Lock Poker Scandals – Part 1

Lock Poker Scandals – Players Beware!!

The Team at Winning Poker is normally trying and testing online poker rooms and casinos, so we can pass on the major pros and cons of each room. We test everything from player tracking, to deposit and cashout times and options.

Unfortunately every once in a while we are forced to write news posts about Poker Rooms who are ripping players off (See Full Tilt and UB Poker), or rooms that have seriously slow cashout times (Minted Poker).

Then sometimes, we find out informaiton on rooms which are just plain shady and quite possibly giant scams (Cardspike, Absolute, UB, Full Tilt) –

It appears that is the case with the new owners of the dying Cake Poker Network which is now called the “Revolution Gaming Network”, and their parent company “Lock Poker”.

I want to make it very very clear, I don’t Blacklist Poker Rooms or Casinos for Isolated Issues, or one off complaints. Almost every rooms has someone who has a bad experience, or has had an issue that wasn’t resolved.

So for us to Blacklist and Called Lock Poker and the Revolution Network a Scam, then you should know how very serious the issues are. Furthermore, we have investigated and verified the claims and we have proof.

Lock Poker Issues – Part 1

Now I’m going to just post the cliff notes on this, as I could literally spend hours explaining all the issue, but I want to mostly go over the most recent issues, and also show you exactly what type of people own and run this company. Also thanks to my friends at 4Flush.com and Affiliate Bible for all the additional details.

 Lock Poker Fails to Honor Player Promotion

Affiliates are not the only ones being stiffed by Lock Poker. Lock Poker launched a promotion shortly after Black Friday forced PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and UB.com out of the U.S. online poker market. The promotion gave players an extra 10-20% in rakeback above the Merge Gaming rakeback cap.

The extra rakeback was to be paid to player’s casino accounts without any requirement to play the bonus on casino games. According to the original promotion, players could just transfer the money to their poker account or withdraw it.

May 2011 was the first month of the promotion. Lock Poker failed to pay this promotion after the month ended. While the May bonus was still owed to players, following months were paid in a timely manner.

Players that acted quickly were able to transfer the June bonus to their poker account without any casino play requirement. A few days after June’s payment, Lock Poker, told players that they would have to wager the casino bonus 40 times to be able to cash it out or transfer it to the poker room.

If a player had a $1000 bonus, they would now have to wager $40,000 in the casino to move the money. This lowered the value of the bonus by about 20%.

Not only were the terms changed publicly after the fact, another change of terms was discovered while players attempted to clear the bonus. Most games besides slots actually had a 160 times wager requirement.

This meant that players must wager $160,000 for every $1000 in bonus. This made the bonus virtually worthless, as most players would bust before meeting the new wager requirement.

Players complained in Lock Poker’s sponsored forum at Two Plus Two. The thread contains 1349 posts at the time of this article. Lock Poker claimed in that thread that they were unable to make these extra rakeback payments any other way. One poster with knowledge of Merge Gaming’s operations refuted that claim. The poster stated that Lock Poker was simply making excuses to try and get out of paying players that they assumed were going to leave Lock Poker anyway.

As if that was not bad enough, when the May bonus was finally paid, it was under these new terms even though the bonus was earned under previous terms.

The few players that were able to clear the 160 times wager hurdle found yet another undisclosed term. The bonus itself could not be cashed out

But wait, there’s more!

Lock Poker Pros Poaching Existing Carbon Poker Players

Now mind you this is not the first time that Lock Poker has failed to honor their word. I actually have had my own issues with Lock Poker in regards to their “pros” PM spamming at 2+2 and emailing my players directly who were under me at Carbon Poker, Merge’s BEST and most trusted poker room.

The so-called “pro” team at Lock openly lured away higher-raking players away from me and offered them ILLEGAL deals that Merge unfortunately has failed to address and police.

Lock Poker and their in-house pro players have been doing this practice for as long as Lock has become even a somewhat viable player in the world of online poker. They would target players at other Merge Gaming skins (like my players at Carbon Poker) and give existing players rakeback deals that violated the rules of the Merge Gaming Network.

So even thought proof was provided, and these people were caught red handed, they STILL denied it.

Bluff Poker Challenge Scandal

Lock Poker sponsored the Bluff Online Poker Challenge. The goal of the promotion was to win as much as possible during April 2011. Just days after the event ended, Lock Poker announced that their in-house pro Jose “Girah” Macedo was disqualified after initially being declared the winner.

The disqualification was said to be because someone else had logged into the winner’s account during the promotion. It was later discovered that the winner actually received a $100,000 chip dump in the last day of the promotion to help him win the race.

At the time, no player tracking companies tracked the Merge Gaming Network. This meant that the online poker community would have no way of seeing that Macedo won. There were observers that did see the match though, partly because Macedo tweeted minutes before the heads up match started that he was playing. He then bragged about it on Twitter after his big win.

Many in the online poker community called into question why Lock Poker did not notice this massive chip dump that helped Macedo win the Bluff Poker Challenge. Many believed that Lock Poker was actually trying to cover up the chip dump that helped their house pro win the challenge. After Macedo was disqualified, the second place winner was awarded first place.

Update, new article added here: Lock Poker Scandal Part 2


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