The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) announced that it was going the way of the dodo about two months ago. The exact termination date was still up in the air, though. Last week, things were brought into focus as it was revealed that MPN will shut down on May 19, 2020.
The information was divulged by Red Star Poker Operations Director Alex Manilov in an interview with Russian poker site, Pokeroff. Red Star was recently the first MPN to announce its plans with the impending network shutdown, saying that it was jumping over to Playtech’s iPoker Network.
Apparently, the Microgaming skins, including betsafe, 32Red, and NordicBet, were informed of the date by the network last week. Manilov’s interview with Pokeroff quickly followed.
When the MPN closure was announced in September, it was explained that it was simply a business decision. It sounds like Microgaming will continue or eventually resurrect poker in some form, but it decided that owning a poker network isn’t going to work.
Here is what Microgaming CEO John Coleman said:
The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business. While the network will be closing, this is not the end for poker at Microgaming, which is driven to create the most enjoyable entertainment experiences, leading the way with world-class gaming content. Ultimately, this move will help the business to achieve that vision as we follow a new strategic direction for the vertical, details of which will be revealed in due course.
MPN’s Managing Director Alex Scott has been on the front lines of the network for years, keeping players informed as to the goings-on. He, too, discussed the network’s doom on the MPN blog.
“All of us in the Microgaming poker team are committed to seeing this out with dignity,” Scott said. “More than that – we want the poker community to have fond memories of the network we have invested so much of our time and energy in.”
Scott assured readers that everyone’s deposits are safe:
As a condition of operating on the network, each of our poker rooms is required to, at minimum, segregate all player funds from its operating expenses. There is no reason to believe that any of our poker rooms is in financial difficulty and our plans to close the network have no impact on the safety of your funds.
The Microgaming Poker Network is still open for business until its final day, so players who enjoy MPN can continue playing poker there for six more months.
MPN is one of the internet’s oldest poker networks, going all the way back to 2003. The poker boom essentially started that same year, when online poker, live poker, and a great story converged with Chris Moneymaker’s World Series of Poker Main Event victory. It was called the Prima Poker Network back then; the Prima name lives on as the name of the network’s current poker software.