April 27th, 2013 by Josh
Lock Poker makes the news at least 2-3 times per month and they appear to have hit rock bottom. It seems that after more than a year of slow paying, isolated theft, fraudulent business practices, shady polices and misleading statements Lock Poker has decided that collapse is imminent. I reported several times that your money was not safe at Lock Poker, hopefully some people listened. In this report on Ecmcpal and Lock Poker I predicted that this troubled U.S. poker room was close to bankruptcy and was using deposits to pay withdrawals, which explained the 3-4 month withdrawal time. They may have got away with stealing bankrolls from a few players here and there but their latest actions are a sure sign that Lock Poker is out of money and beyond recovery. Here is an overview of the major events at Lock Poker over the last 12 months:
Before I get to my personal predictions I wanted to share something. The guys over at Bonuscodepoker.com have published a couple of stories recently about Lock Poker’s “We are not broke bonus” and chart on the cashout times. Anyone who is owed money will appreciate these stories.
My Personal Predictions:
Lock Poker’s Shane Bridges has been working overtime lately. If he wasn’t directly responsible for thousands of online poker players being robbed I would almost feel bad for him. They are justifying their latest actions – canceling mid-large payouts – with pretty bizarre reasoning. Since Lock Poker takes 4-5 months to pay people many players have opted to trade away their Lock Poker funds using the P2P transfer feature. For instance, I may trade $1,000 on Lock Poker to a UK player for $750 on Paypal. The UK player still has to wait 2-3 months – a sure sign that Lock Poker is using new deposits to pay withdrawals.
When done right the transfers are virtually risk-free to the person receiving the Lock Poker money. He/she makes an easy 25% and the only risk comes from the possibility of Lock Poker not being able – or willing – to pay them. Savvy players can make a living off of doing hundreds of P2P transfers per month. I doubt anyone will be buying Lock Poker money after this latest scandal.
Here is Lock Poker’s conspiracy theory about these P2P transfers and their supposed reasoning behind canceling the withdrawals:
A small group of players – ones who make money doing P2P trades – are subtly trying to drive down the value of Lock Poker money in order to make more money from P2P trades. This shadowy group of theoretical players is making negative posts about Lock Poker at poker forums, in the guise of legitimate affiliates.
The only way Lock Poker could stop this conspiracy was to cripple the room by refusing to pay most of their players. If this was all true they could have cancelled the pending payouts for players with more than $5,000 in P2P trades. Instead they canceled withdrawals for most players, even those who have never even sent or received money.
Lock Poker is broke. They have been using new deposits to pay for pending cashouts. The withdrawal times have steadily increased month after month. Of course there would come a time when they would no longer be able to run their pyramid scheme. With traffic levels decreasing and payout times topping 5 months Lock Poker was desperate.
In truth Lock Poker probably didn’t have the cash to cover even half of the cancelled payouts. This money was likely stolen and spent 6+ months ago but the players do not know that.
These desperate measures at Lock Poker are only intended to buy them time. They will likely continue processing small cashouts for smalltime players – who make up the bulk of the traffic – and hope that these players continue to deposit and play. Lock Poker is also hoping that the players who have had their withdrawals cancelled will decide to play since they have nothing else to do with the money. Lock Poker money essentially becomes Monopoly money for most people.
They just want to stay open for as long as possible. This tells me that they intend to close and disappear with everyone’s’ money.
That is just speculation but it does make sense. Lock Poker has stopped making any effort to run a sustainable poker room. Their short terms goals are to maintain the illusion that Lock Poker is a functioning and safe poker site in order to walk away with the largest possible amount of money.
Lock Poker will probably allow players to request new cashouts. This will give them another 4-5 months before players start to get suspicious when the money doesn’t show. They will process small cashouts in order to maintain the illusion that all is well at Lock Poker. Many players will definitely leave but Lock Poker isn’t trying to rebuild their room. They just want five months worth of new deposits and rake, worth millions of dollars. Shane Bridges will find new and innovative ways to explain Lock Poker’s criminal activities. On this 2+2 thread about Lock Poker canceling the withdrawals Shane has already concocted multiple stories and excuses. One player with a canceled payout mentioned that he has never done a P2P transfer. Shane claims that he was an unintended victim of Lock Poker’s fight against fraud. He told the player to contact support and it would be taken care of but when the player did so he was told that the cancellation was final.
It doesn’t matter where you are from. Your money is not safe at Lock Poker in 2013. My only advice is to start making small cashout requests since they will not honor any large payouts. Just try to get as much off of Lock Poker as you can. I estimate that they won’t close for 6+ months.
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Lock Poker has claimed that June 1st, 2013, was going to be a big day. They said that their payout processing times and such would be greatly improved. I checked in at the Twoplustwo.com Internet Poker sub-forum for Lock Poker to see how things are going. There seems to be a lot of mixed statements. Lock Poker processed many cashouts that were requested in January, February and March via Western Union. They sent out the MTCN numbers for dozens of Western Union withdrawals since June 1st so that is a good sign but there are still many requests made in early February that have not been paid. I counted around 25 players who stated that they got their money from 3-5 months ago. Are they just paying a handful of 2+2 members knowing that these players will post about it? With traffic down to the lowest levels in the history of this poker room it is hard to say if this is just them paying off a few players hoping that the good PR will bring others back to the tables or if this is a sure sign that things may be getting a little better. Now everyone who received their payout actually receive it:
Sender info 5/25
MTCN 6/1…but it says “failed” in the status next to it ::eyeroll::At this point, if I ever actually get my money from them, I’ll consider it my greatest poker victory ever.
Yup, my money is now back in my poker account, and I’m right back where I started from 4 months ago. Needless to say, I’m super pi$$ed.”
It is hard to get excited about a poker room paying 4 month old cashouts. Many players are calling on 2+2 to warn people that Lock Poker is not a safe place to deposit or play in 2013. There was a thread started on May 29th by a player who had his account closed by Lock Poker. It seems that this player – from the UK – has been waiting on a $10,000 cashout for months. He had been very vocal about Lock Poker taking so long. Lock Poker closed his account and sent him an email accusing him of chip dumping. One forum user pointed out that:
“This seems to be happening with more and more accounts lately.”
The player has been writing the security department at Lock Poker but is not getting any replies. That $10,000withdrawal would enable Lock Poker to cover of quarter of the cashouts that were paid in the last few days. Perhaps Lock closed 5-10 accounts, accused them of chip dumping and used the stolen funds to pay the few people who have gotten paid in the last couple of days.
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