Before PokerStars was able to cut a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase the assets of Full Tilt Poker, Bwin.party analyzed the merits of the acquisition and decided to pass on the deal.
“We did in fact take a look at it," co-CEO Jim Ryan said. "We looked at it in the early phases of the asset becoming available, and not that long ago we were re-invited to come back and take a look at the asset. Our assessment was it was too complicated to execute.”
Bwin.party is now focusing on the integration of its Bwin player base on the Ongame Network onto its PartyPoker site next year that is expected to surpass the iPoker Network and take over the second spot on PokerScout's ranking of player traffic. The Bwin poker room currently accounts for over half of Ongame's liquidity and the merger will make PartyPoker the “clear number two” behind PokerStars, Ryan told eGaming Review.
Although Bwin.party's main rival for online poker market share is PokerStars, the company took their hats off to the top poker site for orchestrating the deal to acquire Full Tilt Poker. “We congratulate PokerStars for completing this," Ryan said. "We think that transaction is nothing but fantastic, for the poker community, the poker consumers, and we think it will be very good news for the European poker market, as some of those missing dollars come back into the system.”