The Equity Poker Network recently welcomed PokerHost to its network, and it didn’t take long for controversy to arise when players began to report the closing of their accounts due to “aggressive behavior.”
PokerHost has explained that the site caters to recreational players, and the right of refusal to any player it feels will interfere with that casual atmosphere is backed up by the Equity Poker Network. Players are quickly discovering if they fit in, or must find another site on which to play.
No Aggression Allowed
Players on PokerHost have taken to the forums to express their frustration with being disallowed to play on the site. Much of the activity has come to light since the site made its recent move from the Merge Gaming Network to the Equity Poker Network.
PokerHost reportedly told one player that it will not tolerate “aggressive” players in its “small but growing poker network,” and that player did not meet the criteria for a recreational player who would be allowed to play. The exact criteria has remained a mystery, however, as there is no specific list of requirements for players on PokerHost listed on its website.
The same email to the player requested that the player try to open an account in six months or a year, at which time the site may be big enough to afford the activity of that player.
At the current time, EPN shares profits with its skins and applies a tax on skins that have more winning than recreational players. This indicates that PokerHost will not allow “aggressive” players on its site until they have enough recreational players to outweigh them.
A Ban by Any Other Name
EPN responded to a poker media inquiry about the PokerHost actions against some players by saying that the network itself doesn’t ban players. The skins, however, may do what is necessary to create the type of online poker environment that it chooses.
According to EPN, the appeal of the network is to aim its services to a “large subset” of the poker community. When players show themselves to be unhelpful to the “network’s player ecology,” each skin on the network may act in the way it feels is appropriate.
Thus far, the online poker forums reveal that few players have been affected by the ban (which is a word not used by EPN or PokerHost). The recreational model of online poker activity has been adopted by several websites in recent months, and ever larger sites like PartyPoker are implementing recreational player-friendly activities to keep the casual players away from “sharks” who may try to take advantage of them.
Recreational players may have an advantage playing on sites like PokerHost, though regularly scheduled multi-table tournaments often need “professional” or semi-pro players in order to meet guarantees and offer regular action on the sites. Equity Poker Network and PokerHost, along with others that want to keep some players out of the mix, have considered the options and seem to be dedicated to maintaining that path for now.