Online Poker Network MPN Turns Off the Lights

  • MPN spread its final poker games on Tuesday, May 19
  • Network poker model didn’t fit with the company’s business future
  • Most of MPN’s 16 member rooms have moved to iPoker, four have closed
  • MPN was one of online poker’s oldest networks, founded in March 2003
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MPN closed for good on Tuesday, May 19, more than 17 years after it dealt its first poker hand. [Image:]

Network model no longer worked

A bit of poker history has ended, as one of the longest-running online poker networks in the world closed for good this week. MPN, also known as the Microgaming Poker Network, is now gone, having dealt its last hand on Tuesday, May 19.

The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker”

MPN originally announced its intention to go dark last September, citing an incompatibility with the network model of online poker.

“The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business,” wrote MPN CEO John Coleman.

Coleman added that MPN will eventually revive poker, but that the company will “follow a new strategic direction for the vertical,” with details revealed “in due course.”

The network’s Twitter account also implied that poker will return one day, saying on Tuesday, “From all of us at the MPN—we’ll meet again.”

Alex Scott, who started as poker manager in 2013 and finished as MPN’s managing director of poker, simply tweeted on Tuesday, “Long day.”

Most skins moved to iPoker

MPN’s termination means that its member poker rooms needed to figure out where they were going to go. At the time of the shutdown announcement, there were 16 skins on the network, including such names as 32Red, Betsson, and Betsafe.

32Red, launched in 2002, surprised its customers last week when it said it would close on MPN’s final day rather than find a new network.

Nine skins moved to the Playtech’s iPoker Network on Tuesday. Among these sites was Russia-based Red Star Poker, which was the first MPN skin to announce its intentions in November 2019. is also expected to jump to iPoker.

OlyBet moved over to the growing GGPoker Network, while One Time Poker’s future is up in the air.

Three other skins had already closed before this week.

Part of the old guard

MPN was born in March 2003, just before the poker boom began. At the time, it was called the Prima Poker Network. In the early days of the mid-aughts poker boom, Prima Poker was quite popular. Its simple client software and low-stakes games made it an easy place for casual players to get into the pastime. It also got poker players accustomed to the concept of poker networks and skins.

an easy place for casual players to get into the pastime

In June 2006, a $465,461 cash game pot was won on the network, an online poker record at the time. That fall, the network dealt its billionth hand.

It was also in 2006 that Prima changed its name to the Microgaming Poker Network, which was eventually changed officially to MPN in late 2012. The Prima name made a comeback in 2018, when MPN launched a new poker client, naming it after the network’s old moniker.

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