Latest Update Jan 2013: New Lock Pro, Poker Maximus back at Carbon and deposits going through much faster!
Things have settled for US players in recent months, and I am pleased to report that payment processing seems to be going well at all the main US networks. Merge (Carbon) have completed their move to a new cashier, which is now proving to be a smart move in terms of getting those deposits processed quickly and easily. While there are still some cashout delays at Lock (Revolution) these withdrawals are getting through to players – again a positive.
What really strikes me as we go into 2013 is how good the rivalry between the 2 biggest networks (Merge and Revolution) is turning out to be for players! Bigger guarantees, big welcome bonuses and reloads like never before… and that is before we even get to the promotions!
Bovada are shaping up nicely too, now that this network have settled from recent (international) changes I will start covering them in more detail as we get into 2013.
Best US Online Poker Networks – Summary Of The State Of Play As We Go Into 2013.
1 – Merge are still the single largest network. They did have had some troubles with accepting deposits during the fall. However their move to a new cashier has cleared this up and deposits are now going through quickly and easily (including credit cards in a lot of cases) Their flagship site Carbon Poker is a great place to play and with another edition of their huge tournament event ‘Poker Maximus’ scheduled for February, they show no sign of slowing down.
2 – Revolution Gaming Poker Network are 2nd in size – and are now growing to the point where they should challenge Merge soon. There are some decent cash games and growing tournament guarantees. Lock is the main site (network owners) and the place to play on this network. Michael Mizrachi is the latest big name signing into their ever-growing stable of pros. I still like the ambition and marketing efforts of Lock, if they could get those withdrawals through a little faster then I am sure that they could challenge Carbon and Merge for the top-spot.
3 – Bovada (the rebranded Bodog) are making steady progress and are still welcoming US players. This network have cool anonymous games and a real focus on their recreational players. They are getting more popular and I will start detailed coverage of them soon on this site and around my network.
4 – Winning Poker Network: This smaller network includes America’s Card Room (who used to be called Doyle’s Room) and now Black Chip. Small stakes fans can enjoy some soft games here.
After this we have the Bet Online Network and then some real minor sites with just a handful of players. I am deliberately reserving coverage of these sites at the moment – I recommend readers stick with the sites where there are more games for now, and will keep an eye on the smaller sites for any significant news.
Best US Poker Networks – 2013 – Summary + Information
US Friendly Poker Networks - #1 – The Merge Poker Network
Merge have been around for a long time, and since Black Friday have become the single largest poker network welcoming US players. Based in Antigua, they now see player peaks of 7,500 simultaneous players. There are several brands which pool their players on this network including Carbon Poker and ‘Aced’. As the number of players rises, Merge are able to offer better tournaments and promos than before – and of course a bigger choice of cash games. This makes the site even more attractive to new players – creating a virtual circle.
Pluses for this network include excellent software (which includes animations which players can trigger) + a very generous reward system for loyal players. Carbon Poker is the biggest site and makes a great pick- especially their recently improved welcome bonus of a 200% matched deposit bonus + great HUD / Poker Calculator and free poker training at pro training site ‘drag the bar’ too. Simply register with Carbon Poker Coupon Code CARBONPK to claim this cool package!
US Friendly Poker Networks – #2 – The Revolution Gaming Poker Network
Lock Poker have become the US poker success story of the year, and I am betting that they become number #1 later in 2013. This site left the Merge Network and bought the ‘Cake’ network outright – renaming this as ‘Revolution Gaming’. They now almost rival Merge in terms of players – and with a big marketing drive and sponsored pros they should overtake their rivals.
What I like about Lock and the Revolution Network is their focus on rewarding and retaining players. Like many other sites they have a big ‘headline’ bonus (this is 200% to $4k max, bonus code = SNGPLANET). What they do better is provide rewards for regular play through their multi-tiered VIP system. I recommend that you check this out before deciding where to play.
Oh, and deposits + withdrawals are a lot easier here too!
Lock have cool black and white software and enough action at the lower to mid-stakes to keep their players busy. If you would like to see how my ‘bet’ goes then bookmark this page and come back in mid-2013, I think Lock will be the biggest US site and Revolution Gaming the biggest US network by then!
Right, more detailed Bovada coverage is in the plan for the coming months, and I will keep a steady eye on the Winning Network and the minor US poker networks in case anything interesting happens!
Remember to bookmark the Poker Bonus Network – all the news from all the networks, with no hype and no celebrity gossip!