Thursday, May 09, 2013

Lock’s Stock in Peril

I continue to follow the worsening situation at Lock Poker which I wrote about last week. More details regarding the non-payouts, ever-shifting policies, Two Plus Two refusing their adverts, and various other dramas concerning sponsored players (and their perceived responsibility/culpability) continue to emerge every day.

For a good catch-up on the situation since last week, check out Haley Hintze’s most recent articles on Flushdraw regarding Lock: “Lock Poker Malaise Deepens as Trade Values Crash, More P2P Restrictions Allegedly Introduced” and “Monitoring the Lock Poker Spiral: The Shane Bridges Blowout.” (There’ll probably be more on Flushdraw to come.)

Also, Todd “DanDruff” Witteles’s thread-starting post (as “Kilowatt”) on Two Plus Two from Monday titled “Lock Shady Practices 101” provides another thorough summary of the situation up until a couple of days ago.

There are numerous, rapidly-growing threads on Two Plus Two regarding Lock. In some ways I’m surprised to see so much response, not because complaints aren’t warranted but because I hadn’t necessarily realized the site had earned so much traffic. It certainly seems that within the crippled U.S. online poker scene of the last two years, Lock had carved out a significant place.

And now with Lock’s final crash starting to appear imminent, there’s a certain canary-in-the-coalmine feeling that the whole “rogue” approach of small sites trying still to serve U.S. players is about to blow up once and for all.

I was intrigued a little this morning by a post from 2+2 moderator “SGT RJ” in the humorously-named “Lock Poker Crisis Containment Thread.” I say the name is funny because the thread -- begun less than a week ago -- is now approaching 1,400 posts.

In her post, SGT RJ offers some advice to posters as well as to those burdened with the unenviable task of trying to get funds off of Lock. She also makes a distinction between 2+2 posters and others who might have played on Lock. Or who, I suppose, might even be thinking of signing on and depositing on Lock.

“If you are knowledgable about poker in general, and frankly if you’re on 2p2 and following these mess of threads,” writes SGT RJ, “you’re probably more tuned into the poker world than 95% of the regular joes who play.”

She goes on to say “I think it’s part of our responsibility as poker players to not give business to owners and sites who have demonstrated, time and again, that they do not have the players’ best interests at heart.”

We circle back, once more, to that unavoidable conflict in poker, namely, the fact that it is a game based on self-interest that also requires cooperation among competitors in order to exist at all.

The idea of more informed players being “responsible” for the community as a whole in a situation like Lock is certainly more obvious to us post-Black Friday than it was before. I’m thinking back to Bill Rini’s provocative post from a while back titled “Who to Blame for Black Friday?” which I opined on here a bit in “Talking Black Friday and Blame.”

This notion that for online poker to work at all there has to be a sincere working together among all parties -- including a shared responsibility and trust -- is a new thing, I think, at least for those of us in the U.S. The tone of responses from players to Ultimate Poker’s first week of operation perhaps reflects this changed mindset, with many seeming to demonstrate patience and a willingness to remain hopeful and supportive of the site as it experiences various early growing pains.

In any case, I tend to agree with SGT RJ about players needing to avoid Lock if possible. And perhaps there’s a further need, too, for those who know about Lock’s problems to make an effort to publicize those issues to those who don’t (an idea reflected in the new “#LockPokerSucks” hashtag on Twitter).

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Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

well considering i cant get proof of NV ip address, i really did not have much choice. UP (and all other new NV sites opening up) really need to get it fixed with the NV gaming comission so they can accept members who have broadband modem aircards they pay a monthly fee for, some of us like me have a contract where we are stuck with them for 2 yrs. those give out NJ, KS, and AZ ip addresses no matter where u live instead of NV. and not everyone has a steady home address where the bills come in their name where they have the exclusive authority to authorize a monthly wired cable bill with a NV ip. some of us travel and live out of casino hotels, some of which dont have free wifi. we shouldnt be penalized just for this as long as we are in NV.

also, u really need to fix it so ur blog page dont go away when u click on links. i wanted to open up all those pages to read once i finished reading ur post. But if u click on any of them, it closes this web page, so u can only read them, 1 by 1, then keep hitting the back button to this page instead of opening all the windows at once. this is a terrible pain in the ass for the readers.

6/08/2013 2:53 PM  

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