The Merge Poker Network recently made the decision to suspend player-to-player transfers at all rooms.
With so much confusion and misinformation floating around in the aftermath of that decision, I’ve tried to collect clear and objective answers in one place.
Current chatter regarding the Merge Network is awash in speculation. Players should assume all information is (at best) an educated guess.
If you want any questions added, just ask in the comments.
No. As of November 1st, the ability for players to make and receive transfers to and from other players has been suspended at all Merge Network rooms.
It’s unclear. A rep for Merge skin Carbon Poker indicated on TwoPlusTwo that the transfer suspension was only temporary, but then a rep for Merge skin BlackChipPoker claimed it was permanent. The Carbon rep then walked back a bit on his original statement, saying he couldn’t “confirm or deny” whether the change was permanent.
For the purposes of planning, players should probably assume this is a permanent change.
This is especially true for Carbon, Aced and PDC, who are in the process of moving to a separate cashier (Jazette). None of the rooms currently using Carbon’s new cashier allow p2p transfers. Additionally, Carbon will now be offering sports betting options from the same account, and sports books generally don’t offer a p2p transfer feature.
Merge hasn’t made any public comment on the matter that I am aware of, and did not accept my request for comment. The closest thing I’ve seen was an excerpt from an email purportedly sent by Merge to operators published at ProfessionalRakeback.com:
Effective November 1st, 2012, Merge Gaming will no longer allow player to player transfers. Functionality will be disabled in the Merge client for players. This decision was not taken lightly. A number of factors were considered and we are confident this is what is best for Merge and its partners.
You’ll note that the article has since been edited to offer a much shorter statement.
Short answer: No one knows for sure. Multiple sources with reputations for accuracy and insight are offering competing answers to this question.
Here are some of the explanations I’ve seen so far. All suffer from the same flaw: Each could be plausible, but we probably won’t know which is actually correct until it’s too late to matter.
There’s no shortage of explanations that make sense – just a shortage of supporting evidence.
If you look at PokerScout data for Merge, traffic at the network was already in decline. One would assume (and anecdotal reports on TwoPlusTwo suggest) that players who relied on transfers to cash out or for staking will be moving their action to a new site, but there are no hard numbers available.
Players are going to have to judge this one for themselves. I think three things are worth noting:
That email appears to have been discredited. Read more about the source of and potential motivations behind that email.
The speculation is that Merge is cracking down on skins who violated network policy or is simply trying to squeeze out skins. It could also be that some or all the skins weren’t viable and buckled as the industry at large continued to contract.
That’s covered pretty completely by a Carbon rep on TwoPlusTwo here. Short version: Carbon is moving to a new platform that will also offer casino and sports betting. The poker software will remain the same, but the cashier will be different from other Merge skins. Aced Poker and PDC will also be making the move along with Carbon.
Doubtful. Other poker rooms using Carbon’s new cashier (Jazette / Sportsbook.ag) do not allow player-to-player transfers. Plus, as a general rule sports betting sites don’t offer p2p transfers.
Yes, all three sites are owned by the same company.
Image credit: CrazyPhunk, Creative Commons