MPN Makes Sit-and-Go Changes

The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) was my original poker network. It was quite literally the first network on which I played for real money back in 2004. One of its rooms (shit…now I can’t remember what it was called, though I don’t think it exists anymore) gave me $10 for free and somehow I donked it up to $100. I have a lot of good memories at MPN, including five-tabling via dial-up from my hotel room while I was on a business trip.

MPNThere was no real reason for me to type any of that except that I wanted to. While MPN isn’t really the name it was during the poker boom, it is still chugging along, sitting in the eleventh spot in PokerScout’s cash game rankings. One thing I appreciate about the network now, even though I don’t play there anymore (land of the free, home of the brave, amirite?) is that they always seem to communicate changes to their players very well.

Case in point: last week’s blog post by Microgaming’s Poker Room Manager, Johnathon Kelly. In the article, Kelly discussed recent and upcoming changes to the networks Sit-and-Go offerings. First, he briefly hit on what has recently been changed; briefly because, well, the changes have been made so players already know about it.

What’s Done is Done

First, MPN purged unpopular Sit-and-Go’s, games so unpopular, Kelly said, that “hardly anyone will notice they are gone!” Alright, simply put.

MPN also launched a new heads-up Sit-and-Go format that, frankly, is going to look weird if you are not one of the players that wanted this sort of thing. Called “10 Minute Heads-Up,” blinds start and stay at 25/50 for ten minutes (30 big blinds starting stacks) and after ten minutes, if nobody has won, both players are put all-in. The time to act and time backs are both shorter than normal.

Kelly said that this type of Sit-and-Go was created because enough players expressed the desire for deep-stacked games that don’t go on forever. These games are only at €0.11 buy-in.

A Look Ahead

Looking forward, MPN is going to standardize Sit-and-Go buy-ins, or basically consolidating the buy-in levels. And it makes total sense.

“For example,” Kelly wrote, “if you want to play a SNG that has a buy in of around €10, you can choose a €10.40, €10.60, €10.80, or €11 depending on the speed and the number of players involved.”

Yeah, that’s pretty dumb. It is a total pain in the ass to sift through a lobby, looking to play a €10 or thereabouts Sit-and-Go, only to find a whole bunch of different, yet similar price points. Then you have to squint while trying to figure out why those buy-ins are different.

What MPN is going to do is consolidate all those similar buy-ins into one price. In the case above, all of those price points will become €11. The split between the buy-in portion and the house fee will differ depending on the Sit-and-Go structure, but the totals will all be €11. Lest one thinks that MPN will hide a higher rake in the new standardization, Kelly said that the fee as a percentage of the whole will either be the same or lower than it is now.

There are currently 70 different price points for MPN Sit-and-Go’s. That number will be cut to 16. The new price points are as follows: €0.11, €0.22, €0.55, €1.10, €2.20, €3.30, €5.50, €11, €22, €33, €55, €110, €215, €320, €530, and €1,050.

And finally, on Valentine’s Day, players who are in love with full ring Sit-and-Go’s will probably want to down an entire box of chocolates because those games are breaking up with you. MPN is trashing all full ring Sit-and-Go’s, moving entirely to six-handed and heads-up. While there were certainly be some players who will be unhappy about this (I know those are the games I liked, but I have always been a total nit), Kelly said full ring Sit-and-Go’s simply weren’t in demand.

As mentioned, the Microgaming Poker Network is the eleventh largest online poker network or poker room in the world based on cash game traffic (so somewhat irrelevant to this topic), according to PokerScout. It will take some work to get into the top ten, as with a seven-day average of 850 cash game players, MPN is 150 behind both the iPoker Network (wow – iPoker is down to a tie for ninth?) and the Winning Poker Network (WPN).


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