About Us

The Winning Poker Network was one of the first online poker networks ever founded, making its debut back in 2001 under its previous name, MyPokerNetwork.

In 2001, the Winning Poker Network opened its doors and started dealing cards under its initial flagship skin, Americas Cardroom.

They debuted MyPokerNetwork under the Dobrosoft software platform. The small network consisted of a number of smaller rooms including Aloha poker, Casual Poker, DSI poker, Live Action Poker and many more.

At the time of launch, the only other online sites in existence were Paradise Poker, Ultimate Bet, Poker Stars and Party Poker. Early on, Paradise Poker established itself as the predominant leader of online poker, and in just under 2 years had dealt over 177,000,000 hands.

After 4 years on the Dobrosoft platform, Americas Cardroom and a handful of smaller skins then moved over to the bigger OnGame network, which at the time consisted of a variety of popular rooms including pokerroom.com. Americas Cardroom remained there for two years, before OnGame pulled out of the U.S. market.

In 2007 Americas Cardroom migrated to the Yatahay Network

Once again, Americas Cardroom packed their bags. This time to the Yatahay Network, and instead of keeping their flagship room name, migrated their players to an existing room called True Poker, and shelved Americas Cardroom for the time-being. A few smaller skins of neighboring sportsbooks in San Jose, Costa Rica, were added in 2007 to the Yatahay Network. True Poker was the first online poker site to offer 3D graphics and enjoyed early success in 2002-2003. As Yatahay’s software became more dated, other US-facing sites such as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Ultimate Bet captured the lion’s share of the market, leaving the Yatahay Network relatively small.

In 2011, the Yatahay Network acquired "The Godfather of Poker".

That all began to change in 2011. On April 15th, 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice served indictments to the other sites forcing them to cease operations in the United States. This event is commonly referred to as ‘Black Friday’ in the poker world. The future looked bright for Yatahay as one of the only remaining poker networks to service U.S. players. Also, in 2011, the Yatahay Network acquired Doyle’s Room, a site founded by Doyle Brunson, the renowned poker player widely considered “the Godfather of Poker”. However, the network was destined to suffer the same fate as its competitors. On May 23rd, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland served indictments which led to the closure of 10 internet domain names that included Yatahay Network sites. This event was referred to as ‘Blue Monday’.

The Winning Poker Network emerged.

Rather than pulling out of the U.S. market, the decision was made to rebrand the network to the Winning Poker Network and to rebuild the network from the ground up.

The Timeline

The history of our flagship brand, ACR Poker

The rebuild: Bringing the greatness of online poker back to the U.S. market.

After Blue Monday, Doyle’s Room opted to leave WPN and the new flagship skin became Americas Cardroom, the original name used on the DobroSoft platform.

WPN paid all its players due to the inevitable “run on the banks” that came as a result of the indictments and began the rebuilding process.

Phil Nagy is appointed Chief Executive Officer

At this time, the network appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Phil Nagy, who had extensive online poker experience. Having been an avid poker player before the game ever transitioned online, he brought a player’s perspective that proved invaluable to helping to create many of the innovations that lay ahead for the network. The first order of business was changing the software from their dated 3D client into a more functional version that would allow for the kind of growth Nagy envisioned.

In 2011 new software was introduced

In 2011, Yatahay began leasing software from Bulgarian-based software provider IGSoft, which was much more up to date with the competition.

The next move was to create a promotional and tournament schedule to regain the interest of players and incentivize them to come back.

Recognizing that PokerStars, which was the dominant leader of the online poker industry, had built their clientele by progressively increasing the size and scope of their tournament offering in order to attract more players, WPN adopted the same strategy.

In 2019, the Winning Poker Network once again moved platforms, this time to SJH. The new software, based in HTML5, has allowed the network to develop new product ideas 10 times faster than its C++ predecessor.

The ACR Poker Transformation

In July 2023, Americas Cardroom reinvented itself as ACR Poker, introducing a brand-new look and feel to the website and software with a premium user experience in mind.

