Lock Poker will be leaving the Merge Gaming Network and is acquiring the Cake Network, with grand plans to re-brand its new acquisition and incorporate a new philosophy designed to attract more players.
In a move that industry insiders saw coming following Merge’s sudden cancellation of Lock Poker’s LOCKOPS tournament series this month and the fact that Lock had instituted its own cashier independent of other network skins on Merge, Lock Poker will leave the Merge Network and its slow cashout times behind, Gambling911 has reported.
In taking control of the Cake Network, industry scuttlebutt has it that Cake and Intertops Poker, the marquee brand on the network, will continue to be run as individual rooms. It is believed that the growing stable of Lock Pros, including the latest member to join the team, World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad, will have a pivotal role on the new network.
Players looking for the best bonuses and rewards are advised to keep an eye on these developments, as Lock is said to be contemplating many such changes that will add to its growing popularity, including an enhanced tournament schedule and higher rakeback percentages.
The Cake Network was purchased by PokerListings.com just prior to Black Friday and currently sits in 23rd place on PokerScout’s ranking of sites according to player traffic. The Merge Gaming Network is in 8th place on that list, but is 1st overall in networks that currently accept U.S. players. With Lock set to leave Merge, expect its player traffic to plummet. And with an anticipated marketing drive and additional incentives to entice players to be introduced by Lock for the Cake Network, the player traffic and market share for rooms that allow Americans is poised to change dramatically.
However, this may all be for naught in the future when U.S. legislation takes hold, as U.S. players will most certainly favor sites that are safely regulated and located in their own backyard and not overseas. Apparently, Lock feels that they can make a splash in the marketplace. Perhaps a collaboration with a Nevada or New Jersey casino may not be far behind in order to remain a player in the U.S. marketplace following the anticipated online poker legislation in the U.S.
Even though Lock currently has its own payment processing procedures in place, will they be able to handle the influx of additional players of the entire Cake Network? The reason that they established their own cashier in the first place was to make life better for their players who were experiencing 3-5 week cashout times at Merge. Let’s hope that their growing independence and philosophy of doing right by their players will continue as they take on this new challenge.