Lock Poker Nonpayments Begin to Top Two-Year Mark
One of the sadder online poker stories to have to report on during the otherwise joyous holiday season is the continuing and long-running fraud perpetrated by Lock Poker, a one-time popular site which has tumbled into a state of disrepute, and which has long since been disavowed by the vast majority of the online poker community.
No actual developments of issuance of payments to honor longstanding Lock Poker withdrawal requests have been made in more than half a year, though a sad anniversary has recently been reached: A handful of withdrawal requests have now gone more than two years without being honored.
As noted in a Christmas Eve post at 2+2 by veteran Lock Poker tracker “IHasTehNutz,” no known withdrawal payments have been honored since April, nor is there any sign that Lock Poker and its erstwhile CEO, Jen Larson, have any intent or ability to honor those requests in the future.
The long-running, frequently-updated report assembled by IHasTehNutz continues to show disgraceful totals. That report tracks 398 players and roughly $950,000 in outstanding withdrawal requests. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the Lock Poker fraud. Those players alone have another $2.5 million in funny money “Locked” up on the site, which they haven’t bothered to attempt to withdraw in the face of the fruitless previous withdrawal attempts.
What’s the total of the amount actual owed by Lock Poker to its customers? That’s difficult to extrapolate, but the total is likely between $10 and $20 million. Not all of Lock Poker’s victims are aware of or have the ability to participate in the IHasTehNutz non-honored withdrawal reports, though for various reasons, a lot of players with significant balances and awareness of Lock’s problems would be aware of that list.
One of the most pathetic things to see in recent months is the sight of Lock Poker continue to accept deposits from new, naive customers, who have no idea of the site’s sordid, fraudulent history. It’s made worse by the recent appearance of faked reviews claiming that Lock is actually processing payments, and the ongoing reassurances by Lock Poker customer service workers that such requests are actually being honored.
One other recent development, also appearing at 2+2, occurred overnight. Here’s a post by an anonymous former Lock person who claims that a lot of the rumors are true. We’ll share that post, written by someone posting under the name “BlackRedYellow,” though we note up front that the legitimacy and authenticity of the post has not been and may never be verified. Yet here’s what that poster wrote:
To everyone involved in this thread, and all others owed money by Lock Poker:
First off, this is my first and last post. Do not try to contact me. I have been following this thread for a long time. I feel I need to say my piece.
At one time I was associated with Lock Poker. I am no longer associated with them. What has happened was not meant to happen. It was a legit operation at one time.
Is there a connection to DBM Realty? Yes. Will that ever be proven? I highly highly doubt it.
Again, do not try and contact me, I will not reply and prefer to remain anonymous. I only came here to say that I am truly disgusted to have been a part of this, and even more disgusted to see it continue.
I am truly sorry for all those that have been hurt by Lock Poker.
Forum posters have already begun the inevitable process of conjecturing as to the author’s identity. Admitting to an association with Lock Poker implies that the poster fits into one of three categories — a former mid-level employee, a one-time sponsored player of the site (most have left or been dropped), or one of a handful of long-running super-affiliate partners of the site (most of those have fled as well).
The reference to “DBM Realty” refers to possible links to Lock Poker’s true ownership. The best source for information on that is buried within the Lock Poker thread over at Todd Witteles’ PokerFraudAlert site. In a stickied thread in PFA’s Scams, Scandals and Shadiness subforum, a PFA member posted information connecting Lock Poker, through domain registration information, design similarities and other information, to Vancouver, Canada-based DBM Realty, which includes among its members Jen Larson’s brother.
Whether Jen Larson herself is involved directly with that company doesn’t appear to be known. She is indeed originally a Vancouver, BC resident, long ago a part of the old Bodog startup in that Canadian city, though she was, years ago, disavowed by the Bodog empire. Her current whereabouts are unknown.
As for Larson’s brother, James, he is in Vancouver, though no direct connection between he or the DBM Realty enterprise has ever been proven to the extent that would make an interesting court case. Larson’s brother continues to issue threats to a number of forum posters who have used the information posted at PFA to contact him directly, while denying any involvement in Lock Poker’s sad affairs.
One theory that’s been postulated among Lock Poker’s victims and other industry onlookers is that millions of Lock Poker’s operational dollars were diverted not only to Jen Larson’s personal financial excesses, but into a major real-estate development project near Vancouver in which her brother was and remains involved. That appears to be part of the connection to which the “BlackRedYellow” forum poster refers.
When or if the fraudulent Lock Poker operation finally closes remains uncertain. The operation should long since have drawn the attention of either Canadian federal or British Columbian provincial authorities. However, such authorities would not be likely to talk about any ongoing investigations into Lock Poker until or unless formal charges were issued. Lock Poker itself was incorporated offshore, not in Canada, and its years of bouncing from network to network and banana-republic licensing authorities aside, it’s that much more difficult to deduce true ownership structures.
It’s long been up to former Canadian customers of the site to file formal complaints against Lock and its owners, and whether they have, or whether those complaints have been effective remains unknown.
The large majority of the online-poker business remains honest and integrity-driven, and its important to remember that Lock Poker has long since been dropped by the vast majority of its former associates. That’s something of the continuing point of this post. If you encounter Lock Poker and an invitation to deposit, don’t.
(Editor’s note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, who takes sole responsibility for them.)