The upgrade allowed for a seamless experience which players could customize according to their needs and easily access the promotions, tournaments, and product portfolio specific to their game preference. 

The story behind our logo: Changes over the years.

The traditional design using all four poker suits was a mainstay of the Americas Cardroom original branding until they transitioned to a cleaner version in 2010.

The redesign happened along with the Winning Poker Network’s resurgence of the brand in 2010.  The logo’s redesign shifted in focus to a precise and timeless expression of clarity.

The previous Americas Cardroom logo included a star signifying the company’s drive for excellence along with a red spade, the strongest of the suits, to represent the longevity and growth of the company over the years.

The current ACR Poker logo, which launched in 2023, is featured as a clean star displayed in interchangeable colors in order to represent the company’s dynamic versatility and ability to reinvent itself over decades to adapt to an ever-changing industry.

Online poker players have found a home at the Winning Poker Network over the years. But as much as these players have loved WPN’s products and services, it never quenched their desire to also attend land-based or live events.

WPN has tried to fill the bill by awarding packages to events like the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. An even better solution was to offer their own sponsored live events. Here’s a history of these events through the years.

Latin Poker Series

This series originally debuted in 2009 as the Latin Series of Poker (LSOP). However, it was rebranded to the Latin Poker Series in July 2014. The series was designed for players to attend live events each year across various exotic Latin American locations.

One of the highlights of this series was a $500,000 guaranteed tournament in Peru in 2013. In 2014, there was the LPS Millions II in Panama that had a $1 Million guaranteed tourney. There were several Day 1 venues for the LPS Millions II including Panama, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile.

The Latin Poker Series ended in late 2014, although one of its events, the Punta Cana Poker Classic, lived on for several more years. You’ll find more on that tournament from the Dominican Republic below.

The Punta Cana Poker Classic

The Punta Cana Poker Classic (PCPC) was an annual land-based poker event that took place in the Dominican Republic from 2010 through 2017.

The Winning Poker Network was the main sponsor of the PCPC and awarded lots of full packages via online satellites. The packages included the buy-in, airfare, hotel and unlimited food and drink.

There were two different 5-star locations of the PCPC. For the first six years it was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The final two years it was moved to the Melia Caribe Tropical.

The Punta Cana Poker Classic saw its share of poker celebrities attend over the years, including Doyle Brunson during the first edition. It was attended by Josh Beckley in 2016. He was the 2nd-place finisher in the 2015 WSOP Main Event.

Here’s a look at the guarantee and the final prize pool for each year of the event:

2010$200,000 guarantee$203,000 final prize pool
2011$500,000 guarantee$402,149 final prize pool
2012$500,000 guarantee$522,900 final prize pool
2013$500,000 guarantee$712,950 final prize pool
2014$500,000 guarantee$737,685 final prize pool
2015$500,000 guarantee$824,985 final prize pool
2016$500,000 guarantee$692,580 final prize pool
2017$500,000 guarantee$573,000 final prize pool

The Cage Live

In 2018, the decision was made to move away from the Punta Cana Poker Classic and offer players a land-based event on WPN’s home turf of San Jose, Costa Rica. The main reason for the change was the desire to showcase the offices to players, give players a chance to see how their day-to-day operations work, and introduce players to the teams behind bringing them the products, promotions, and support that the network offers.

The Cage Live was thus born. It was based on their online Cage time-based cash game in tourney format that played every Wednesday night (not running currently but slated to return).

The online version lasts exactly five hours, while the Cage Live is a 2-day event with six hours of play on both Saturday and Sunday. The buy-in for the Cage Live is also much larger ($5,250 vs. $1,050). In each version, players battle it out on the felt and have their chips converted to real cash when time expires.

Since the Cage Live buy-in is significant, WPN decided to award packages every Sunday through a special Beast and Sit & Crush Cage Live satellite. At least a couple of $8,340 packages are awarded every week and include the $5,250 buy-in, accommodations at the 5-star Taormina Hotel, airfare and spending cash.

