LTE Poker

LTE Poker? Ever Hear of It? (And Now You Won’t)

One truism about online poker hasn’t changed at all since the first site, Planet Poker, appeared way back in 1997.  The tinier the site, the greater the risk that the site itself can go belly-up, as happened recently with a brand new startup called LTE Poker, which if you’d ever heard of, is now a site that you can cross off your list.

This one looks like it was a fly-by-night operation from the outset, trying to piggyback its startup onto the backs of a few hundred early customers who were recruited by promotional offers that were, as the saying goes, too good to be true.

What the unknown people behind LTE Poker then did was to use these early risk-takers as uncompensated prop players, using them to provide a core base of site traffic in hopes of attracting a larger base of depositing players.  I don’t know if that’s an outright scam, but if you don’t have the backing to cover the promotional offers you make and accept, it’s certainly deceptive marketing.

LTE debuted in February of 2012 as a standalone site, buying a prepacked online poker software platform from an independent developer rather than trying to make a go of it as a skin on a larger, more established network.  While it’s true that the choices for such US-facing networks are limited at the moment, including Merge, Revolution and a few others, it’s also true that going it alone probably had very thin chances of succeeding unless the site’s backers had a very large promotional and marketing budget.  And that wasn’t the case.

After several weeks of virtual silence, not responding to e-mails and failing to process withdrawals, the LTE Rep in this 2+2 thread finally showed up long enough to call it quits.  The site originally had DNS info from Cyprus, and later seemed to have connections to a Michigan (US) address, but there’s no evidence that any of this info was anything but faked, despite the site’s claims of transparency.  The site also seems to have had connections to a large series of low-profile online casino sites that were added to various rogue lists for being “deposit only” — that is, processing only deposits, not withdrawals.

Bad news, all the way around.

In departing, the LTE rep wrote this, on November 17th:

We are very sorry to announce that LTE Poker is no longer in business and our license has been Revoked. We do appreciate the loyal players during the time of hard issues but when the money is gone it’s time to move on.

During the course of the year LTEPoker has been trying different venues to generate traffic and bring in players. We offered Staking,Free Money,GTD’s, of which most money in play on our website was (Fake Money) in other orders Money we handed out.

We tried our best to payout everyone from our own cash as much as possible until we simply could not continue any more. We have also lost 2 investors that were devoted to the site. After $290,000 Since April we could not continue. There is no doubt LTE had potencial and we tried very hard. We had alot of prospect & ideas but none worked. We had players wanting to deposit , but they never did. From Launch until this date we only had a total of $4500 Deposited funds into LTE Poker. Everything else you see on the site was Staked Players from Latin America and Some from Europe. We will direct to some players here that are actually really owed monies.

The claim that only $4,500 was deposited onto the site flies in the face of testimony from individual players in that thread who reported depositing that much individually themselves, though in hindsight, it’s pretty easy to see that sticking that sort of deposit amount onto a site that had no more than a few dozen players was foolhardy and reckless.

A brief list of players who were allegedly to be paid small amounts, $50, $150, whatever, rounded out the rest of the LTE rep’s message.  And thus ended LTE.  The site is down, the domain is defunct, and no one’s likely to ever hear from them again, at least until the individuals behind the site have been fully identified.

Now, stuff like this happens.  It’s a part of playing online poker, as it is with any market, that occasionally a business will go belly-up.  When that happens, it’s never pretty.

That said, players need to do a bit of research into the sites on which they might play, which is why a site such as FlushDraw is so important.  The longer a poker site has been around and the more reliable it is, the easier it is to find out information about the workings of the site, its general reputation, and if it’s likely to be there when the sun rises tomorrow.

Don’t be lazy, fellow players.  Choose both your sites and your deposit offers (meaning your affiliates) wisely.  Look for variety, experience… and don’t forget to check the fine print.  Your bankroll will thank you for it, and a sad case like LTE Poker just reinforces the lesson.



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