Betcoin.ag Discontinues Poker Offerings

Betcoin to Re-Open Online Poker Room for BBJ Reasons

Hey. Guess what? This article will involve some discussion of a bad beat jackpot. I know, I know. Frankly, I’ve been overdosed on bad beat jackpots, too, but I can’t help it if some of the more recent interesting poker stories involved BBJs. This time, it involves the Bitcoin online poker site, Betcoin.ag.

As you may remember from an article Haley Hintze wrote just before the turn of the New Year, Betcoin, an online gambling site that deals solely in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, shut down its online poker room on Christmas Day 2017. Though Bitcoin seems brand new, having grabbed worldwide attention this past year, Betcoin has actually been in operation since 2014, making it one of the oldest Bitcoin gambling sites on the internet. Betcoin was an independent poker room, but it did merge player pools with the Winning Poker Network for multi-table tournament action.

The closure of Betcoin’s poker room (the casino and sportsbook remained open) was a bit odd mainly because it was mysterious. As Haley wrote, “Betcoin.ag has long been among the most secretive of all online sites; its owners have never been identified, and its withdrawal of poker services is attributed solely to the site’s claim of being sold to another entity.”

And nobody knows who the acquiring company is. All we know is that the new company decided that the poker room had to go, while keeping the online casino and sportsbook.

But now Betcoin’s online poker room is coming back. Why? The bad beat jackpot had not been paid out and the site couldn’t figure out what to do. Really.

A few days after Betcoin’s poker room closed, the site’s management posted an apology to its players which included the following:

Betcoin.ag is now committed to addressing your concerns in the most professional manner and immediately handling player concerns. We are very excited to be improving the overall culture. As our first matter, we believe it is necessary to distribute the Bad Beat Jackpot based on the percentages to players who have contributed to that Jackpot through the years. We will be calculating the totals over the next week to two weeks and expect that all distributions will be posted to player accounts by the second week of January 2018.

That made sense. Over the years (or months, or however long it had been since the bad beat jackpot had last been hit), players paid an extra drop at BBJ tables in order to build the jackpot. Upon closing the poker room, Betcoin had this massive pile of BBJ money sitting there that would never get awarded. So giving it back to the players who contributed to the stash was the right thing to do.

One problem: Betcoin couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Last week, Betcoin posted on its site, “In our attempt to calculate and repay Bad Beat Jackpot contributions precisely to those players that contributed them it was determined that each contribution cannot be determined with 100% accuracy. Without this 100% transparency and accuracy we believe the redistribution was unacceptable.”

As such, Betcoin is going to re-open the poker room and lower the requirements for the bad beat jackpot until the jackpot is hit. One would assume that at that point, the BBJ will be discontinued, with the entire jackpot awarded to the winner (after all, Betcoin wouldn’t need to seed the next jackpot).

Betcoin expects poker “….to resume in full the week of the 26, January 2018,” whatever that means, exactly. January 26th is Friday, which is generally considered near the end of the week, so I’m not sure exactly what the “week of the 26” is. Let’s just say that the poker room will come back on Friday.

While the decision by Betcoin seems reasonable on the surface – I mean, hey, if you can’t figure out the math, get that BBJ money awarded somehow, right? – many Betcoin players are up in arms about it. They feel that it isn’t fair for Betcoin to essentially try to hurry up and award the BBJ using lower requirements, presumably giving everyone an equal chance at winning, no matter what stakes they are playing (the latter hasn’t been confirmed – it is just what players are assuming). Additionally, plenty of players probably cashed out already and have no plans to redeposit, thus losing out on the opportunity.

Granted, the chances of winning the BBJ for any individual person are extremely low, even with looser requirements, but players want to know that they are getting value for their additional rake and with Betcoin’s solution, they do not feel they are getting that.

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