Weekly Roundup November 21 2014
Ultimate Poker Ceases Operations
Ultimate Poker closed its Nevada operations on Monday, November 17 at noon. It announced the planned closure on Friday, November 14. The closure was not without controversy. Ultimate Poker converted all freeroll tournament tickets into $.11 cash for each issued, far below the actual value of the entries. The site also removed all cash and gift card options from its VIP store before its Friday announcement. This forced players to spend points on Ultimate Poker memorabilia, the only items left in the store. Some players were saving points for higher valued awards.
Ultimate Poker also failed to pay prorated milestone achievements. This is something PokerStars is credited with doing when it left the U.S. market after Black Friday in 2011.
Most of the lost players have migrated to WSOP.com. It is now tied with Borgata/Party Poker in New Jersey as the largest regulated site in the country, according to PokerScout.
Real Gaming is the other remaining regulated online poker site in Nevada. It is attempting to capture lost Ultimate Poker players by offering a match bonus of up to $3,000 on cashed out balances. The bonus does not expire until December 31, 2015. It releases in $10 increments for every $50 in contributed rake paid.
iPoker Announces New Rake Distribution
iPoker skins will start earning commission based on a new rake model in 2015. Source Based Rake will put more emphasis on deposits than player action. The network hopes that this will encourage skins to market to recreational players that tend to be net depositors. While this will not directly affect players, it may change VIP program structures.
Pala Casino Launches in New Jersey
A new regulated online casino has launched in New Jersey. Pala Casino is in beta and expects to fully launch next week. The site uses Amaya casino software. Pala expects to launch poker in 2015.
There is some controversy surrounding this launch. Jim Ryan, former CEO of UltimateBet’s parent company is the current CEO of Pala Interactive. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement commented on this situation this week.
Betfair Finds New Partner in New Jersey
Betfair has found a new home in New Jersey. It has partnered with Golden Nugget. Betfair originally operated under a license with Trump Plaza, which closed in September. Golden Nugget and Betfair originally agreed to operate an online poker site when New Jersey online gaming launched in November 2013. Betfair opened with virtually no players. Golden Nugget never launched its poker skin and only operates a casino site.
Winning Poker Network Reload Bonus
All three major skins on the Winning Poker Network – Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker and True Poker – are offering a reload bonus. It is 200% up to $1,000. The bonus code is WINNING. It releases in $5 increments for every 120 Award Points earned. Any portion of the bonus not cleared within 100 days expires.