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It’s been a really busy time here at the MPN over the last few months, and that’s why you’ve not heard much from us this year. Here’s a quick update on what’s been going on, and what’s coming next.

(If you only care about the alias changes, jump to point 7).

1. In February, Adjarabet moved to the Microgaming platform, bringing all their players with them. They were the first customer to use our Babelfish API, which makes it really easy to build poker client software. With the API, any operator can create a custom client and run it on our hardware. That allowed Adjarabet to build a poker client which is totally different to the MPNs, but still have the advantages of the MPN’s infrastructure (cost savings and stability, among others). But the real advantage of Babelfish is that, for the first time, operators can have their own unique software without having to go stand-alone. For operators of any size, joining the MPN with Babelfish is a win-win for both parties.

2. We’ve taken SBOBET and 138.com live, and we’ve made a number of key sales to grow our network significantly in the coming year.

3. We’ve launched the new MPN India network, exclusively for Indian players, with games in Indian Rupee. Thrill Poker is the first operator to go live on MPN India.

4. The MPN Poker Tour took a trip to Tbilisi two weeks ago. If you’ve never been to Tbilisi before, it’s worth a visit, if only to eat Khachapuri (delicious cheese stuffed bread) at the Funicular restaurant, high above the city. Not only is the food and drink fantastic, the weather is great, and the city has some beautiful architecture from its pre-Soviet era. As a bonus, playing poker in Tbilisi is like rewinding to the glory days of 2004. So it was no surprise that our MPN Poker Tour event was a huge success, and you could hear the guarantee smash as over 600 players took their seats for the main event, creating a prize pool of $335,000. No mean feat when the WSOP was going on on the other side of the pond! Our next MPNPT event visits another great city and my former home – Dublin, a city well-known for great craic poker events. Make your way to the Emerald Isle in September for your shot at the €250,000 guaranteed prize pool as well as a chance to eat at my favourite restaurant in the whole world.

5. This summer, Microgaming is investing hundreds of thousands of Euro into promotions on the MPN, in addition to all the promos we regularly run. Popular promotions like the Cash Drop and SNG Booty will be returning, and we have exciting new promos like the Summer Gadget Giveaway and July’s Festival of Speed, to name just a couple. Get streaming on Twitch too, because we’ll have rewards for you if you do.

6. We’ve tweaked the look and feel of our clients. We’ve rolled out new table designs in our download and Instant Play clients, and the new Grouped Lobby, released in April, makes it easier than ever to get in the game. Look out for some exciting changes to our mobile client in the near future too.

7. As promised, we continue to make efforts to combat seating scripts and other parasitic behaviour. Our Grouped Lobby de-emphasises table selection, while also taking high-level measures to combat and track seating scripts. If our research shows that we can effectively police a ban on scripts, we’ll do so. Our next major release, due next month, also introduces Alias Changes – players will be able to change their alias every 1000 real money hands or every 30 days, whichever is sooner, and everyone will get one free change when the feature rolls out. The intention behind this is simple – we want to stop parasitic players from ruthlessly pursuing weaker players. We also want regs to play each other once in a while, and we don’t want players to create a new account with a new poker room just because their alias is unlucky. So we’re making the alias change feature quite prominent and I hope that a lot of players will use it.

All of this means I’ve been busier than ever and haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to write for this blog. But stay tuned, as in a month or two I’ll be writing about two topics that interest me a lot. The first is about sexism in poker, and what we can do to attract more women to the game (hint: it won’t be a quick fix). The second is a big data blog that might finally put a rest to the question of short stacking, whether short stackers have an advantage in reality or not, and how buy-in size actually affects players’ likelihood of winning. The results of our research might surprise you.

If you have any comments about any of these issues, drop me a line on Twitter – I’m @AlexScott72o. Bye for now!

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