Lock Poker, the online poker site owns nearly $3.2 million to players in unprocessed cashout payments. This news was confirmed by a forum poster called ‘IHasTehNutz’. It was initially believed that the poker room owed players around $1 million.
For the last couple of years, almost 394 players have been awaiting payments from Lock Poker. 205 out of those are customers sailing in the same boat with regards to $2.2 million that is still stuck. It is believed that $1.7 million of that amount is believed to be of non-US players.
It was way back in November 2013, that Lock Poker paid the last non-US player. The traffic at the online poker site has reduced considerably and the brand name has taken a severe hit.
John Mehaffeyfrom 4flush.com, said:
“The cash game quality is extremely high. Chips are thrown around the tables like they are worthless. That is, of course, because they just about are. Players have been swapping Lock Poker chips for cash at a rate of about $.06-$.07 on the dollar for months. That means a player at a $200 NL table is really at a $12 or $14 game.”
Lock Poker also has dues to settle with its network. Revolution Gaming Network said:
“Due to lack of payment to the Network and a large growing debt, the Network had no choice but to eventually segregate Lock players almost entirely from Network cash games. The Network issued an official final demand notice to Lock in October and unfortunately must now pursue Lock to the full extent possible by law to recover all monies owed and damages caused.”
Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has taken a tough stand on the matter and has warned players to not deposit or play on the Lock Poker site.
EPMEDIA, the holding company of EuroPoker filed for bankruptcy recently. This news was reported by French gambling’s watchdog ARJEL (Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne). The company will have to meet in court to discuss matters related to their insolvency.
They made a failed attempt to move form Ongame France to the iPoker France network. The objective behind this move was to provide access to greater player liquidity within the French ipoker market. But they have now reported to Bobigny court that it could no longer able to make its payments.
EPMEDIA has plenty of problems to confront – ensuring consumer protection, regulatory responsibilities etc. Hence, as per the report from ARJEL, the court will monitor financial condition of EPMEDIA. Before going ahead with a decision to name a Judge-Commissioner to supervise the liquidation of assets, if the bankruptcy moves forward.
Next step in this process would be to appoint a liquidator that will determine EPMEDIA’s assets and liabilities as well as the balance sheet. Claims against the assets can be submitted, and the liquidator will provide a list of all claimants, which includes players expecting refunds from their player funds and bonuses, to the Judge-Commissioner.
ARJEL will impose a guarantee initially agreed upon by EPMEDIA, and necessary of subsequent licensees, to payout all the player. However, the agreement does not include tournament tickets, player points, and unexpired bonuses. This is the first-ever regulated online poker bankruptcy case to be presided over ARJEL.
World’s best 3D poker site PKR has stopped their Italy operations indefinitely. The UK-based poker room said continuing operations in the Italian market as no longer commercially viable.
PKR stated the following on their website:
“We regret to announce that PKR’s Italian platform will be closed starting from October 7. It will no longer possible to proceed with new deposits or to play at the room’s tables.”
It is believed that the company is withdrawing from Italy due to its poor performance. They now intend to maintain their focus on markets that could more effectively drive the business forward.
The poker market in Italy is on the decline as compared to 2013. PokerStars is dominating 70% of the iPoker market in the country.
The exit of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker from 30 odd grey markets marked the being of an exodus of operators from several international markets.
Online poker industry has seen several big developments recently. There have been several mergers and acquisitons, but more importantly, bog operators have moved out of grey markets in hope of getting a slice of the regulated markets pie by aligning by all the gambling laws in these countries.
Equity Poker Network (EPN) completes 1-year in business in November. They intend to celebrate that with $50,000 guaranteed tournament on Full Flush, the flagship skin of the EPN.
This grand event has been scheduled for November 9 at 5:00 p.m. ET at a buy-in of $35.00 + $3.50. The tournament will allow Re-buys and add-ons. Apart from that, there will be numerous opportunities for players to enter the tournament via satellite at a fraction of the buy-in amount.
One day prior to the $50K GTD is the actual launch date of the EPN and FFP, there will be a $10,000 Members freeroll will take place at 2:00 p.m. ET. To enter the freeroll, two tickets are required. First one will go to the customer that has who made a deposit at the site and the second to the customer that has managed to accumulate 100 points from Nov. 1-8.
After the exit of the Amaya Gaming brands (PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker) from grey markets, more online gambling operators of followed suit. The exodus is due to a UK law that requires operators to not generate revenues from grey markets.
Apart from that, most brands are looking towards USA as a lucrative market. After the withdrawal of Aamaya’s premier brands moved out of over 20 grey markets, another Amaya-owned brand, OnGame Poker Network also followed suit.
