On August 12th, CelebPoker will move from Boss Media’s International Poker Network to Playtech’s iPoker Network, the third largest worldwide and the largest that does not accept players from the United States.
An e-mail sent to CelebPoker affiliates this week outlined the benefits for players of moving from the International Poker Network to the popular iPoker Network: “Expect improvements in both the software as well as the promotions at CelebPoker. As part of the iPoker Network, your CelebPoker players will be able to win more money, with an incredible $20 million in guaranteed tournaments (up from €3 million to €5 million on our old network). There are also limitless opportunities to win seats to major live events.” The new iPoker Network software will feature 13 payment options, progressive single-table tournament jackpots, and over $100,000 in progressive sit and go jackpots.
According to PokerScout.com, which keeps track of online poker room traffic, the iPoker Network boasts a seven-day running average of 5,500 real money ring game players. During its peak hours, which occur during the evening in Europe, nearly 10,000 players regularly descend upon its cash game felts. At the time of writing, which is late afternoon across Europe, a total of 7,223 real money players are competing on its family of sites. iPoker Network rooms include BetFred, CD Poker, Mansion Poker, Noble Poker, Paddy Power, Titan Poker, and VC Poker.
The International Poker Network is the eighth largest worldwide and does not accept U.S. customers. The Swedish-based network includes Fortune Poker, InterPoker, Paradise Poker, Poker Heaven, and Total Poker.
Starting on August 12th, CelebPoker members will have access to over $20 million in guaranteed tournaments every month. On Sundays, the iPoker Network hosts its weekly flagship event that features a $250,000 guaranteed prize pool. The buy-in is $320 and the $250,000 Guaranteed attracts the top players that the iPoker Network has to offer. On Saturdays, players can take advantage of a $109 buy-in tournament with at least $50,000 up for grabs.
Donovan, Founder of CelebPoker, commented in a press release distributed by the site, “Since 2003, we have always tried to offer our players the best possible poker experience available on the internet. And after many successful years with Boss Media, we felt that the game had moved on and we needed to offer our players more. The iPoker Network is held in very high regard by our valued customers. So we listened to them.” CelebPoker officials noted that the iPoker Network’s exponential growth was the primary reason for the decision to depart the International Poker Network.
CelebPoker will host a special Welcome Freeroll on September 17th to kick off the move. The free tournament will boast a $10,000 prize pool and is open to all depositing players. CelebPoker was launched in 2003.
Playtech, which owns and operates the iPoker Network, is a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange and can be found under the symbol “PTEC.” Playtech’s stock closed the week trading at £311.75, down £2.25 on Friday, or 0.72%. Other internet gambling companies traded on the same exchange include Party Gaming (symbol: PRTY), Ladbrokes (LAD), Sportingbet (SBT), William Hill (WMH), and 888 (888).
In financial results released for the second quarter of 2009, Playtech’s gross income was €33.1 million, down from the €33.8 million recorded during the first quarter of 2009. Gross income was up 29.8% from €51.6 million in the first half of 2008 to €66.9 million this year. Playtech’s online poker revenues were up 17.8% to €8.2 million during the second quarter of 2009 in comparison to the same period in 2008.