The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) is rolling out the final release of its Prima poker* client. In announcement last week, the network said v43.1 will be distributed by November 7th. Though the Prima poker client was only released last summer, this will be the last update because MPN is shutting down in 2020.
Aside from the disappointment of losing an online poker network that pre-dates the poker boom, it is a shame that this software will disappear, as the changes look pretty darn nice. The bulk of the update involves the tournament lobby.
Most of the information displayed in the new lobby is what you would see anywhere else in the online poker world, but it is laid out in a way that is very easy to read. Every section – things like blind levels, payouts, table listings, tournament description, and so on – has its own distinct field. The separation with borders and varying, but not garish or distracting, colors makes it really simple to quickly find whatever information one needs.
A couple features I particularly like:
Chip Stacks – a color-coded bar that shows the player’s stack in relation to the shortest and largest stacks, the median stack, the mean stack, and the “target stack,” which is a calculation that estimates what stack will get a player into the money. This bar was introduced in v42, but it is nice to see it is still here and easy to decipher. Additionally, if you hover over your chip count in the upper left corner of the lobby, you can see you stack in terms of big blinds as well as a simply equity calculation.
Return on Investment – this section, in the bottom right, keeps a tally of a player’s buy-in, re-buys, add-ons, and winnings and converts it to an ROI.
Again, nothing is revolutionary, but it is all presented in such an attractive, easy-to-read way. For someone in the middle of a tournament, it is nice to be able to find the info you need quickly and get back to the table.
As noted, Microgaming will be terminating its poker network sometime next year. No date has been determined, but it is expected to happen in the second or third quarter of 2020. In a blog post, MPN Managing Director Alex Scott wrote:
For some time now, I’ve been carrying out an extensive review into the poker product here at Microgaming, with input from poker industry experts, independent consultants, and my colleagues around the world. The conclusion of the review was that, for poker to be as successful as possible, we had to adopt a very different strategy and business model. Ultimately, the poker network is not part of that vision.
Scott assured players that everyone’s funds are safe and are always segregated from the network’s operating funds. Players can continue to play poker on MPN up until the shutdown. The Microgaming company as a whole will carry on; just poker is going away.
There are not a lot of big names on the Microgaming Poker Network anymore, but some of the more recognizable include 32Red, NordicBet, betsafe, and Grosvenor Poker.
*The name “Prima” is a callback to the original name of MPN, the Prima Poker Network.