The Cage Live ran six times in 2018 and 2019, offering mostly Hold’em versions but also some PLO ones sprinkled in. WPN representatives are very happy about the response to the Cage Live and the ability to give players a tour of the WPN offices, offering them a peek “behind the curtains”.

Players like the Cage Live poker action, but also love that San Jose is a great party location, something that WPN promoted heavily in their marketing materials.

WPN suspended the Cage Live promotion due to the global pandemic, but returned to much fanfare in 2023. The popular event included many of the ACR Pros in addition to CEO Phil Nagy.

Punta Del Este

Although WPN temporarily retired the Cage Live, players on the network continued to realize their poker dreams of playing live in an exotic locale. In 2022, WPN launched its first of many Punta del Este Takedown promos. Package winners not only earn an entry in the Main Event of the Enjoy Poker Series in Uruguay, but each prize package covers travel expenses and accommodations at the luxurious Enjoy Punta del Este Resort and Casino on Uruguay’s Atlantic Coast. Winners love the excitement, both on and off the felt.

High Stakes Adventure Satellites

In 2023, ACR Poker started awarding High Stakes packages to the Super High Roller Series which are valued at over $100,000. Winners face off against the world’s best players in prime locations like Cyprus, Vietnam and London.

With a strong tournament offering, WPN recognized the need to constantly innovate and create new poker products to bolster their game selection. 

The Winning Poker network set forth to keep online poker fresh, for both cash games and tournaments, thus offering the promotions listed below.

In 2011, when the network was being rebranded, the Sunday major consisted of a $55 buy-in $7,500 GTD tournament that at times, wouldn’t reach the guarantee. With the introduction of the Big 10 daily tournament schedule, and a slow but steady traffic increase on the network, WPN set out to bolster its Sunday tournament schedule, and that all started with a Sunday Major.

WPN set its sights on its first $50k GTD tournament in 2012. While this seems like a paltry guarantee compared to today’s standards, at the time and current status of online poker in the U.S., it was a huge undertaking. They left themselves three months as a leadup time to allow for marketing and satellites, and hosted the $50k GTD event as part of a larger tournament series. Both strategies worked well and became key to their major growth efforts in the years to come.

The tournament was a success and brought enough traffic to start growing the tournament schedule. As the network tournament guarantees grew, so did their ambitions to start hosting major tournaments. Their Sunday major (the Sunday Special) grew to a weekly $125k GTD tournament and was supported by other big tournaments including the $100,000 GTD Warm-up and the $50k GTD High Roller.

With their regular weekly schedule in full swing, the network set its eyes on its biggest endeavor yet, and something that had not been seen since before Black Friday, a $1,000,000 GTD tournament. In order to accomplish this, Nagy and his team incorporated the same principles they used years before when attempting to run their first $50k GTD tournament. They allowed for a 6-month lead-up time for ample opportunity to market the tournament and for players to qualify via satellite.

In December of 2014, WPN launched the first Million Dollar Sunday, but they were forced to cancel the event due to DDoS attacks from an unknown perpetrator. Nevertheless, the tournament was on pace to meet its guarantee before the time of cancellation, and the rescheduled event in early 2016 was a huge success. The tournaments remained a staple of the Sunday schedule until they were discontinued in late 2022, in favor of multiple events to accommodate more players.

After a series of successful $1 million Venom tournaments and with a rapidly growing poker network, ACR Poker held the $5 Million Venom in the summer of 2019. Leading up to the multi-day event, Winning Poker Network sites pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into marketing the tournament by offering up $0 Step tournaments, helping players secure their seats for free. The result was outstanding and worth the effort. The $5 Million Venom attracted a record number of entries and ultimately paid out a record $6,382,500 in prize money. The network also earned the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest cryptocurrency winning jackpot in an online poker tournament with a $1,050,650 Bitcoin payout.

