Staff at the Peak Group Malta Limited spent the day on Friday preparing for the changeover of online poker room Sun Poker as well as Omni Casino and CSCasino to Playtech’s software platform. The change, which affects affiliates and customers alike, was scheduled to begin on Friday. There has been no word of any major difficulties so far.

In an e-mail sent out to affiliates on Thursday, it was revealed that during the day on Friday, the move to Playtech’s software would commence. Playtech owns and operates the iPoker Network, which, according to traffic ranking site PokerScout.com, is the third largest cash game network in the world. It has posted a seven day running average of 5,400 ring game players. The busiest is PokerStars, which has 20,000, followed by Full Tilt Poker with 8,800.

Players will still be able to compete on the Cryptologic Network until January 15th, 2009. In the meantime, affiliates must switch any links in use for Sun Poker, Omni Casino, and CSCasino in order to track players properly. This involves going back through a bevy of referral links. However, an e-mail from affiliate managers stated, “We will have a redirect script in place so that if a player clicks on an old tracker with an old Cryptologic tracking link, they will still navigate to that property, but your new Playtech tracking link will be replaced.”

As part of the process of moving customers, players must fill out a form that contains information about their old Cryptologic accounts. New account details will then be sent to them, including a temporary password to log into the iPoker Network software. Players should then download new software from Sun Poker’s website onto their computers and then hit the felts as usual. Along the way, existing customers will select what to do with cleared funds. However, My Poker Points, or MPPs as they are known on Sun Poker, will not carry over. Online poker room officials noted, “We will have a special promotion once we move which will be based on the number MPPs you have accumulated on the Cryptologic Network.”

Any unclaimed funds will be mailed to players beginning on January 31st, 2009. As a bonus for switching networks with Sun Poker, players who download the new software will be eligible for a first-time deposit bonus of up to $500. When players make the software switch over to the iPoker Network, they’ll be joined by customers of some of the world’s most popular online poker sites including Betfred Poker, Better Poker, Chili Poker, Expekt Poker, Fair Poker, Kiwi Poker, Mansion Poker, Noble Poker, Nuts Poker, Poker Plex, Poker Ocean, Prestige Poker, Titan Poker, and VC Poker.

Playtech is traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “PTEC.” Despite the beginning of the changeover to iPoker, Playtech’s stock still fell on Friday, sinking ₤8.25 to ₤316.50. Over the past 52 weeks, it has traded in a very wide range of ₤292.25 to ₤558.00. Late last month, a press release distributed by Playtech revealed that the company had 238,339,696 shares outstanding, each with one voting right.

The iPoker Network holds a weekly $250,000 Guaranteed tournament every Sunday. The $215 buy-in is on par with major events on sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. It actually boasts a prize pool that is larger than the signature events on Bodog, Ultimate Bet, and Absolute Poker. On Saturdays, players on Sun Poker can compete in a $109 buy-in $50,000 Guaranteed Deep Stack event. A total of $400,000 is up for grabs every weekend on the online poker site.

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