FAQ and Overview of the MicroGaming Poker Network (MPN)
Update: It is with a sad heart that I'm updating this page... the MicroGaming Poker Network is closing in 2020.... plenty of other great options out there for soft games. I recommend avoiding Stars - www.partypoker.com is the place to head for the softest games these days!
MicroGaming are one of the true pioneers of online gambling. They created the world’s first online casino and they’ve been at the forefront of the industry ever since. The MicroGaming Poker Network (known as MPN) is made up of several big name sports betting brands - which pool together their poker players to create more games, bigger tournaments and bigger promos. With a lot of new players finding the poker network after placing a bet, there are a lot of first-timers at the tables. It’s a sure bet that some of these players will be on the loose side, meaning there are profitable opportunities for you (assuming you have some strategy knowledge / experience).
How this guide works: This guide to the MicroGaming Poker Network is split into a number of sections. First you’ll find an overview of the cash games and the tournaments that you’ll find on the network. Next up, the bonuses and promotions are examined. The guide finishes with some history of the network while the skins where you can play are detailed. My personal picks for MPN are Red Kings Poker and BetSafe Poker. You'll find out what makes these sites stand out later in the guide.
MicroGaming is one of the busier networks online, consisting of more than 30 skins, including some of the biggest names in European betting. The MicroGaming Poker Network isn’t available for players in the US. If you are looking for US friendly action I recommend you check out my reviews for the biggest sites - the Chico Poker Network and Ignition Poker.
MicroGaming Poker Network – Cash Games
You’ll see in the lobby that there are cash tables for 2, 6 or 9 players, with the majority of the traffic crowding around the micro and lower stakes games. This network is big enough that you will find action at the mid-stakes and up - especially during the (European) evenings and at weekends. The maximum buy-in amount is €10,000 at the €50/€100 tables. Those who like their action fast will enjoy ‘Blaze Poker’. This is a fast-fold variation, where you’ll find yourself with a new hand every time you fold. These games are up to four times faster than your average cash game.
There is the option of filtering tables to include anonymous, turbo and deep stack tables to play alongside the regular games. All of the cash games (as well as all of the other poker options on MicroGaming) are played in Euros (though you can deposit in any major currency).
Other poker variations include Omaha, where you’ll find steady traffic, as well as 7 card stud, Razz, 5 card stud and 5 card draw, although these games might require a wait for opponents.
MicroGaming Poker Network – Tournaments Overview
The largest weekly tournament on the network is the Sunday Showdown which has a €25,000 guaranteed prize pool, while there are big money €10,000 tournaments on both a Monday and a Thursday. The largest tournament on the Network is the new €60,000 Masters which takes place on a monthly basis with a €320 buy-in.
Most of the busier tournaments are played in the €1 to €20 range, these larger fields offer some great opportunities for good tournament players, as once again, the fields can be quite soft. With a number of new skins joining MicroGaming in recent months, there has been an increase in the field sizes, meaning that the prize pools are on the increase. With most of skins on the MPN being sports and casino brands first, and poker sites only second, you can always be sure of some complete novices in the tournaments. As long as you make the right strategy adjustments (value bet relentlessly is a great start!), then you will find these very profitable. Expect the usual variations, including rebuy, turbo and satellite qualifier events.
Sit N Goes are also soft, with a good mix of types - you will find turbo games, though not the same emphasis on flips or all-in first hand that some other networks offer. I have a detailed review of the SNGs in my Red Kings MPN Sit and Goes Review here. One last thing, I recommend checking out the 'Fish Party' lottery SNGs. These give you a chance to win up to 5000x your buy-in - and are a lot of fun too. You can find out more about those (and how they compare to the other types of Lottery Sit N Goes) in my dedicated Best Lottery Sit N Goes article.
Below is a short video showing you how the Fish Party Lottery Sit N Goes work.
MicroGaming Poker Network – MPN Bonuses and Promotions
One of the advantages of playing on the MicroGaming Poker Network is that each skin (brand) will set their own bonuses and promotions, so you can actually shop around to find the kind of deals that suit you. You’ll notice many promotions based around the MPNPT, the live tournament poker tour with stops all over the world, including Morocco, Malta, Tallinn, Dublin and London. Loyalty schemes are an important aspect of your play, returns are capped at 30% maximum network-wide (this is to prevent the sites offering incentives to steal players from each other!). As long as your site offers up to 30%, you should be satisfied!
If you are wondering which of the many MPN skins to start with then I have 2 personal recs to get you started. The first is Red Kings Poker, who recently moved over from the now defunct OnGame. This is a long-running brand which brought a lot of innovations to the game (they were the first to offer mobile poker and a dedicated Mac client - though this is going back a long way!). Red Kings offer a generous welcome bonus of up €1,000, as well as entry into a number of free rolls and a free tournament ticket. With an eye-catching loyalty scheme which includes bonuses, rakeback (capped at 30%), free plays in both their sportsbook and their casino and additional tournament entries, there is something for everyone. Hit two ‘Red Kings’ in a cash game and you’ll grab a bonus of €300, which grows to €500 if you lose the hand at showdown (without declaring what you hold in the chat!).
It is always worth keeping an eye on the new promotions list at Red Kings, as they are very good at looking after their players. See www.redkings.com for more.
My other recommendation on the MicroGaming Poker Network is Betsafe. Choose your welcome bonus ranging from €25 to €1,000 and then take place in a series of ‘new player’ tournaments. With the VIP Blackgold rewards, you can exchange your earned points for cash. Existing players can enjoy bad beat Jackpots, a €10,000 monthly sit and go challenge and a monthly €30,000 freeroll festival. I like BetSafe a lot, you can check out the latest offers at www.betsafe.com
MicroGaming Poker Network – Deposit Options
Being a European based network, you’ll find a good variety of all of the most popular deposit options at all of the skins. Visa and MasterCard deposits are quick and easy, while those who prefer to use e-wallets will find EntroPay, Skrill and Neteller as options too. Bank transfers, payment cards and many other options are also available as deposit options across the network.
History and Skins of the MicroGaming Poker Network
MicroGaming lay claim to hosting the world’s first ever virtual online casino back in 1994 and have been one of the leading software suppliers for online gaming ever since. The MicroGaming Poker Network would soon follow, this originally known as ‘Prima Poker’. They were the first network to offer anonymous poker tables and in 2013 MicroGaming were among the first networks to offer an achievement system, which has proved to be very popular, especially among the regular (non-pro) type players.
The number of skins is steadily growing and today there are more than 30 on the network. Some of the bigger names include Bet Victor, Betsson and 32Red, alongside the aforementioned BetSafe and Red Kings. It’s clear when you read that list where the recreational ‘sports betting’ poker players come from.
MPN - Summing Up / Next Steps
MPN is a growing as we move into 2019, and with updated software, bigger and better promos and plenty of traffic via the big sports betting brands - I'm tipping this as one of the big poker comebacks.
The next step is to try the games out for yourself. You could even place the tables side-by-side with (for example) PokerStars, and see the difference in player experience / skill at the same buy-in level... I assure you that the difference will be clearly visible.
Check out Red Kings Poker for yourself - their loyalty rewards, big welcome bonus and extra €300 bonus the first time you are dealt those 2 red kings cannot be beaten!
See www.redkings.com here!
More Poker Site Reviews and Comparisons:
- 888 Poker Review (now the 2nd biggest site online, and still growing)