Merge Gaming Network Announces New Bad Beat Jackpot

Merge Gaming Network, which has been in the news of late due to one of their flagship skins, Poker Host, leaving the network to migrate to the Equity Poker Network (EPN), has been looking for ways to encourage more players to their online poker sites, and that has come in the form of their new Bad Beat Jackpot with no rake effective immediately.

Merge Gaming previously offered a rake based Bad Beat Jackpot but came to the decision to remove it on all of the skins on their network back in 2012 due to the decline in popularity of the BBJ tables.

With the launch of the new Bad Beat Jackpot, it has been revealed that the jackpot is going to be fully funded by the network, so that any of the players who are participating in full ring or 6-max ring game tables will be eligible to win their share of the jackpot when it hits. This is huge news since one of the main drawbacks of playing at the BBJ tables in the past was the excessive amount of rake that you would have to pay for a chance to win the jackpot.

The Bad Beat Jackpot will include all real money play at the No-Limit Hold’em and Fixed-Limit Hold’em tables. The new BBJ on Merge poker sites will start out at $1,000 and the poker network will be adding $0.10 every minute after that until there is a bad beat that qualifies for the jackpot.

To qualify for the BBJ a player must lose with a hand that is at least a four of a kind 2’s or better. So, if the jackpot doesn’t go off, with Merge adding $0.10/minute, this means it will increase at a rate of $144/day or about $1,000/week until the BBJ is released. There are additional requirements in order for the Merge Bad Beat Jackpot to hit.

In addition to losing with a very strong enough hand, there also needs to be at least three players that start the hand, and of course the hand must get to showdown so that the bad beat is on show for every player to see.

Furthermore, the players at the showdown are required to use both of their hole cards when determining the winner and loser of the hand. With these restrictions in place, it seems a lot more likely that the bad beat jackpot would go off at a full ring table, since at 6-max tables with fewer multi-way pots a lot of the time hands are contested heads up.

In terms of how the jackpot is distributed to the winners, the great news is that every player who is seated at the table at the time of the huge bad beat will get to grab a share of the BBJ, not just the active players in the hand. As you would expect, the player who gets the bad beat receives the biggest share of the jackpot prize pool. This player will get 38%, with 20.5% of the jackpot going to the winner of the hand, and the remaining share of the jackpot will be evenly distributed to the other players at the table even though they weren’t involved in the hand.

Will this announcement help the Merge Gaming Network, who have received a few bad beats themselves in recent times? Only time will tell. Due to the non-rake funded nature of the new BBJ, the jackpots won’t get as big. But it’s still definitely good news for players on Merge, including those who player on their flagship site, Carbon Poker, as well as Aced Poker, Players Only, and Sportsbook Poker players.