Up-and-coming internet poker room, Poker.com, announced today that it has created a new online poker network, the Merge Poker Network. In a strange twist, Poker.com in its current incarnation will not actually be a member of the network.

Instead, Poker.com will now be a poker portal site and will actually advertise for other poker rooms. A new room named CarbonPoker.com is the first room on the Merge Poker Network and is essentially a new version of the “old” Poker.com. Merge acquired the Poker.com software, which is being used for CarbonPoker.

There will be no new signups on the Poker.com software, although existing Poker.com customers will still be able to play as usual and will not notice any change in the game experience. All Poker.com players will now be on the new network, along with CarbonPoker players and those on new poker rooms as they are added to the network. Poker.com players can also create CarbonPoker.com accounts if they would like, but they will be required to use different login information.

It is unknown at this time why Poker.com made the change from online poker room to portal, but perhaps it is because the domain name makes it such an easy destination for those looking for poker information. The company may have come to the conclusion that the money it could make from advertising and affiliate revenue was potentially greater than what it could make getting people to signup for its poker room.

Visitors, upon entering the website, are still being encouraged to download the CarbonPoker software. The “old” Poker.com management will be both running the new network and maintaining current Poker.com player accounts. The company says that the goal is to have 50,000 players by 2008.

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