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Chili Poker debunks rumor about iPoker
What started as a whisper of news online has turned into a rumble in poker forums and other poker sites as people were talking about the possibility of iPoker removing all poker sites associated with Tain Poker from its network.
The rumor was originally leaked by Bonus Casino Poker, who cited a couple of unnamed sources. The first source said NoIQ Poker was going to be removed from the iPoker Network for violating rules, while a separate source said all of Tain Poker's sites were going to be removed from the network in 2009.
Tain Poker's sites include Chili Poker, Cardoza Games, Carlos Poker, Poker Ducks and more along with NoIQ Poker. Chili Poker's representatives have stepped forward to help put a stop to the rumor mill and bring some truth to the spotlight.
Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO and shareholder for Chili Poker, told PokerListings that the rumor came about because of a new policy from iPoker that will target rakeback Web sites.
Basically, the new rule is that a room has to bring more money in than money out, and is meant to stop rakeback operators. If an operator has a negative money in-money out ratio, it will pay more rake/fine.
According to Chili Poker, the new policy will be implemented starting Nov. 1, and the poker site accepts and supports the changes since it is the right direction to go and is in line with its own main strategy as well.
Severin Rasset, Chili Poker head of poker, clarified how Chili Poker is set up and the direction the site is going:
Chili Poker [has worked] historically with Tain, a "distributor" of iPoker allowing us to have better financial conditions.
Each room is fully responsible for its marketing, its general strategy and its degree of dependence with the network. From the beginning, Chili Poker has built its strategy around a big brand and to be recognized as one of the most serious poker rooms.
This is something that takes a lot of time and investment to build but we are convinced that this is the best strategy in the long run.
Practically it means:
- Chili Poker has its own customer service dealing directly with all your requests, Tain and iPoker provide us with technical assistance. This is one of our main competitive advantages and we are recognized for that (check many forums you will rarely see any complaints about us).
- Chili Poker takes care of your deposits and withdrawals directly. The transactions are taken care of through Barclays in U.K. via one of our subsidiaries, and shown as CHILIPOKER.Com in your bank statement. It's very TRANSPARENT.
- Chili Poker has its own system for affiliates with a dedicated team.
- Every non iPoker related promotion and newsletter is created by our marketing team
- We have full control on our admin tool, our site and our offers ;
- We are a team of 30 employees with 13 nationalities, covering 7 languages and based in Malta.
Rasset points out that there is a major difference between a skin that is basically a big affiliate for a network and what Chili Poker is. Chili Poker is a licensed operator on the iPoker Network with a brand of its own.
The site has even partnered with Liz Lieu as an ambassador for the site, an investment the Chili Poker people believe is good for the long run to grow as healthy as possible.
"The logical consequence is that [the rule change] is not a threat but an opportunity for us and for every room of iPoker. We want also to stress that we have never been suspended from iPoker and that we are 100% confident [that we will] work for several years with Tain, Playtech and iPoker," Rasset said.
He also said Chili Poker has given some fair offers to some good players that have been balanced by the site's normal offer for the majority of players as well. The site is able to attract a fair amount of players every day, and that leaves Chili Poker confident about its future.
"As far as I am concerned, these new rules are a blessing, for the network, for Chili Poker and for every player that wants to play on the network iPoker. Lately it became really tough to have fun, not for the players of 2+2 with a skill above the average, but for the normal players that would like just to sit for one hour at one table and have fun without fighting against 9 ultra-tight players that are waiting for his first mistake," Rasset said.
"We will do our best to work with iPoker in order to keep our poker room as a good place for regular players but also for beginners."
Rasset also posted this message in the 2+2 Forum thread where players were discussing the rumors. NoIQ Poker also went on record in the forum thread saying the information was false.
"NoIQ was fenced a year ago, yes," a representative of the poker site wrote in the forum. "Reason was because iPoker told us we had broken the RB rule. We did not agree but nevertheless we were fenced."
NoIQ Poker was referring to the period in 2007 when it was suspended from the iPoker Network for seven days for violating the network's rules.
At the time, the problem was blamed on the behavior of some of NoIQ's affiliates. The affiliates get paid for the players they bring to the poker room, but there are stipulations. iPoker doesn't allow affiliates to advertise NoIQ's VIP program, which some of the affiliates violated.
iPoker also doesn't allow affiliates to use the term "rake" in their names if they're going to advertise for iPoker Network sites. Some affiliates had done this.
According to previous reports on the issue, iPoker held NoIQ responsible and shut down the site's access to the network's cash tables for a week. During the suspension NoIQ players were still able to play against each other, but they weren't able to play against players on other iPoker sites.
This time around the rumor of NoIQ Poker's demise on iPoker is incorrect according to the poker site, as is the idea that all of Tain Poker's sites are being kicked out.
"This is not the fact, and I am sure if you ask Carlos, Chili and other sites, they will tell you the same," NoIQ Poker said.