When you enter them into Google, three links down you will see a headline from OnlinePokerReport, dated March 2014, that reads: “Lock Poker: Avoid At All Costs.”
That’s about as unambiguous as you are going to get. The message is pretty clear. Do not play poker at Lock Poker. Unfortunately, until very recently, not everyone heeded this warning. Maybe now, they don’t have to.
As many of us broke away from our tables for the weekend. USPoker’s John Mehaffey was hard at work. He was writing a headline that read: “Lock Poker Appears to Have Closed.” Mehaffey noted that the Lock Poker site had been offline since the morning of April 17.
Rock Bottom at Last
Was this the end?
I tried downloading the Lock Poker client at 3pm (GMT) Monday, 20 April. It worked. I decided to register as a new player using the pseudonym ‘CheatingPonziScheme’ but it would not let me register. The live chat functionality was also offline. The ads for various bonus deposits were still running, but to all intents and purposes, there was about as much life as a scene in I Am Legend.
Pokerfuse has also covered the closure of the site. With the likes of Jen Larsen going all Lord Lucan on us, they have decided to focus their ire on the Curacao regulator, who they decree are: ‘the world’s worst in taking no action to prevent Lock Poker from depriving players of their own money.’
I’m not clued up when it comes to law. Reports suggest there is over $10m in player’s funds still locked up on the site. Several media outlets report that not a single US players has been paid out since January 2014, and it’s been over a year since a US player was paid out. How this was allowed to happen boggles my mind.
If Lock Poker has finally closed, it’s been two years since reports started surfacing of lack of payments. Two years! On one hand it’s great news that this site will eventually die, but on the other hand it’s terrible news for the hundreds of players who may have to wave bye-bye to their cash.
Industry Salvation it is Not
It’s not exactly the poster boy for a revived online poker economy.
In Feb of this year, former Lock Poker spokesperson Shane Bridges, told Pokerfuse that ‘it would be my assumption that player balances won’t be honored.’ Bridges himself declared that he was owed back pay for working for the company. He continued to blame ‘overspending of management’ and exorbitant ‘lifestyle spends’ by the companies owners, as the reasons behind the decline of the business.
USPoker also reports that Lock Poker’s sister site Lock Poker Casino is also offline.