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Lock Poker Players Unimpressed With PPA Efforts

A letter sent Friday by the Poker Players Alliance to Lock Poker requesting that the site begin a dialogue and answer questions regarding their payment processing procedures and whether players can expect outstanding payment has not been particularly well-received by Lock players who have been waiting a long time for answers.

The general tone of several posts by players on a 2 + 2 thread is that the PPA should have gotten involved much sooner. Almost $1 million is owed to players, according to a list compiled by poster ‘IHasTehNutz,’ who has long been spearheading player efforts in an attempt to get Lock Poker to pay up.

“I think this is better than nothing – but I don’t think it’s nearly enough of an effort to do anything other than ‘window dress’ the situation with the players and Lock Poker,” IHasTehNutz posted on 2 + 2 after PPA VP of Player Relations Rich Muny began the thread by posting the letter and informing players that the PPA is “demanding that Lock Poker repay players.”

I wouldn’t read the letter as a ‘demand,'” insisted IHasTehNutz, claiming instead that the letter “was a nice way of saying would you please look into this for us. Lock has proven over the years that they do not deserve this type of respectful response, and the players who’ve waited hundreds of days for payouts deserve more than a simple notice that, quite frankly, reads as though it’s about 18 months out of date. Questions such as segregated player accounts, payment processing, and stated payout waiting times have been posted by players since January of 2013 if not before that, and in the Lock Pending Cashout Report thread and others, much more useful information has been uncovered and discussed.”

Several posters agreed with IHasTehNutz, such as ‘JimAfternoon,’ who posted, “Obviously it’s better late than never, but it’s just so very little, so very late, I couldn’t help but chuckle at it.”

Another poster, ‘mythrilfox,’ wondered how such a letter would actually pressure Lock into paying. His belief is that the work of IHasTehNutz in compiling a list of players owed money and being quite vocal about it has already been far more pressure than what the PPA is now offering. “I love the PPA and all, but this letter is just silly,” he posted.

Poster ‘teepack‘ echoed the sentiments of mythrilfox when he stated, “I agree with nutz that this is way too late and way too soft. The list that Nutz has compiled has done more than anything to bring greater attention to the scam. Wake me when the DoJ gets involved. Otherwise count me out.”

Yet another example of a disgruntled Lock player came from ‘MavMan,’ who held nothing back by saying “the time for talking and wrist slapping is over. If the PPA can’t stand up for my rights as a player and actually get some type of tangible action accomplished what good are they as an organization to me personally….None…….. I know getting the players paid may never happen but the PPA should at least be out pressuring all the outlets that advertise lock to cease and also to get the site shut down permanently to stop this outright theft and the harm it is doing to the cause of one day rebuilding poker in the us to its full potential.”

I think the PPA would serve its members better, and the online poker community in general (particularly US players, obviously), to be more active and preemptive on this issue,” IHasTehNutz added. “Lock Poker should be put on a pedestal, by groups such as the PPA, as the de-facto reason why legislation and regulation are needed in the US. Don’t let this opportunity to help serve hundreds and hundreds of US players (imagine how many there are undocumented) go past with a stern finger wag and a dirty look. I encourage the PPA to be a driving force to help their fellow poker brethren and be more than a mouthpiece for respectful dialog. The time for that is long gone, now. It’s time for action and resolution, as soon as humanly possible.”

As many are aware, the PPA already has a lot on its plate in attempting to promote online poker legislation in the U.S., as well as staving off the efforts of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Muny pointed that out by posting, “It’s not like PPA has a division of enforcement. We have limited resources and I’m in this fight 24/7. Maybe you heard there’s a lot going on in the legislative fight. Any one of you could have volunteered to draft a letter from PPA. I even offered to have IHazTehNutz on my webcast a while back. He backed out at the last minute leaving me scrambling for guests.”

To which IHasTehNutz replied, “I just think the sentiment is beyond writing letters, at this point. Players have emailed every Lock representative in existence, including the CEO herself. Almost $1 million is documented now owed to players – this should be a much higher profile issue and in my opinion, occupying a higher point on the PPA’s list of priorities since it goes hand in hand with your primary mission, as I understand it.”

Another poster by the name of ‘TheWoodsman‘ concurred with IHasTehNutz, posting, “Rich [Muny], c’mon brother. I mean I’m all for fighting for better legislation and getting online poker back to where it belongs in the US, but this Lock situation…IS CRIMINAL. This is a CRIME that CONTINUES to take place in PLAIN SIGHT. This situation deserves to be the PRIMARY focus of any organization that claims to be ‘committed to defending the rights of poker players.'”

Players owed money by Lock are obviously frustrated and with good reason. Some of that anger is being directed toward the PPA for perhaps waiting too long to get involved. However, the letter is at least a step in the right direction. As Muny said, he’s in this for the long haul despite lacking the resources to devote the time and effort that this issue likely demands.

In any event, it looks as though the next step is to wait and see if Lock chooses to respond, and if so, what that response entails. What are the odds that the letter will be ignored, as have been most of the inquiries from players regarding their funds?



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.