The Biggest Poker Tournament Online Ever Hosted By A US-Facing Site

In November of 2019 the Winning Poker Network once again continued to push the envelope with an even bigger Venom tournament, this time with a $6 million guarantee.  Once again, the tourney well-surpassed all expectations and the guarantee with 2,696 total entrants, creating a $6,740,000 prize pool.  The first-place winner walked away with $1,039,982.

Bigger Venom

Since launching that first Venom, the Winning Poker Network hasn’t rested on its laurels. In keeping with its commitment to always go bigger and better, WPN launched additional Venoms, scheduling at least 2 per year. Each one offered a bigger guarantee than the one before. And in August 2021, the Venom guarantee reached $10 million for the first of many times.

Venom PKO

In 2020, Winning Poker Network unleashed Progressive Knockouts, a tournament format in which every player enters with a bounty on their head. But instead of getting the full amount when you take out a player, you get half their bounty. The other half goes on your head. Players responded to the format positively, thanks to the potential for huge bounties during deep runs. With the rise in popularity, WPN created the Venom PKO, a multi-million-dollar PKO tourney. And they’ve already held multiple Venom PKOs, with a focus on adding more regularly.

Moneymaker becomes an ACR Pro

In early 2020, the man who ignited the online poker revolution, became an ACR Team Pro. Back in 2003, Chris Moneymaker entered a low buy-in satellite at a large online poker room and won his $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat. He went on to win the title, netting over $2.5 million, and the rest is history. Today, Moneymaker proudly wears the ACR Poker patch. Why? Because ACR Poker and the entire Winning Poker Network stand for bigger, better poker that puts players first.

Punters’ Pad

In 2021, ACR Poker celebrated the return of the live version of the WSOP by sending several Team Pros to share a house in Las Vegas.  Not only did the ACR Pros chronicle their big scores, bad beats and hilarious antics, but they shared it all with the poker community on the ACR YouTube Channel in a web series called Punters’ Pad.  The series is loaded with confessionals, challenges, special guests, and tons of poker insight.  What’s even better is that the Punters’ Pad returned for a second season in 2022 and a third season in 2023.

Next Moneymaker

WSOP Champ, Chris Moneymaker is an ACR Poker Pro. Each year, there’s a ‘Next Moneymaker’ competition with the winner getting approximately $150k in cash + a $15k trip package to Las Vegas.

Moneymaker Tour

A second promotion surrounding Chris Moneymaker is the Moneymaker Tour. ACR players win packages to his land-based tour in the U.S. which typically has a Main Event guarantee of $300,000 or more.

Mystery Bounty

In 2023, ACR Poker started offering Mystery Bounty tournaments, allowing for massive money jackpot potential to be won by any player advancing to Day 2. The Sunday Squeeze ($250,000 GTD with $25,000 top bounty) and The Dime ($75,000 GTD with $7,500 top bounty) were also converted into monthly Mystery Bounty Events. 

Dream Tournament

Micros stakes players have the chance to win big at ACR Poker thanks to the Dream Tournament. This event has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool for a tiny $2.50 buy-in.

Big Poker Thursdays

Sundays are still the busiest day, but many players are looking for big weekday action as well. The guarantee of 22 Thursday tourneys were increased by over $300,000 total. Now, Big Poker Thursdays are the new Must-Play Day of the Week

The Daily Double

These are daily Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) named after ACR Pros, Jeff Boski and Michael Loncar. Part of the Daily Double jackpots go to a Progressive Jackpot. Players get 10% of the respective jackpot by making the Final Table of both Boski or Loncar tourneys on the same day. And 100% for winning both tourneys.

With a strong tournament schedule, cash games available at a wide range of stakes, and an extensive range of promotions, the Winning Poker Network had little trouble piquing the interests of poker players. Yet challenges remained, especially pertaining to payment processing.

In the aftermath of Black Friday and Blue Monday, making a deposit at an online poker site was no easy task, even for avid poker players. In many regions, players were forced to contend with banking restrictions that were complicated, arbitrary, and constantly subject to change. Prospective depositors in the US market and several other regions could not always count on the convenience of payment methods like credit cards and debit cards.

