Choice Poker

2004
2004
Out of Business
Bailed out by Americas Cardroom
None
Incompetent management, fraudulent payment processors and players

Choice Poker launched in January 2004 and closed later that year.  The site used Dobrosoft software.  It had a few skins that moved to the Americas Cardroom network before eventually folding themselves.  These included Adult Poker Tour and Mega Comps Poker.  Choice Poker handled all of the banking.  When it failed, it took the skins with it.
 
Choice Poker had few players and managed to lose all deposited funds.  Management blamed the losses on their credit card processor.  It seemed like incompetent and experienced operators to most players familiar with the site.  Players were given a bailout offer by Americas Cardroom.

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History of Choice Poker

Choice Poker was a standalone online poker room that used the Dobrosoft platform that launched in January 2004. The company was based in Costa Rica and was founded by Jon Comer.  The site was not properly capitalized and was unable to stay afloat for more than a few months.

Choice Poker Launches

Choice Poker launched with new player freerolls up to $10,000. There was also a 30% rakeback program for life and loyalty points freerolls. Players found the highly advertised programs very poor. That is because Choice Poker chose to use the weighted contributed method to determine bonus and rakeback clearance rates. This was uncommon at the time.

Players gave up on the site quickly and a prop program was created. Pokerscene.com ran props for the site. It was an unpopular online poker portal and this seemed to hurt Choice Poker even more.

Like many Dobrosoft poker rooms at the time, Choice Poker was underfunded. The company blamed chip dumpers and fraudsters for hurting it financially. Cashouts that took one or two days were suddenly taking a week or longer just two months after going live.

Choice Poker got into the skin business. It took on a poker forum called the Adult Poker Tour. It added a few players to the very small network that only produced a game or two during peak hours. Top Hand Poker, Adult Poker Tour and Mega Comps Poker also joined the Choice Network.

Choice Poker Runs Into Trouble

It started to become clear in April 2004 that Choice Poker was unable to pay players. Affiliates started removing Choice Poker banners and reviews from their sites at that time as most affiliates never received any commission. During that same month site management and support vanished. Player cashouts and emails were ignored but the poker room still accepted deposits by Neteller and Prepaid ATM.

Choice Poker went offline in May 2004. The last recorded payment to a player was in early April 2004.

Choice Poker Virus

In June 2004, Choice Poker uploaded a virus to their website. Any player that accessed it had their browser hijacked. The code given by antivirus software described it as exploit-mhtredir.gen.

Choice Poker Bailout

Choice Poker was offline for months when Dobrosoft struck a deal with Americas Cardroom, its largest licensee at the time, in October 2004. Players were given a bailout deal where players had to play one raked hand at limits of $1/$2 and higher for every $1 in Choice Poker money transferred. Players were also given a 25% bonus and loyal players were given a 50% rakeback bonus. This deal also extended to Adult Poker Tour, Mega Comps Poker and Top Hand Poker.

Strange Stock Transaction

After Choice Poker failed, its stock was involved in a shell game. Choice Poker took over a company named CanMex Imports in August 2006. This was after a 25-1 reverse stock split where they issued 42 million new shares. The company also changed its name to Viva World Trade to move away from its former online poker business as only the publicly traded shell was needed for the takeover.

Lessons Learned from the Failure of Choice Poker

Choice Poker was one of many turnkey skins sold by Dobrosoft.  Most of these skins turned out to not open the business with enough cash to survive and lasted less than one year.  This was a symptom of similar products at the time.  Always be wary of new poker sites not related to any stable company.  These poker sites tend to not survive.

What Choice Poker Was Like

Choice Poker had few tables.  It would spread a table or two of Fixed Limit Hold’em during peak hours and nothing during other hours of the day.  Most of the players there were props, meaning that they were paid 100% rakeback to help start games.  Most games were shorthanded.  There were few tournaments or sit and gos.

The software was Dobrosoft.  It included features not found at other sites.  This included the ability to chop blinds and add a straddle at the dealer button.  The software was quick and had few bugs.

Where Are Choice Poker’s Components Today?

The Dobrosoft software is used today by the Winning Poker Network.  Skins include Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, Poker Host and True Poker.

Scandals Related to Choice Poker

Snapshot
Player Funds Lost?
Yes. Americas Cardroom offered a bailout deal.

Last Payout:
2004

There were several scandals related to Choice Poker.  Dobrosoft was a popular software for sites that came to market without enough money to operate.

Futurebet was the largest company that used Dobrosoft and did not pay players.  It was a scam sportsbook that branched out into poker.  It bought a Dobrosoft platform and called it the Gold Chip Network.  It failed with only Poker World surviving as a skin.

BetOnSports used the Dobrosoft platform.  It went out of business after its executives were charged with violating U.S. gambling laws.  The Platinum Poker Club was similar to Choice Poker in that it was a group of small investors that did not come to the table with enough cash to operate.

Player Impact

All player funds on deposit at Choice Poker were lost.  Americas Cardroom bailed these players out.  Players were offered a deal with 50% rakeback and $1 returned for every raked hand played at $1/$2 and higher.  There was also a 25% deposit bonus given to these players.

Related Failed Sites

Timeline of Events

  • 2004
    Choice Poker launches.
  • 2004
    Choice Poker stops paying players.
  • 2004
    Choice Poker closed.
  • 2004
    Americas Cardroom bails out players.

Choice Poker FAQ

When did Choice Poker launch?

Choice Poker launched in January 2004.

When did Choice Poker close?

Choice Poker closed in May 2004.

What happened to Choice Poker deposits?

Americas Cardroom bailed out players.

What were the terms of the Choice Poker bailout?

Players received $1 for every raked hand played at $1/$2 or higher.  Players also received a 50% rakeback deal and 25% deposit bonus.

Why did Choice Poker fail?

The business accepted too many bad credit cards and did not have enough cash on hand to cover the losses.

What software did Choice Poker use?

Choice Poker used Dobrosoft.

Who owned Choice Poker?

Jon Comer was the name behind Choice Poker.

Where was Choice Poker based?

Choice Poker operated in Costa Rica without a gaming license.

 

888 Poker Review
  • Large player traffic
  • Above average quality of games
  • Social, recreational player focused
You can read more in our 888 Poker Review
BetOnline Poker Review
  • Third largest U.S. facing poker room with growing traffic.
  • Excellent and consistent payment processing.
  • Relatively juicy games.
You can read more in our BetOnline Review