Lock Poker Alleges Misrepresentation by Pure Poker in Revolution Network Sundering
The messy divorce between Lock Poker and the rest of the Revolution Network added another sordid chapter yesterday, with Lock Poker alleging that Revolution and a new site created to capture Lock Poker players temporarily left adrift, Pure Poker, has engaged in “misrepresentation” and a “deceptive and misleading practice.”
Lock, in a statement published on its site, also claims that it will be “making a claim for damages” from the owners/operators of Pure Poker, whose identity remains obscured but appears to be directly connected to the software group that programs and maintains the Revolution Network software. (The complete release is appended at the bottom of this report.)
Sorting out the truth from the wild distortions in this breakup, all of which occurs as Lock continues to stiff its customers’ withdrawal requests — which in many cases have gone unpaid for nearly a year — leaves neither side looking good or reputable.
Among the giant question marks in the situation is the mysterious “Pure Poker” entity, which claims to have been serving poker players for 14 years, “since 1999.”
That statement alone is largely false; the “Pure Poker” name does indeed have its roots in a related online startup that took place in 1999, but in an entertaining forum piece at PokerFraudAlert by Todd Witteles, which incorporated research done by John “PokerAddict” Mehaffey at USPoker.com, it appears that Pure Poker is a simple front, a skin popped into place by a business entity likely connected to the Revolution Network itself, that is attempting to snag distressed Lock players.
Exactly how this is being done is a part of the story not wholly explained or acknowledged by Lock, and the ethics of it are highly questionable. Any given online poker skin works by connecting to the core poker network, with the skin’s graphics, cashier, news and other add-ons grafted on to what the customer sees, while the actual mechanics of the network, primarily the game play, don’t really depend on what skin is being used.
As of yesterday, players who opened up their existing Lock Poker client were duly directed to the Revolution Network, since that’s the connection that always poker play to occur. Instead of being forwarded to Lock’s new site and advised that Lock was still in business there, these logins to Revolution via the Lock Poker client were instead directed to download the Pure Poker client, with the promises that small Lock balances would be transferred immediately while larger balances could take several days, and were dependent upon Pure Poker approval.
Except, it turned out that it wasn’t that way at all. Pure Poker never had any official part of the Lock Poker “transfer” arrangement, and was instead just crediting any and all former Lock Poker players who logged in after Lock’s departure with a $50 deposit in funny money on Pure, which can be played with as real money on the site but can never be cashed out, in is of use only as an extended-term playthrough bonus. In other words, it’s a signup bonus offered under false pretenses, those false pretenses being that the process is in any way connected to Lock Poker.
The sham transfers were exposed earlier today by a random poster on the 2+2 forums, “DaBombDotCom,” who despite a non-existent previous history reported a tale that should have been quickly disputed by Pure if it was false, and that indicates that Pure Poker is simply using the situation as a ruse to possibly sign up disgruntled Lock players. Wrote DaBombDotCom:
I’ve been following this thread closely. It’s finally time for me to chime my 2 cents in.
1) Pure Poker is not related to Lock in any way. Pure poker has no access to Lock account/player information.
2) Pure poker is crediting new accounts with $50 (although 1 member in this thread claimed he got $200). This has nothing to do with your Lock Poker balance.
3) This is a dishonest marketing attempt to get you to play on Pure Poker, and they hope you will deposit. I would never deposit on this site, but I’ll get to that in a second.
4) I wanted to confirm this theory. I went to purepoker.eu and downloaded the client and created an account. Then I submitted a ‘ticket’ saying my name was XXX and my Lock Poker account name was YYY and it had $ZZZ.ZZ in it. I said I wanted to ‘transfer’ my Lock Poker balance to Pure Poker.
5) Within 30 minutes, they responded and credited my brand new Pure Poker account with $50.
6) All the information I gave them in the ticket was totally made-up and fictional.
Cliffs: They are giving anyone and everyone who asks them at least $50 in their account as a gimmick to play on their site….
As noted in the Witteles and Mehaffey stories linked earlier, Pure Poker claims to be operated by BTG Global N.V., a Curacao entity, which is an online gambling veterans know is a lowest-denonimator licensing jurisdiction. (Lock Poker is licensed there as well.)
Here at FlushDraw, we’ve done our own digging, and we can state conclusively the BTG Global N.V. is the programming owner/operator of the Revolution Network, which is run under the dual brand names of Revolution Gaming and BTG Gaming, as displayed on this BTGGaming.com poker-network page promoting the Revolution-branded services.
