Cautionary Tales of Lost Poker Deposits

Man paying online with cash

Looking after your money should always be your number one priority when playing poker online or on your mobile. As corporate entities (and particularly being corporate entities run by human beings), poker sites aren’t perfect and the way they look after your money may not always be particularly safe. It doesn’t take playing at an unscrupulous site to lose you money, as many of the top sites can accidentally run into trouble and cost you money too.

With the news this week that Lock Poker had hit the anniversary of not paying out a single penny to players, I thought it might be an idea to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of a few of the bigger cock-ups in money protection from otherwise reputable poker sites.

Lock Poker

The word “reputable” cannot be attributed to Lock Poker. While the site began pretty much like any normal site – offering a broad range of games and allowing players to deposit and withdraw cash – things started to turn sour early on. Withdrawal requests took longer and longer to process, while attempts to contact the site for help and information became increasingly futile.

The name “Lock” has now become poison in the online poker community, with most players seeing it more of a scam than a playing environment. However, while many of us have the luxury of simply being able to chuckle at Lock Poker for its incompetence, there are still many other players who have money tied up at the site. Imagine if you had deposited and/or won hundreds or thousands of pounds, and getting access to it was akin to smashing your head against a brick wall… Frustrating to say the least.

Full Tilt Poker

Now, contrary to Lock, Full Tilt is (pretty much) all above board. Just last week it announced that it – and its sister company PokerStars – had managed to attain a license for continuing to trade in the UK, which is a great sign, as the regulation of the UKGC is amongst the best in the world. The story hasn’t always been so rosy at the site however and the suspension of its license a couple of years ago threw many people into panic.Full Tilt Poker Logo

When a poker site has its license suspended, it has to stop trading instantly. What this usually means is that players don’t have access to their accounts, and can’t withdraw funds. Because of Full Tilt’s popularity, this meant that at the time, literally thousands of players were being left in the lurch, and that not only put a lot of people in financial worry, but also really damaged the site’s reputation.

Though people generally trust Full Tilt now – especially given its recent charitable giving – poker players’ wariness always last a long time.

Absolute Poker

It’s not just companies that don’t always have your best interests at heart. One of the biggest online poker scandals took place in 2007, when a player managed to hack Absolute Poker’s software and managed to see all the hands of his opponents as he played. It was only after other players spotted inconsistencies in play that the guy was stopped. Absolute Poker was fined $500,000 for failing to spot the issue and act on warnings, but it still stands as a cautionary tale for ensuring that the site you play at carries out due diligence.

The Lesson

You can’t always be protected from losing your cash because of the unfair actions of others. Luckily, better regulation and new legislation which requires poker sites to keep deposits with a third party to protect against site failings. Make sure you play at reputable sites and always do you research.

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