It looks like United States based poker players may have a site to play on after all. It has been said that the Merge Gaming Network is going to begin allowing new American players by the end of July. While there is no day that has been locked in for it yet, it’s looking as if it will happen at some point, hopefully soon. The Merge Network was one of the biggest winners in terms of adding traffic after Black Friday. A month after the indictment, Merge’s cash game traffic had gone up an incredible 79%. The Merge Network includes sites like Carbon Poker, and Lock Poker.
Originally, Merge decided to stop accepting new US players in the beginning of June. The reason for this was a bit different than most other sites though; as they were actually so flooded with new US players that they began to have payment processing issues. The Network was looking at a two week backup for cashouts, and decided that it would be smarter to just stop the growth, and get their customers paid out quicker.
When US players are fully allowed back on the site, it will be interesting to see how they do payment options for US players. Currently, a debit card or credit card has been said to work on the site, but the best withdrawal option as of now is by check. While getting paid out by check isn’t always the fastest (it sometimes takes up to two months to get the check processed), it is definitely a much better option than not getting paid at all. Based on Carbon Poker’s payouts though, players who put in for a check withdrawal were receiving payments within 2-5 days a few months back. This was of course, a bit before they had to stop allowing US players due to payout backups.
The Merge Poker Network will temporarily stop accepting NEW US players in a day or 2 in order to catch up on a backlog of customer service requests but more importantly on poker transactions. As it stands now customer service has a 2 week backlog and cashouts are much worse. They simply were not prepared for the influx of players they’ve received since Black Friday and are feeling growing pains. If they don’t catch up soon they will end up angering all their players. This is for NEW Players Only, for all existing players it will be business as usual.
The only part of this story that we have not yet been able to confirm is if this is for all Merge Skins or just those that use the Merge cashier and customer support. We’ll update this post as soon as we get confirmation.
We’ve been told that the temporary ban on new US players will last about a month but from past experience in dealing with the Merge Network we’re guessing it will last through the end of the summer. What they will be trying to do is add more processing options as well as hire more customer support personnel to handle the extra traffic.
This move was brought on by internal rumblings among Merge Poker skin operators regarding the current processing problems. With the loss of QuickTender / UseMyWallet the main option became credit cards. the success rate for successful credit card transactions is roughly 20% which is just unacceptable. It is rumored that for Carbon Poker the success rate is closer to 70% which leads us to believe that the Merge Network was putting their site Carbon Poker ahead of all others. This lack of transparency will only lead to more problems and is most likely the main reason this is happening.
UPDATE: This is now in affect. We’ll let you know when they reopen to new US poker players.
The Merge Poker Network has announced that $100,000 will now be the guaranteed prize pool for the Sunday Deepstack every week, including this one. Take your seat this Sunday with a $109 entrance coupon, by buying in for $100 + $9, or by qualifying through the 100 Seats to $100K Freeroll. There are several online poker sites that we highly recommend on the Merge network with Lock Poker being the most popular one.
The Merge Poker Network has become the place to play since Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars pulled out of the US. Look for their daily and weekly guaranteed tournaments to continue to grow as the network grows. More USA Accepted Poker Sites.
$100,000 Sunday Guaranteed
When: Sunday, May 15th @ 15:00 Merge Poker Time (16:00 EST)
How: $100 + $9, $109 Deepstack Coupon, 10,900 VIP Points
Prizes: $100,000 Guaranteed
Where: Tournaments >> Scheduled >> Special
In addition to the usual buy-ins, players can now qualify for this major tourney via the 100 Seats to $100K Freeroll. Earn 250 VIP points in the week before the 100 Seats freeroll, then finish in the top 100 to win a $109 Coupon for Sunday’s showdown.
100 Seats to $100K Freeroll
When: Saturday, May 14th @ 15:00 Merge Poker Time (16:00 EST)
How: Earn 250 VIP pts before the freeroll starts
Prizes: 100 free seats for $100k Guaranteed
Where: Tournaments >> Scheduled >> Special
It’s now been three weekends since Pokerstars shut it’s doors to players from the US and the question on everyone’s minds is what online poker site will become the new Pokerstars. The answer seems to be poker sites on the Merge Poker Network.
Merge Poker has increased it’s cash game traffic by 70% since Black Friday and ranks #10 for cash game traffic in the world and #1 in the US.
Leading the way for the Merge Network is Lock Poker because of their huge first deposit bonus and their monthly promotions. Lock Poker is also 100% Mac compatible and has a sleek black look.
Lock Poker is not the only Merge Poker skin making a splash. Another skin, Hero Poker, (No longer Accepting US players) has signed former Pokerstars Pro Gavin Griffin as well as a few other poker pros. P5’s and Holdem Poker Chat members received a special invite from them this past weekend to play in an exclusive 15k freeroll. The CEO for Hero Poker explained why he set up the unpromoted freeroll by saying “I set this up for traumatized US players”.
The Merge network is one of the last major poker networks available to US players and there have been hundreds of thousands of new sign-ups on those sites within the past three weeks.
Other skins that we like on the network are Carbon Poker, RPM Poker and Feltstars. There are many poker sites on the Merge Poker Network but we do not recommend most of them.
You may be asking yourself, How do I decide which Merge Poker Site should I play on? Our recommendation is that you try out several of them and see which one you like the best. Download them and sit at a play money game or play in a freeroll while you get accustomed to the software. If you like the overall feel of the site then make a deposit. If you don’t like it, move on to another one and try that one out. According to out sources Merge is working hard on a major software upgrade that we’re told “Will have all the features that Pokerstars has” That upgrade is expected sometime next month.
Update: Lock Poker along with all other Merge skins have halted NEW US player accounts.
Carbon Poker, the flagship of the Merge Gaming Network now allows Austalian players on their servers. The Merge Network was based in Australia to some extent previously and certain rules locally (that I am not entirely familiar with) forbade them from accepting customers from Down Under.
No lengthy explanation was readily available from Carbon Poker, but this is what they had to say on Facebook: “Happy to announce that we are now accepting all our Australian friends as real money players with CarbonPoker. Exciting news to help grow Carbon!” So if you are Australian, welcome to the Merge Network and see you at the tables.