BetcoinPoker Joins Winning Poker Network Tournament Schedule
BetcoinPoker.com, one of the few Bitcoin-only online poker rooms, revealed last week that it has hopped on to the tournament schedule of the Winning Poker Network (WPN). In a post on the message forum at bitcointalk.org, a Betcoin rep hyped up the WPN partnership by announcing a special 150 Bitcoin (btc) guaranteed tournament scheduled for Sunday, July 13th at 7:00pm EST.
BetcoinPoker is an interesting poker site in that it is not only cyber currency-only, but also does not run cash games right now. It had been hosting its own tournaments, which we obviously quite small. But now, by joining up with the Winning Poker Network, BetcoinPoker is giving its customers a chance to participate in larger tournaments with larger prize pools, regardless of the currency used.
In the message board post, the BetcoinPoker rep explained how players can use Bitcoin (or Litecoin) to register for a tournament on the Winning Poker Network that uses traditional currency:
If you select a shared tournament and click register you will be shown the buyin amount in USD as well as the total btc in your account. Under the total in your account you will see a conversion of the dollar amount into the btc amount in chips. When you click register, the chip amount will be deducted from your wallet and you will have purchased the tournament chip amount for the USD amount with btc at the current market rate.
According to CoinDesk.com, one Bitcoin is currently worth $634.30.
As for the 150 BTC guaranteed tournament, it will cost 0.313 btc + 0.023 btc, which when converted to US dollars, would be $198.56 + $14.59 for a total of $213.15, though the BetcoinPoker rep estimated it as a $200 + $15 tournament (close enough, right?). Levels will be 15 minutes each and each player will start with 10,000 chips. To encourage as many people as possible to play, BetcoinPoker is running loads satellites so that players can participate on the cheap.
For those who are unfamiliar with Bitcoin, it is a virtual, decentralized currency. It is open source and issued by the Bitcoin network, which is really just a network of all Bitcoin users. There is no central bank; Bitcoins are stored in each user’s virtual wallet on their own computers (though there are now remote “vaults” that people can use as well as offline options for storage). Because all transactions are peer-to-peer, they are very fast, though the downside is that there is no way to reverse a mistake transaction unless the receiving party initiates it.
Another problem with Bitcoin is that its value has fluctuated wildly. In May 2013, one Bitcoin traded at $111 on the exchanges. At the end of October, that price was almost $200 and on December 4th, one Bitcoin was incredibly worth $1,147. There were likely many people who made a killing speculating on Bitcoin, but probably more who lost their shirts.
Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin. According to ltc-charts.com, one Litecoin is worth $7.79.
On the Bitcointalk website, one poster asked the BetcoinPoker rep why BetcoinPoker is not joining the Winning Poker Network’s cash games in addition to tournaments. The representative responded that it is essentially because tournaments require a simpler transaction, saying:
Excellent question. Our goals [sic] is to keep it a bitcoin focused website with the dominant currency in bitcoin including bitcoin cash tables. We will be working very hard through a variety of promotions and other options to increase our cash table play. Tournament play is very straight forward because you are simply buying chips for the tournament in dollars but using btc. The cash games present some different challenges.
We believe that we are still very early in bitcoin poker and that the market will become a lot bigger.
On BetcoinPoker’s website, it says that it uses Bitcoin and Litecoin “…offer unique advantages including near instant notification of receipt which means we can credit accounts instantly as well as no chargebacks which enables us to issue withdrawals within 15 minutes but up to a few hours.”
This is one of the biggest reasons some poker players have opted to play at Bitcoin poker sites such as BitcoinPoker and SealsWithClubs.com – cash outs from traditional sites are generally quite slow for U.S. players. Even the sites with the fastest cash out times can take three weeks to get a player a check. The other reason Bitcoin sites are growing in popularity is simply player access. Bitcoin is a way for players and sites to get around the financial transaction restrictions that are in place in the United States, as Bitcoin is not regulated by any banking system.