iPoker Version 2?

This week saw Playtechs' iPoker network officially split into it's two tier system, so what does this mean for sites using the network? To start with there are very strict rules and performance related issues that must be met by the operators to be included in the top tier. These include a minimum of 6000 active, real money players per month, along with a monthly acquisition of at least 850 depositing and playing new customers. There is no surprise who made the short list and into the top tier are the likes of William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power and Titan Poker, whereas Mansion and Betfred along with many other smaller sites simply not making the grade, and there are already rumors of the smaller skins getting together to find ways of becoming more competitive, so this story has a while to go yet. The split means that all cash games and sit n goes will be divided by tier but tournaments and multi table tourneys will remain as they currently are. In many peoples eyes this split is a little unfair and favors the industry giants, however others see it as "you get what you pay for", meaning that the guys who are really spending on their poker product, utilizing more marketing channels and have a greater reach will reap the rewards. It's hard to see what this will lead to as many of the smaller skins simply don't have the capability or the budget to hit the numbers that they have to asked to provide and only time will tell.