likely experience as a result of Players Only and coming to the Merge Gaming Network on Thursday?

Ian Williams: It’s hard to put an accurate number on the boost we can expect to see overnight. I anticipate we will grow by 20% over the next few months from an increase in new players, a lot of our old players will come back and see more action, and the regular guys will certainly play a lot more. When you add in the new promos, the increase in daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments, and leaderboard prizes, I think we have a very interesting package right now.

PND: What kind of traffic boost do you see the Merge Gaming Network having as a whole? We’ve seen estimates as large as four to five times.

Ian Williams: Well, everyone can speculate as to the numbers. Obviously, the guys at Merge and Jazette know the level of business they do right now and if you applied that to our business directly give or take some dropout in the crossover, those numbers seem to be a good estimate. Excluding the new influx, you also have the possibility of existing brands on the network picking up business as a result of the new traffic and promotions.

PND: Can the Merge Gaming Network and Carbon Poker get to the point where they’re competing directly with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker?

Ian Williams: We would love to be there, but they are different animals, so to speak. Both are huge corporations with massive resources and player bases and they are also one-brand networks in their own right. I greatly admire what they have both done and we all aspire one day to get to the position they are in. As a business, we are concentrating on the day-to-day and aiming to grow as fast and as hard as we can. We have put a lot of work into the software and business tools that run the poker room and that is starting to pay dividends for us now.

We are looking forward to welcoming the Jazette brands to the network. So far, we have collaborated in creating a few new promotions for the players, including a $100,000 freeroll and new network rules like increasing our rakeback from 30% to 35% starting tomorrow.

PND: We’ve heard that the player bases of Players Only and are rather fishy, as Jazette Enterprises tends to focus on its online sports books. Is there any validity to that?

Ian Williams: Certain sports brands have looser players than a pure poker brand; however, I think Jazette brings with them a bit of both. When you target poker players as an acquisition source, you will find them in general to be good rakers. If you acquire sports traffic and try cross-sell it to poker, you will get loose players. They are actively pursuing poker players in all of the major places that we and other standalone poker brands do. That is why they are successful and have such a large base of players.

PND: We understand that the $50,000 Guaranteed that Carbon Poker offers will now be a freezeout. Do you foresee its guarantee growing as a result of an influx of new players?

Ian Williams: I anticipate this growing at a fairly positive rate over the next few weeks and we will look to up it to a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool within two months. There will be a new guaranteed schedule coming out tomorrow that will include a daily $10,000 Guaranteed with a $60 buy-in.

Visit Carbon Poker for more information.

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