Sun Poker Closes After a Decade of Cards

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One of the oldest poker rooms on the internet, Sun Poker, has ended its ten year run, closing its doors this past Monday, November 5th. Its customer accounts have been transferred to Omni Online Casino.

Sun Poker came into existence as Caribbean Sun Poker back in 2002 and for several years was one of the more popular online poker rooms in the industry, even if it didn’t rank as one of the biggest. Its name was a reflection of its attitude (or was it the other way around?), as it fostered a relaxed atmosphere, treating players to creative and fun promotions.

Part of the Cryptologic Network for years, Caribbean Sun Poker was one of the first poker rooms to offer rakeback and extremely player-friendly bonuses. Those bonuses were so player-friendly that they were offered every month and required no deposit. Even when it allowed Americans at its tables, it catered to Europeans more than other poker rooms, offering games that could be played for British Pounds or Euros. Omaha tended to be a more popular game at Caribbean Sun and the Cryptologic sites as well, well before it gained a large following elsewhere.

In late 2008, Caribbean Sun Poker, which had by then changed its name to just Sun Poker, jumped to Playtech’s iPoker Network as the Cryptologic Network struggled to keep a viable player base. Players had mixed feelings about the move, as while the iPoker Network was much bigger than Cryptologic, it did not allow rakeback, so that source of income for players would disappear.

In early 2009, Cryptologic made the business decision to shed its poker network and specialize in the development and licensing of its casino software.

Sun Poker officials have said that the recent restructuring of the iPoker Network contributed largely to the poker room’s closing. On September 1st, iPoker divided its network into two pieces. Seven of the network’s skins – Paddy Power Poker, William Hill, Everest Poker, Bet365, Poker770, Titan Poker, and Winner Poker – were promoted to “iPoker 2,” which was designed to reward member poker rooms that recruited profitable customers. To gain inclusion into iPoker 2, a poker room must have a minimum of 6,000 active players per month as well as add least 850 new players per month, each of whom must contribute at least $5 in rake or tournament fees. Deposit to cashout ratios and other factors are also evaluated.

The idea behind the split is to encourage poker rooms to acquire casual players, who traditionally play looser than serious players, thus adding to the rake, and who traditionally lose, meaning that they re-deposit more than stronger players. The rooms that get included will then naturally benefit from the player makeup of the other rooms on iPoker 2 and will see games that make more money for the network.

Of the decision, Sun Poker said, “Due to changes made on the iPoker network in September 2012, we could no longer provide our valued members the poker experience they have come to know and enjoy at SunPoker. The move will help the company focus on what it does best: casino operations.”

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