Carbon Poker is the main poker site of the Merge Gaming Network (formerly Poker.com). In 2011, Carbon Poker was a small poker room on a small network. Things changed due to "Black Friday" in the United States, on April 15th 2011. When the US Department of Justice effectively closed Poker Stars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet, there was a void left behind. Carbon Poker and the Merge Gaming Network stepped in to fill that void.
Carbon Poker rapidly became the largest online poker site serving American players. It also shot into the top 5 largest poker sites in the world according to industry tracking company Game Intel.
The Merge Gaming Network began to rapidly expand. At one point adding up to 70 "skins" (sites that share players on the same network). However, this rapid expansion, lead by then CEO Anthony Taylor had negative repercussions for Carbon.
Network policy was not clearly defined and a host of underground and counter productive activity began to take place. The other 70 skins on the network which were supposed to feed and grow the network, ended up piggybacking off of the marketing budget of Carbon Poker, stealing its clients with under handed tactics regarding illegal rakeback.
Ultimately the network was bought out by Jazette Enterprises. Unfortunately Jazette Enterprises has a bad reputation in the online gambling industry. Jazette outright purchases SportsBook.com, PlayersOnly.com, and SuperBook.com as well as a controlling interest in Carbon Poker. Then virtually all network partners were kicked out in favor of house brands.
Jazette also began kicking winning players out of the network "to protect the poker ecology". However, its profit margins were what it greedily sought to protect.The effect was that the network traffic went from 5th place in the world, to 50th place in less than one year. Traffic has never recovered.
Jazette Enterprises, in a wise move, has retained the network's excellent software development team.The software is user friendly and operates smoothly on a variety of platforms. The Merge Gaming software is updated frequently and there are few public complaints. Carbon has all of the most popular poker games, although most players stick to Hold'em and Omaha. While the software offers other types of games, few of them see any traffic at all due to the shrinking in network size over the years.
The standard deposit bonus at Carbon Poker is a 200% match bonus up to $1,000 (down from $5,000 since Jazette took over ownership). The bonus is paid in $10 increments once one has earned the necessary player points. The initial deposit bonus is very slow to clear compared to competing sites.
Carbon once offered up to half a dozen special promotional offers per month when under the leadership of Anthony Taylor. However, under the Jazette regime, almost no promotions are offered. Some months none are offered at all.
Poker Games Offered
- Texas Hold'em
- Omaha (Hi/Lo)
- 5 Card Stud
- 7 Card Stud (Hi/Lo)
- 5 Card Draw
- Deuce to Seven Triple Draw
- Mixed games like HORSE
Carbon also has a variety of other games such as Blackjack, Video Poker and Backgammon.
- Custom designed tables and tournaments
- Player notes
- Expose one card
- Rabbit hunt
- Player box accolades
- Advanced lobby sorting
- High hands per hour dealt
- Free downloadable poker calculator and heads up display
Carbon Poker and the Merge Gaming Network ceased accepting new American players as of May 2016. Carbon Poker and Merge Gaming still continue to operate in a multitude of other ROW countries.
Multi Table Tournaments - MTTs
Carbon Poker once featured over $7,000,000 dollars worth of guaranteed multi-table tournaments each month. They also used to feature over $120,000 in freeroll prizes every month.
However, as of June 2019, poker guarantees are substantially reduced. The largest tournament on the network is now a $20,000 guarantee on Sundays, a mere 10% of its former peak at $200,000. The overall monthly schedule barely reaches this $200,000 figure where as it was once seven million dollars deep.
For deposits: Visa, Bitcoin
For withdrawals: Check, Bitcoin, Bank Wire (only for high roller, long-term customers)
It is worth noting that Carbon Poker charges a non-standard withdrawal fee. Most sites withdrawals are free, however Carbon Poker levies a 5% surcharge on all withdrawals, even crypto-currency withdrawals. For example, if you withdraw $1,000 via Bitcoin or Check, you will receive $950 after they take their 5% fee from your withdrawal amount.
Support is available 24/7 by live chat and email.
They once maintained an active presence on social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as hosting sponsored support forums on popular websites such as 2+2 Publishing. However, all external support was shut down under Jazette ownership.
3rd Party Tracking Software Compatibility
Carbon Poker and all of the Merge Gaming Network allow the use of various online poker tracking software and heads up displays. Carbon Poker specifically provides its players with a free and customized version of the Holdem Indicator heads up display and odds calculator software. This free version only works on Carbon Poker and none of the other Merge Gaming Network skins. Other popular HUDS and tracking software such as Holdem Manager version 2 and Poker Tracker version 4 are compatible and fully functional.