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Bitcoin-Based Online Poker Site Betcoin.ag Drops Poker Services - Bitcoin-Based Online Poker Site Betcoin.ag Drops Poker Services -
 

Bitcoin-Based Online Poker Site Betcoin.ag Drops Poker Services

Updated: December 24th, 2017 by Haley Hintze

Despite the recent mainstream surge in attention paid to crypto-currency matters, it’s not always a matter of expansion. Many online sites around the globe have added deposit and withdrawal capabilities utilizing Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. However, one of the earliest online-gambling adapters, Betcoin.ag, has announced that it is dropping its online-poker services, effective almost immediately. Betcoin.ag’s last day of online-poker services will be tomorrow, Christmas Day, December 25th.

Betcoin.ag, which began offering its services and crypto capabilities in early 2014, didn’t disclose too much about why it dropped its poker offerings. “We’ve been acquired,” a notice on the site offered to readers. But acquired by who is among the things not disclosed, just as the site never disclosed its own secretive ownership.

Just a few months after the site launched, it joined the Winning Poker Network as a loosely-affiliated skin. That allowed Betcoin Poker players to participate in WPN tourneys and cash games against foes from America’s Cardroom and other WPN sites. Betcoin’s players were able to participate despite the fact that WPN’s games were and are denominated in US dollars ($) while Betcoin’s own online-gambling offerings were based on Bitcoin (BTC) numerations.

That actually points out one possible reason for the split from the WPN family. Such affiliation with WPN was only possible through an ongoing reconciliation process between the Bitcoins wagered by Betcoin Poker players and the real currencies deposited and wagered by the players on all the other WPN sites. Bitcoin in particular — and all cryptos in general — have been hit by a wave of increasing user fees in recent months, making the ost of doing business, well, more expensive.

It’s indeed possible that there is no new buyer of Betcoin.ag, and that it’s just a story created to explain any future obligations regarding the site’s poker services. Some of Betcoin.ag’s players are already bemoaning the loss of access to WPN’s oversized bad-beat jackpot, which is now north of $800,000. Betcoin Poker players will have donated to this for many months, in some case years, but will now appear to have no chance to cash in when that jackpot hits.

You won’t find that mentioned in Betcoin.ag’s take on the situation, however. Instead, it’s all about self-promotion:

Betcoin.ag has been acquired and we regret to inform you that the new Betcoin will be discontinuing its poker service as of Monday, December 25, 2017. There are lots of fond memories to look back upon including the Betcoin Cage, the Daily Coin and hundreds of Bitcoin awarded in freerolls. We enjoyed posting about the achievements of our many players who hit it big with wins in major tournaments. But most of all, we have truly enjoyed providing a home to our great poker players these last 3+years. Betcoin poker hasn’t been just a place to play, but a community filled with unique individuals. The dynamic has been almost like a family, in that we loved, we fought, sometimes even dined together (virtually). While this is a big disappointment to us all, we hope to continue that type of camaraderie going forward as Betcoin moves into its next chapter.

Whatever. As one of the first BTC-based sites, Betcoin.ag acquired a stable (if smallish) base of dedicated players, but the site has had a very spotty record regarding customer service, fair play, and the payment of prizes to players. One of the worst of those was when a Betcoin slots player hit a six-figure jackpot which the site balked at paying, instead inventing reason or reason why the jackpot win should be invalidated. Finally, and only after being pressured by various online-gambling community outlets, the site paid out only a small percentage of the win.

Another Betcoin fiasco involved the discovery that a larger-than-stated percentage of each pot’s rake was secretly being collected by the site, with that difference going to fund an as-yet-unannounced bad beat jackpot. Whether that’s the same jackpot which is now being closed to Betcoin’s players isn’t readily available, but it’s true to at least some extent that the site’s BBJ players have received a double screwing, both before and after.

Yet another problem with the site involved the revelation — well-documented by the site’s players — that BetcoinPoker’s online tables frequently featured large numbers of bots. It’s unfortunately a tried-and-true method that some lesser-reputable sites have employed to artificially inflate player numbers, which can in turn lure more traffic.

Overall, Betcoin.ag has had a squirrelly reputation. To the extent that it affects the online-poker world, it’s a small player that probably won’t be missed.

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