In the online poker world, we haven't seen anyone who could rival PokerStars in terms of the number of players for quite some time. All of that could change soon, however, after Microgaming announced what their new Babelfish API is capable of.
Babelfish allows any operator to add access to the Microgaming Poker Network with any programming language through almost any type of device that connects to the Internet.
This means more operators than ever are going to have huge incentives to add MPN-powered online poker access.
A healthy ecosystem of players is necessary to have a strong poker room, and one of the main things that you need to make this ecosystem work is a steady stream of new players. The Microgaming Poker Network has been able to do this consistently with between around 8,000 players logged in on a regular basis, but they haven't seen as much growth as would be needed to really compete with the top juggernauts PokerStars and Full Tilt.
One reason for this has been the different barriers to entry for the network. For an operator to start offering poker (ie: bring in new players), they've typically had a fair amount of cost involved. With the new Babelfish API, however, this is no longer going to be as much of an issue. As a result, we can expect the MPN to grow significantly over the next 18 months. Consider the following:
The incentive is there for the operators in a major way.
For the opportunistic online poker player, the question is: How do you take advantage of this? The best way is to make sure you have an account with a well-respected site with a history of operating on the Microgaming Poker Network for a long time. What you don't want to do is join one of the newer rooms right away since they aren't as established.
For players who are serious about taking advantage of the upcoming influx of players thanks to the Babelfish program, we have three proven options for getting a good rakeback deal:
|Poker Room||% Back||Bonus||Notes|
|Nordicbet Poker||30%||€1,000||Balanced for any volume of play.|
|Red Star Poker||30%||$1,500||Best for low-volume players.|
|Betsson Poker||*40%||$1,000||Best for high-volume players.|
* Rate depends on playing volume.
It's really important that you realize each of these rooms do not have the same promotional setup or the same rewards programs, so you should choose based on your personal preferences to really maximize the percentage of your rake that you get back.
If operators jump on this opportunity like many people in the industry are expecting, then a serious influx of recreational players will be coming to the Microgaming Poker Network. If you want to be there when it happens instead of ending up behind the curve, then now's the time to take advantage of what could be the beginning of the emergence of a real competitor to PokerStars and Full Tilt.
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