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Poker Host Leaves Merge for Equity Poker Network

Poker Host has officially transitioned from the Merge Gaming Network to the Equity Poker Network (EPN).

That move was merely a rumor last month but its validity gained favor last week when Poker Host sent emails to its loyal players advising of the network switch. EPN made it official today by issuing a press release welcoming Poker Host to the fold.

Partnering with Poker Host is one more figurative feather in EPN’s cap,” a network spokesperson said, adding that players from Poker Host can expect to find “fun, excitement, and a safe environment for the recreational player” at EPN.

Poker Host joins the likes of Full Flush Poker, Integer Poker, 5 Dimes, Action Poker, Heritage Sports and Gear Poker as part of the non-profit cooperative of EPN. The network launched for real-money on November 8 and has been adding skins and players ever since. EPN now ranks fifth among U.S.-friendly online poker rooms and networks.

There reportedly had been some animosity between Merge and Poker Host that was likely related to the skin maintaining its own cashier apart from the network. That bitterness was punctuated by the press release, which stated in part:

Difficult times for Poker Host are now behind them as they jump aboard the express to success at EPN ….”

That success consists of 170 players found on EPN cash tables in a seven-day average, according to PokerScout. Merge, meanwhile, enjoys 300 cash players during the same time frame, as of this writing. Expect that gap to shrink now that Poker Host has officially jumped ship exactly five months after EPN launched.

Apparently, Poker Host players who were clearing bonuses and accumulating loyalty points have seen those efforts converted into cash accordingly even though the bonuses may have been only partially cleared. That was spelled out in the email sent to Poker Host players last week. Naturally, those players will now join the loyalty program in effect at EPN.

Also in effect at EPN is a policy of restricting players from playing on more than one skin on the network. This, unfortunately, stops players from engaging in the somewhat lucrative practice sometimes referred to as being a “bonus whore.” In other words, players cannot clear the first-time deposit bonus on one network skin and repeat the same practice on additional network skins.

The PLAYER can only have one account (“The PLAYER’s Account” or “Your Account”) across the EPN Network,” read the Terms and Conditions.

A visit to the Poker Host website reveals that the Equity Poker Network logo is now proudly displayed on the home page, further indication that the transition is complete. Players wishing to join Poker Host on EPN are eligible for a 150% up to $600 first-time deposit bonus that includes an instant 20% cashback provided that they don’t already have an account at another skin on the network.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.