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Lock Poker has been in the news a lot recently because of its never-ending payout problems. Jennifer Larson, founder CEO of Lock Poker, gave an exclusive interview to Gambling911, to provide information regarding Lock’s problems after acquiring and moving to Cake Poker Network, which is now called Revolution Gaming. Larson attempted to clear players’ doubts and supply answers to their queries regarding Lock poker’s solvency.
Larson seemed quite prepared for the tough questions asked by Gaming911. One of the questions asked was why Lock did not provide proof regarding its financial fitness and why it did not use the services of a third-party verifier to protect player funds.
In response, Larson said that the company could use third-party verification services, but pointed out that third-party auditors do not clearly state if they will release information regarding poker accounts to the US Department of Justice (DoJ). Larson also said that third-party auditors refuse to sign deals with Lock Poker, which accepts US poker players, out of fear of getting blacklisted by the DoJ.
When asked about player-to-player transfer problems at Lock Poker, Larson said that the poker room had investigated player-to-player transfers a few weeks back and had learned that some players had abused its player-to-player transfer policies. These players had created a number of accounts and transferred funds from one account to the other without actually playing real money poker in violation of the policy. She said that the site has now created a new policy for cash out of transferred funds, according to which players need to accumulate at least 15 percent in GGR before withdrawing funds.
Regarding former Lock Poker pros Chris Moorman and Paul Volpe leaving the site, Larson said that they left because their contracts with Lock Poker had expired. She also rubbished ideas that the company was affected by economic problems in Cyprus.
All Jazette Enterprises owned online poker sites,including SportsBook.com and PlayerOnly, have begun segregating their players from the Merge Network player pool.
Jazette Enterprises has not released any official statement explaining its move, which is bound to have an impact on all Sit ‘N’ Go tables and cash poker tables. However, multi-table poker tournaments, including Poker Maximus V, a mega online poker tournament series, which is being run at present, will remain unaffected by the change.
Jazette Enterprises operates as many as 24 online sports betting sites, many of which offer online poker as a side product. Reportedly, Jazette Enterprises has moved its players to a new private online poker network it has created. Jazette-owned sports betting sites that offer online poker are 52Bet.com, All Star Horsebook, AllHorseRacing, BetUSA, Betting Express, Super Sportsbook, Go Horse Betting, Only Winners, Sport Fanatik, Hollywood Sportsbook, Linesmaker, and My Sportsbook.
Online poker rooms operated by Jazette Enterprises migrated to Merge Poker Network early in 2010. Previously, they used to run on the Cake Poker Network, which has been recently acquired by Lock Poker and re-christened Revolution Gaming.
A Carbon Poker representative said that all online poker skins on Merge “are allowed to offer whatever games they feel comfortable with for their players.” But Carbon Poker has not officially confirmed that Jazette is moving its poker players to a new network.
In 2011, Jazette had experimented with player segregation. According to one news report, the operator had separated cash poker players and heads-up players. Poker players have reported that the operator had segregated certain NL Hold’em games in Dec 2012. Quite clearly, Jazette has segregated Sit ‘N’ Go and cash game players earlier this month.
Last week, PokerScout reported that the rest of the Merge Network, comprising independent skins such as Aced, Carbon, and others, have two-thirds of the total traffic post segregation.
Texas poker players, who now have to travel hundreds of miles just to play real money poker, are eagerly waiting for the Texas government to legalize and regulate online poker.
For instance, player Hayden Sneed said that he travels over 120 miles just to play real money poker. The Poker Gaming Act, which was proposed in 2013, and Eddie Rodriguez, the state representative, might just make legalized online poker possible in Texas. If the proposed online poker bill is approved during the May session, Texas players can legally play live or online poker in their own state.
Sneed said that legalized poker in Texas will be very convenient because he is already spending a lot of time and gas just to get a game of poker, adding that half the players at Winstar Casino in Oklahoma are from Texas.
The Online Poker Act and the Poker Gaming Act of 2013 will not only legalize and regulate poker in some parts of Texas, but also boost the state’s economy in a big way. Nate Walker, a spokesperson for Rodriguez, said that legalized poker can generate $10 million in revenue for the state. Besides, it can regulate all the illegal poker games currently being played in Texas and make them legally acceptable.
According to the current Texas law, home poker games are perfectly legal as long as the house does not receive a commission. As Walker said, the above-mentioned bill will legalize and regulate all illegal poker games being played on the sly in the state. Texas could legalize, regulate, and tax all facilities that run illegal poker games at present.
The bill, however, has opponents too in the form of Rob Kohler, who is associated with the Baptist General Convention’s Christian Life Commission. He says that the state should avoid depending on gambling revenue.