In jurisdictions where online poker remained fully legal, many players also faced difficulty funding their accounts. With a patchwork of regulations to contend with, it wasn’t uncommon for payment processors and card issuers to err on the side of caution and reject payments, much to the dismay of potential poker players. Even players who had easily funded their account in the recent past could face difficulty using the same card in the future.

While rejected deposits certainly frustrated players who were forced to miss out on the excitement of a particular tournament or time-limited promotion, the then-current poker climate was more problematic for players hoping to claim their winnings. Withdrawals were at the mercy of international postal services, banks that asked too many questions, and other intermediaries who could leave players in the lurch for weeks, forcing them to wonder if they would ever be paid.

Like most internet gaming sites, the Winning Poker Network did welcome the use of third-party electronic wallets, but this proved to be little more than a stopgap measure. Unfortunately, these services were slow, inconvenient, and expensive to use. And although diehard poker players were willing to use these services, they only did so due to the lack of alternatives. Convincing casual players to jump through countless hoops and put their trust in these unfamiliar services was a markedly harder sell.

In late 2014, the Winning Poker Network found a solution to the payment processing issues that continued to plague the industry. WPN decided to embrace the blockchain and welcome bitcoin. As a decentralized digital currency with no central bank or intermediaries to answer to, this peer-to-peer payment method was arguably the perfect match for poker.

In 2015 WPN accepted their first cryptocurrency transaction

Yet when WPN accepted their first cryptocurrency transaction in January of 2015, Bitcoin wasn’t a household name. The fledgling blockchain asset did command its share of headlines thanks to its rapid rise in price a year earlier, but it remained little more than a curiosity even among tech savvy internet poker players. Still, the Winning Poker Network was quick to embrace Bitcoin since it solved many of its payment issues in one fell swoop.

With Bitcoin, players at WPN sites could finally fund their accounts or claim their winnings in a matter of minutes rather than having to wait days or weeks. Thanks to the reliability of the decentralized networks, deposits were no longer dependent on arcane regulations or the whims of intermediaries. Finally, players were be able to bring their bankrolls to the table and cash out their profits without forsaking convenience, speed, privacy, security or affordability.

Given the popularity of cryptocurrencies around the world in general, and among the online gaming community in particular, the Winning Poker Network dramatically increased its support for crypto rather quickly. Not only did WPN sites begin heavily promoting Bitcoin in late 2017, but the Winning Poker Network started accepting 60 different cryptocurrency options, giving players unprecedented flexibility.

Cryptocurrencies make up 60% of all Winning Poker Network transactions.

In 2023, the Winning Poker Network downsized its crypto selection to focus on just the major coins, allowing for even faster processing speed.  Customers can currently use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Tether.  In just a few short years, cryptocurrencies have come to represent the bulk of WPN’s business. Cryptocurrencies have gone from making up 2% of the transactions on the Winning Poker Network in 2015 to 60% of all transactions just four years later. Even though conventional payment methods are still accepted, the percentage of crypto transactions continues to grow rapidly.

For the convenience of players, all WPN cash games and tournaments are run exclusively using US dollars. The network automatically converts payments to or from US dollars when players deposit or cash out, meaning no one is forced to worry about crypto volatility while playing.


On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, WPN made crypto and poker history by setting the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ title for the largest cryptocurrency winning jackpot in an online poker tournament. After the conclusion of the network’s multi-day $5 Million Venom tournament, WPN promptly paid the event winner his $1,050,560 prize by bitcoin.

WPN's $5 Million Venom was the biggest tournament ever hosted

With a final prize pool of $6,382,500, WPN’s $5 Million Venom also had the distinction of being the biggest tournament ever hosted by a US-facing poker site. The Winning Poker Network’s support for dozens of cryptocurrency options allowed players to participate in the tournament with ease and was instrumental in the overwhelming success of the event. 