What that means is that if Revolution told Lock that Pure Poker was unconnected to the Revolution itself, they lied, though that doesn’t have any bearing on the extensive damages that Lock Poker’s non-paying of players and alleged millions owed to Revolution and to other sites in back reconciliation payments would have. That alone makes Lock’s statement that is “making a claim for damages” highly suspect.
FlushDraw has reached out to Lock Poker three times in the past 24 hours for clarification as to the statement about making a claim against Revolution, including inquiring as to whether a formal legal case would be filed, what jurisdiction such an action might be filed in, and if Lock Poker’s counsel would be willing to offer a statement or speak on the record about the situation.
To date, FlushDraw has received only a circular series of non-answers in response, including a referral to the press release already available on Lock’s news page, and a mystifying followup stating only that, “We are legal and licensed in Curacao and you can view our License by clicking the shield icon on the bottom of our home page.” Should Lock provide additional information regarding its allegations against Pure Poker, we will report that.
Pure Poker, the Revolution Network and BTG Gaming, for their part, have had the sheets pulled back, exposing a somewhat more questionable operation that many players might have guessed. Since the Revolution Network itself is claimed to operated by Juicy Stakes Games, LTD, as shown in this info shot from PokerScout, and since Juicy Stakes itself was just acquired by an unknown entity, Zagox Management, it now seems clear that Zagox is just another shell entity operated by BTG/Revolution themselves, and that the player-sharing deal recently announced between Juicy Stakes and primary Revolution skin Intertops is just a reconciliation of sorts, with the Lock Poker faction in the process of being moved out of the picture.
This link to ownership records at CasinoCity also shows some prior history for BTG Gaming outside of poker interests, specifically a small handful of sportsbetting sites, the most well-known of which is Linesmaker.eu. As Mehaffey noted in his piece at USPoker, none of the BTG Gaming sites are held in particularly high regard, with most receiving low but non-failing grades in CasinoCity’s monitoring and grading system. The temporary success of the Revolution Network was likely a breakthrough of sorts for BTG, who are likely now scrambling for ways to undo the negative impact of recent days’ news.
Here’s the Lock Poker release alleging the Pure Poker misrepresentation, in its entirety:
. . . . . .
Pure Poker Misrepresentation
Oct 30th, 2013
Following the termination by “Lock” of its contract with the Revolution Network on October 29th, it came to our attention that players who were attempt to log onto the Lock software were being redirected by the network to a page that contains false and misleading information and, rather than being presented with the new Lock 2.0 software are subjected to an automatic download of competing poker software.
This is clearly an attempt by the network to take Lock players and damage Lock’s business via a deceptive and misleading practice.
Lock has no relationship whatsoever with Pure Poker. Pure Poker has no Lock player data or account details. The only way to migrate your Lock balance, points and bonuses is to click on the download link in this email and then MIGRATE ACCOUNT once you launch the new software.
Initially the page where Lock players were redirected contained a patently false statement – that Lock’s poker services were “terminated”. Our legal counsel wrote to the operator of the Revolution network and demanded that this statement be taken down and, we confirmed that the page had been corrected to remove the false statement in less than an hour. However, the network has failed to resolve the more pressing issue – being that it is attempting to take Lock players and damage their business via a deceptive and misleading practice. This is conduct that is obviously meant to damage Lock and to cause confusion in the minds of consumers. To an extent this has already been successful as is evidenced via the threads appearing on the 2 + 2 forums and the emails we have been receiving from players.
Lock will be making a claim for damages as against the company and it’s principals that own/operate the Pure Poker site as a result of the activities described above. The representatives of operator of the Revolution Network (IAA Services Ltd.), have indicated that the purepoker.eu site has owners and operators separate from the network. The persons and company who appear to be running the Pure Poker site have already been put on formal notice of Lock’s claim for damages and have not responded.
The Revolution network operator has claimed that the Pure Poker site is not operated by the network however, the highjacking of the Lock update could not have been done by some third party operator without the knowledge and assistance of the network.
Accordingly a claim for damages will also be made against the network operator, as well as the principals and directing minds of the network operator, for inducing breach of contract and making negligent and/or fraudulent misrepresentations, concurrently with the claim as against the owners/operators of the Pure Poker site.
Finally, the regulatory and licensing authority for the Revolution Network have been put on notice that the network operator appears to be allowing an unlicensed poker site to operate as part of their network, in addition to the damages they are intentionally causing to Lock. There is no indication on the purepoker.eu site that their business operations are licesned in Curaco or elsewhere. This site appears to be a sham and players deal with it at their own risk.