Not just Amaya but major operators such as Betsson, Poker Heaven, Paf, RedKings and RedBet, have pulled out of such countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. 3D poker site PKR has withdrawn from Italy, and Bet365 from Romania.
The major reason for this sudden development is that major operators want to comply by all the rules and regulations of regulated and lucrative markets.
Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars Head of Corp Communications, posted a tweet on micro-blogging site Twitter:
“Re Qs about our withdrawal from some markets: This action aligns PokerStars and Full Tilt with Amaya’s global market policies. These markets represent a tiny fraction of our global revenues and our global customer base.”
However, the reason behind other operators following in the footsteps of Amaya Gaming is difficult to understand as of now. Bet365 generated a major chunk of their £1.3 billion revenues from grey markets, such as China in 2013.
Chinese government has stepped up their efforts to curb residents from playing on gambling websites. Recently, there were cases of few people being sent to jail for playing on the Bet365 website in a Chinese province.
Bet365 statement on the matter read:
“There is no legislation that expressly prohibits the supply of remote gambling services into China by operators who are based outside China. Bet365 has no people, assets or infrastructure in China and does not engage any agent, aggregators or intermediaries, for any purpose, in China. In the view of bet365 and its lawyers, Chinese law does not extend to the provision of services into China by gambling operators and service providers who themselves have no nexus with the territory. Any allegation of illegality on the part of bet 365 is therefore untrue.”
These are really interesting times for iGaming industry observers and it can be said players would be very anxious as to what will happen next.
Despite taking a backseat from day-to-day online poker operations, former PokerStars owner still loves a good game of poker. Scheinberg won the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) £2,200 High Roller tournament on the Isle of Man.
The Canadian businessman won £13,850 ($22,253), and beating several poker pros that included the likes of Denmark’s Mickey Petersen. Incidentally, this was Scheinberg’s first career win. Before this tournament, Scheinberg’s best performance came at the 2008 EPT Monte Carlo €1,070 NL event, where he managed an 8th place finish for €11,400 ($18,039).
The longtime czar of the online poker industry is famous being reclusive. He is not only blacklisted from doing business in the USA but also has an indictment over him. Hence this was a rare moment where Scheinberg posed for photographs.
Before this, there are hardly any photos of the PokerStars founder on the Internet. Hence there was a buzz at the event and everyone was determined to not miss a once in a lifetime opportunity of clicking a photo with one of greatest gaming entrepreneurs ever.
Online gambling journalist and broadcaster James Hartigan posted the following on micro-blogging site Twitter:
“I’ve witnessed many great poker moments. Isai Scheinberg winning the #UKIPTIoM HR in front of scores of PokerStars staff ranks pretty high.”
It is yet to be determined whether Scheinberg will compete regularly in the upcoming poker tournaments. But one thing is certain; the former PokerStars owner was quite happy with his win and looked extremely chuffed to pose with the trophy along with his former employees.
After the acquisition of PokerStars, Amaya Gaming paid a whopping $4.9 billion. So we don't think Scheinberg will be looking to poker tournaments to make a living!
Image courtesy pokerstars blog
The month of August witnessed PokerStars generate €34.7 million in revenues in the Italian market. This topped the numbers in the previous month by an impressive 13% as €30.7 million was collected in July. Online poker giant accounted for 70% of Italy’s total iPoker market revenues.
Last several years have seen PokerStars dominate the global markets without much competition. Even today, as they post numbers like 17,500 cash game players over a seven-day period, their nearest rival has just 2,300.
Last month, online poker giant PokerStars announced it has launched its version of Lottery Sit n' Gos called Spin & Go on its dot com domain. They has initially tested this fast-paced, lottery-type Sit n' Go game in France, Italy and Spain. The company described that experiment as a "big hit" in those ring-fenced markets, which is why they went the whole hog by launching Spin & Go on PokerStars.com.
Rafael Nadal will take on football legend Ronaldo in “The Duel” on November 6 on PokerStars. The two are not only the most celebrated but also one of the most popular PokerStars ambassadors. Rafa is a 14-time tennis Grand Slam winner while Ronaldo is a Brazil and world football legend. This heads-up battle is coined as “The Duel”.
This is a live event that will be broadcasted from London. However, this is not the first time the duo will take on each other at a poker table. In December 2013, the Spaniard took part in his first ever live poker event at the European Poker Tour Prague Charity Challenge.
It is a well-known fact that swimming legend Michael Phelps loves a good game of poker. He is often seen frequenting casinos in Las Vegas as well. Some of his poker buddies include Antonio Esfandiari.
Last week, Phelps was hit with a second lifetime DUI. Before getting pulled over, he was playing cards at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The incident happened just a few miles away from the casino at around 1:40 a.m.