American players on four online poker rooms of the Revolution Poker Network, including Cake Poker, will soon be playing under a flag of a different color. According to a report by CalvinAyre.com, U.S.-based customers of Cake, Colt Poker, Fugu Poker, and Hilife Poker will all be shuttled over to Juicy Stakes Poker, a sister room on Revolution. The transition is scheduled for this Thursday, September 27.
This is the second network shuffle by Cake Poker in the last five months, though this one only involves U.S. customers, not the entire player base. In May, Lock Poker left the Merge Gaming Network and acquired the Cake Poker Network along with its flagship site. Lock then re-branded the Cake Poker Network to the Revolution Poker Network, keeping the Cake software in place.
Colt Poker, one of the rooms involved in the exodus, has also been involved in player movement this year. In March, it took on the U.S. customers of PowerPoker, another room on the Revolution Poker Network (at the time, of course, the network was still the Cake Poker Network).
As one might be able to tell, Revolution is a bit of an odd bird in the online poker industry, as it, as a network, accepts U.S. players, but not all of its member skins do.
Ed Drake, the writer of the CalvinAyre.com article detailing the decision, made the interesting point that on the surface, this move looks strange because of the origin and destination sites of Cake players. As he put it, “Typically, when a gambling operator wants to transition American players to another site, it’s to help insulate the larger entity and of course protect the players from unnecessary seizures of their money if the US government turns their eyes on to the particular website.”
He goes on to point out that Cake Poker is a “dot eu” site, CakePoker.eu, and therefore should be safe from the clammy hands of the U.S. Department of Justice. Why then, he queries, would Revolution want to move American players from a supposedly “safe” site to Juicy Stakes Poker, which resides at JuicyStakesPoker.com? This is nothing against Juicy Stakes Poker itself, it’s just that the traditional reason for transferring U.S. players from one site to another does not seem to fit here.
There has been no official statement from the Revolution Poker Network about the move, nor does it appear that the affected poker rooms have made announcements. This author has an account on Colt Poker (an account which was once a PowerPoker account), and has yet to see an e-mail warning me that things will be different in a few days.
As it stands now, the Revolution Poker Network ranks as the 10th largest family of poker rooms on in the internet in terms of cash game traffic, according to PokerScout.com. It is also the largest to accept U.S. customers. With a seven day average of 1,260 cash game players, it is just barely ahead of PokerStars.fr (1,240), but comfortably in front of two other U.S.-friendly competitors, Bodog (920) and Merge (900).