Professional poker players Paul Volpe and Chris Moorman, two of the most prominent supporters of Lock Poker, recently announced their decision not to renew their agreements with the online poker room. The two players can no longer be found on Lock Poker.
British poker pro Moorman and American poker pro Volpe posted on Twitter about their decision. Recently, poker players apprehensive about Lock Poker’s payout delays had begun attacking professional poker players representing it.
Currently, Lock Poker takes over five months to process payout requests of US players and as many as 3 months to pay non-US players. To make matters worse, Lock has a “no cashout policy” for amounts transferred among Lock Poker players. The online poker room says that it developed this policy to fight secondary trading and money laundering, but hasn’t been able to supply proof of its security and liquidity.
Volpe and Moorman used to be part of Lock Pro Elite, a club comprising 21 talented professional poker players endorsing the Lock Poker product, wearing branded clothes, and promoting its various features. Although Jason Young, who also forms part of Lock Pro Elite, was also removed recently, his name appears on previous versions of the Lock Poker site.
The poker pros who still form part of Lock Pro Elite are Michael Mizrachi, Annette Obrestad, Eric Lynch, Felipe Ramos, Matt Stout, Melanie Weisner, Brett Jungblut, and Casey Jarzabek. Among the few Lock Poker pros who have made public comments about Lock Poker’s cashout problems are Jungblut and Stout. Most Lock Poker pros have refused to make comments.
Lock Poker has also removed two more poker players who might have one day made it to Lock Pro Elite. With Justin Cook and Andre Diaz no longer on the list, the number of Lock Poker pros has now reduced to 27.
The winner of the last event of the Macau Poker Cup Festival, the Red Dragon Main Event, is Terry Fan, a 30-year-old professional poker player from Taiwan. He scooped up the first place prize of HK$1,771,000.
The results of the Red Dragon Main Event final table are as follows. As the champion of the event, Terry Fan of China won HK$1,771,000 and the runner-up Gie Reyes of Philippines won the second place prize of HK$1,242,000. The players who finished third and fourth were Neil Chen and Fei Xie of China, who won HK$743,000 and HK$555,000, respectively.
The players who finished fifth and sixth were Andy Ashihwardji of Canada and Fanny Li of USA, who won HK$393,000 and HK$328,000, respectively. The players who finished seventh, eighth, and ninth were Sailesh Lohia of India, Wesley Zhu of China, and Ryan Yu of Canada, who won HK$262,000, HK$196,000, and HK$153,000, respectively.
The Red Dragon Main Event, which had a buy-in of HK$11,000, attracted as many as 635 participants and the prize pool generated was as high as HK$8,746,412. The leader of the field after Day 1a was Sailesh Lohia. The top spot was grabbed by Gie Reyes on Day 1c. The top 108 players of the event won their share of the prize pool, and the player who finished on the bubble was Hui Zhang of China. The PokerStars Blog reports that Zhang, who finished in the 109th place, did not have a hand strong enough to beat that of his opponent Hisashi Ogi.
At the end of Day 2, 18 players were left playing and Fanny Li was the chip leader. The final table action began shortly after Vincent Rubianes was eliminated in the 11th position. Fan, who was the chip leader when the final table play began, soon reached a heads-up match against Reyes and won the event.
Poker players usually ignore new social online poker applications, but PokerListings new Appeak Poker app attracted a lot of attention because PokerListings is one of the top poker news portals online.
Interestingly, the Appeak Poker app is not a clone of the original Zynga Poker. In fact, the Appeak Poker app comes with more features than Zynga Poker ever had. In the first place, the Appeak Poker app has four different stake levels as against the three state levels usually offered by social media poker apps. This means that players have a wider choice of poker games. Players can also take part in multi-table and single-table tournaments, matching their wits with other players from all over the world.
One of the biggest advantages of this app is fast game play. Though not flashy, it is definitely one of the fastest online poker apps players can ever get their hands on. Besides, new poker players can use the app to learn more about the strategies and rules of Texas Hold’em Poker if they visit the official Appeak Poker website. PokerListings has published a number of strategy articles by poker experts to help new poker players learn the game faster.
On the downside, the app is not that attractive because the developers have not incorporated flashy social media features such as colorful graphics, avatars, and animations. The app is very simple, but extremely fast and is designed only for those who are serious about the game of poker. Besides, the app offers only Texas Hold’em, which will disappoint players who want a wider choice of poker variants.
Another downside is that players have to begin with a few chips, which means that they will have to play at the lower-stake levels for a longer time unless they choose to purchase more chips to play at the higher-stake levels.