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Ivey Poker Hibernates, Ultimate Poker Closes, and MPN Expands

Generic Poker News Icon  Online Poker industry news for the first half of November 2014 - Ultimate Poker, Micrograming, and Phil Ivey make the news roll.



A medley of poker news updates for November 2014

Professional Rakeback poker news team reports various stories of interest from around the globe.  Phil Ivey's social poker game and site have closed their doors, supposedly short term.  The Microgaming Poker Network, MPN, takes a positive step in expanding its network.  And Ultimate Poker, the first of the legal US poker sites, closes its online poker and gaming operations in shame (frankly, Professional Rakeback is not surprised).


Ivey Poker Suspends Operations

Ivey Poker, the social poker game, launched by Phil Ivey has suspended operations until sometime in 2015.  This isn’t Ivey’s site folding, but instead an attempt to rejuvenate the brand so that it can compete with the likes of Zynga Poker and Pokerstars in the play money realm.  Ivey League, the associated training site, will remain open though and new content is expected to remain going up on a regular basis.

To lead them to this promise land Ivey Poker has hired a new CEO who has gaming experience.  Dan Fleyshman, former CEO of Victory Poker, has been hired for his expertise in building a brand and operating a poker site.  Fleyshman was CEO on Victory Poker until a few weeks after Black Friday hit and the site decided to fold.  

The hiring decision is not applauded by some as Fleyshman has a history of questionable decisions as evidenced by the fact that he was prepared to move Victory Poker to the Cereus Network, which housed Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, prior to the closing of the site.  Considering it is just a play money site though, risks are severely minimized even if the hire turns out to be less than positive.


MPN Adds New Skin

Nowadays, poker sites are trying different regulated countries to set up their base of operations and this time Armenia is getting involved by hosting the newest site to join the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN).  The new site is named Igames.AM and is fully regulated and located within Armenia.  

MPN is hoping that this site will be the saving grace it has been looking for.  MPN has been struggling since the departure of leading sites Unibet and Landbrokes in the past.  Being successful isn’t an impossible task as poker is growing in the Southern European countries as evidenced by Adjarabet, located within Georgia, becoming the 4 largest poker room in the world according to data from


Ultimate Poker Closes Its Doors; Alternatives Plentiful

The first major poker site regulated in the United States has dealt its final hand as Ultimate Poker follows its closure in New Jersey with another closing in Nevada.  The news in Nevada comes as a surprise to some, as it was a strong site during the beginning of it’s first 19 months of operations.  As more sites got involved in the market though it lost some of its luster and then failed to gain any foothold in the competitive and small New Jersey online poker market.

Ultimate Gaming started out strong and once had a strong roster of players trying to give legitimacy to the brand that wanted to mesh UFC fighting and poker, a natural combination most thought. As more brands like Caesar's started to offer games the market share of Ultimate Gaming decreased and they started to cut pros and find more creative ways to market.  Those endeavors proved pretty ineffective though as for well over 6 months they were not able to ever get more than 65 players on average.  When they cut Jason Somerville, who was a very popular pro for them, it became clear that the site was going to have some issues attracting new customers.

When Ultimate Gaming closed their operations in New Jersey during the month of October some thought that might stop the bleeding.  While Ultimate Gaming in Nevada didn’t lose customers, it didn’t gain any either according to Game Intel.  Eventually the lack of growth, lack of marketing money and other factors led to the decision to close the entire operation.  Players shouldn’t be worried about any balances they had on the site, those are expected to be paid out in quick order.

If you live in Nevada or New Jersey and find yourself without a site to play on we have a perfect answer for you.  There is a plethora of sites that still serve the regulated U.S. states and offer great games and impressive promotions and bonuses. The Professional Rakeback guide to the best online poker sites will help steer you and your friends to new poker sites. Alternatively we suggest that you take a look at our offers and reviews of: SealswithClubs, BetOnline or and Intertops, invitation required and available through Professional Rakeback. All of these sites offer speedy poker cashouts and withdrawals, we do not offer the shady scam poker sites here at PROFRB and our monthly Online Poker Payout Report has the player reported data to prove it. Also worthy of noting is that all of the aforementioned alternative poker sites for Nevada and New Jersey are Mac friendly via either a native Mac poker client or via an online web browser instant play feature.