Yet the popularity of cryptocurrencies at the Winning Poker Network isn’t reserved for big events. WPN welcomes players of all financial means and skill sets to play in their tournaments and cash games at any time of the day or night.

The Winning Poker Network works in the Scrum Agile management methodology which differs from the traditional management methods used by competitors in the online poker industry.

CEO Phil Nagy recognized the need to adopt a management style shift when he found himself micromanaging every decision, big or small. Agile methodology relies on individual teams and trusts that each is specialized within their pertaining field.

Each team consists of a Product Owner, who has the vision for the product of value that they are responsible for delivering to the stakeholder or company. The product owner then passes down the vision of the product to the team members.

Each team has a Scrum Master, who decides with the team what tasks should be accomplished within each sprint (a predetermined amount of time). The Winning Poker Network works in two-week sprints, at which point each team is expected to present what they’ve accomplished over that two-week period, for feedback from the stakeholders and other teams within the company.

With such short sprint times, it allows teams to “fail fast”. Meaning if they are on the wrong track, they’ve only spent a short amount of time working on the product before they can be pointed in the right direction.

Alternatively, Scrum Agile allows for complete transparency in that every team knows what the other is working on. Teams are graded on the number of story points they accomplish. A story point is a unit that measures the amount of time certain tasks would take. Units are predetermined by the teams.

WPN staff have embraced the new methodology, which allows them more independence to try different things and gauge their effectiveness by presenting the product’s results by looking at key performance indicators for each project.

Sit & Go 2.0

WPN dubbed it the Next Evolution of Poker, but to be frank, it was the next evolution of a game that nobody played. After a year long development and marketing effort, WPN found out the hard way that it’s pretty tough to make Sit & Go’s exciting. The game was discontinued after just over a year of gameplay.

6 Plus Poker

WPN thought that 6 Plus was the next big game that everyone would want to play.  From cash games to tournaments, WPN made it a priority to have it available in the lobby.  It just didn’t get going.  Despite still being a popular growing game in Asia, the game was delisted on WPN during the software change in mid-2019.

Flying Bucks Promotion

Who doesn’t like free money?  At least that was the theory.  WPN tried the Flying Bucks promotion which launched a flying avatar on the screen, rewarding random amounts of cash to the first player at the table who clicked on it. Unfortunately, since many of the random amounts were small, and the avatar distracting, it was removed shortly after its first run after players voiced their displeasure.

In 2011, the network moved offices to occupy a smaller floor on a neighboring building and hired more support staff to better accommodate the players. At this point the player pools remained relatively small, and while staff size had doubled from approximately 15 to 30, the employee headcount remained small.

After the rebranding of the network to WPN, traffic began to grow exponentially and so did the need for more bodies. More support staff were added, new teams were created, and existing teams were expanded, including a social media department, support, email marketing, affiliates, web, development, and security.

In late 2017, the full floor designated for WPN could no longer effectively accommodate the staff that had been brought on to help cultivate the network. WPN then leased an entire office building and had a total staff count of over 350.

While the new office had been expected to be the long-term home of WPN, space quickly became a problem after hiring 50 more employees. An opportunity arose to acquire an office space that would accommodate twice the staff, allowing for a permanent location that would allow the network to effectively service players and partners from around the world.

From their humble beginning of just 15 people, the Winning Poker Network now has over 400 employees worldwide and the tally continues to grow.

The Winning Poker Network has had dramatic personnel growth since 2001, currently having 400 employees in various locations around the globe. Some of the specialized fields include IT, Security, Marketing, Product Development and Human Resources. And most of the staff have degree levels ranging from Bachelor’s to PhD.

WPN management believes people = talent. That’s why company employees have benefits, just like Fortune 500 companies. The diversity of the staff is also impressive with many different cultures, languages and ethnicities.

Finally, WPN encourages employees to grow outside of work and develop their interests. A recent survey listed some of the most popular hobbies as follows: cooking, photography, video games, reading and athletics.

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