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Ivey Poker Free-Play App Announces Hiatus

Ivey Poker, the social-media, play-for-free poker app that was part of the Phil Ivey-fronted suite of offerings including the “Ivey League” school of poker-training videos, has announced that it will be on hiatus, effective immediately.

ivey-poker-logoThe news was announced with little fanfare just before service for the Facebook-based app was suspended on Saturday.  A brief notice of the suspension of Ivey Poker was placed on Phil Ivey’s Twitter account (@phillivey), though likely not by Ivey himself.

The announcement read as follows:

We’ve come a long way…

Since we launched our game here at Ivey Poker we’ve learned quite a few things…first and foremost that a dedicated and loyal community is essential. So to our loyal players, we felt we needed to communicate to you about some of the changes you’ll be seeing over the coming months.

We plan on suspending the current game this Saturday, October 25th. Though that may sound ominous – it’s actually just the first step in our evolution as we prepare to launch an even bigger and better gaming experience for you all in 2015. We do appreciate all you have done for us here at Ivey Poker; it has been a joy and a learning experience for all of us…and one that we hope will continue as we grow and evolve!

Stay tuned for more – the best is yet to come!

As to what that “best” for the future is, remains unspecified, though the framing post for the announcement placed on the Ivey Twitter feed read, “Working on multiple product extensions and new categories for Ivey Poker expansion in 2015.”

Internet access to the Ivey Poker home page at www.iveypoker.com and to the Ivey Poker Facebook account was quickly redirected over to the Ivey League site, where no mention of the Ivey Poker cessation of services exists.

The Ivey Poker site lasted barely sixteen months from its launch in 2013, and never seriously challenged the major players on the social-poker scene, including Zynga Poker and PokerStars.  Speculation regarding the reasons for the app’s takedown quickly cluttered social-media and discussion forums, with examples ranging from severe financial troubles for Ivey in the wake of his defeat in a British court earlier this month; Ivey lost his lawsuit against London’s Crockfords Casino and its parent corporation, Genting, which withheld more than $12 million Ivey and a companion amassed in winnings at Crockfords’ punto banco tables while employing a maybe-illegal card-identifying technique known as edge sorting.

Observers also speculated that Ivey Poker was pulled down in preparation for the release of an Ivey-fronted real-money poker site, though that seems unlikely on its face.  Ivey is already onboard as the lead spokesman of Pala Interactive, an entity created in conjunction with California’s Pala tribal nation, that hopes to offer online poker if formally regulated in that state.  Shutting down the existing Ivey Poker app would also seem to run contrary of keeping the name and app in front of the public for the duration.

Few players or industry reps with immediate connection to the Ivey League family offered independent comment, though famed pro Christian Harder took a snipe at the announcement on Twitter that suggested that financial problems are the cause of the shutdown.  Tweeted Harder, “Ivey Poker couldn’t even stay open? Why? Its not like they were paying their pros.”

Harder’s snarky aside referenced the ongoing situation at the Ivey League video-training site, which quickly announced a lineup of more than 30 major pros, including Patrik Antonius, Cole South, Aaron Jones (whose old Leggo Poker training site was acquired and rolled into the Ivey League family), Jennifer Harman, Andrew Lichtenberger and others.  However, traffic on the site does not appear to have reached a point of true market competitiveness with other, older video-training sites in what has become an increasingly fierce market niche.


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