Jet Set Poker

2003
2006
Out of Business
Never paid
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Player funds either stolen or squandered

JetSet was a small, independent niche site most well-known for its animated software. They launched at the right time just as the Moneymaker boom was happening, but they never gained much traction with players. JetSet Poker closed shortly after the UIGEA passed in the United States. JetSet Poker never paid players the money that was owed.

Screenshots

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JetSet Poker History

JetSet Poker was a small site that never grew beyond a few dozen cash game players at peak hours.  Most players on the site only entered freerolls.  This meant that most of the cash at the ring games came from freeroll winnings. Most of the deposits were made by props.  That is not a combination that is conducive to a profitable poker site.

The cash flow situation at JetSet Poker was poor.  Site management knew this and decided to pull the plug the night before the UIGEA was signed into law.  The company continually promised to pay players.  It never did.

JetSet Poker was an online poker room that operated between 2003 and 2006. Jet Set Poker accepted players from all countries, including the U.S. The player base was small, but loyal. Many of the players were props employed by the Prop Player Network, which was a company that ran prop programs for many online poker rooms at the time.

Most of the players that were not props were freeroll players taking advantage of the small freerolls that were offered many times each day. There were few cash games offered and the games that were spread often had many props in them that were receiving 100% rakeback to help fill seats and keep games alive.

JetSet Poker Pai Gow

The poker room offered the standard set of games with one exception. JetSet Poker offered Pai Gow Poker. The game was allegedly not banked by JetSet Poker. The poker room had an outside group bank their games according to their management. The setup was similar to how California card clubs spread Pai Gow. In fact, the banker had Los Angeles as the city in their profile. The prop banker would be set as the dealer. Players would be offered the chance to bank, just as they would in a brick and mortar Pai Gow game. This setup was very unusual for an online poker room.

JetSet Poker Software

The software was very animated. Many players enjoyed playing on the platform. JetSet Poker was one of the first rooms with animated avatars and also had emotions for the player. There were a total of 58 avatars and four emotions. Players could frown, smile, get angry, or get excited. Another option for players was to throw cards or chips.

BH Development Bankruptcy

In the months before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed n the US, the company’s software provider, BH Development, filed for bankruptcy. The company, who was operating in the US, continued operations as what is referred to as debtor in possession, for six months. During this time, the company ran afoul with the Internal Revenue Service in the U.S. The company faced a tax lien of nearly $425,000. The company was able to settle that lien for $125,000.

JSP Interactive Closes Poker Room

The company that operated the actual poker room did business under the name JSP Interactive. The company was slow paying players starting in June 2006. The UIGEA was expected to get signed into law by President Bush on the morning on October, 13 2006. At 11:55pm on October 12, 2006, players received the following as a pop up window:

Dear Valued JetSetPoker Customer:

We deeply regret to convey that we shall be discontinuing service at JetSetPoker (the “Site”) effective 3:00 AM EST on Friday, October 13, 2006.

Initially, and as per our previous statement, we were cautiously optimistic in maintaining operations for our membership after the passage of the “SAFE Port Act HR 4954″ on September 30, 2006 by the U.S. Senate. We nonetheless initially believed it to be practicable.

However, given the developments during the preceding week, including but not limited to, the unfavorable view of payment processors and financial institutions regarding online gambling and the extensive advice of our legal counsel, we have been instructed to cease activities and comply with this prohibitionist legislation.

We were fortunate to have a first-rate membership and it was our pleasure to provide a destination site where members were able to enjoy their favorite card games and tournaments with the surety that we were to buttress the integrity of the forum. In this inclement environment however we believe our ability to do so may become impaired nor do we anticipate this matter to improve in the near future.

We once again thank you for your patronage of JetSetPoker and deeply regret these unfortunate circumstances that have materially and adversely impacted both the Site and the industry.

Best regards,
JetSetPoker Management Team

Players were shocked. JetSet Poker had been accepting deposits all day up until this point. Some players actually deposited that day. As announced, the software went offline at midnight and the poker room was never live again.

Jet Set Poker closed with an estimated liability of $100,000 in player deposits that were never paid. The website was immediately removed and the following one page replaced it:

Dear Valued JetSetPoker Customer:

We deeply regret to convey that we shall be discontinuing service at JetSetPoker (the “Site”) effective Midnight EST on Friday, October 13, 2006.

Initially, and as per our previous statement, we were cautiously optimistic in maintaining operations for our membership after the passage of the “SAFE Port Act HR 4954” on September 30, 2006 by the U.S. Senate. We nonetheless initially believed it to be practicable.

However, given the developments during the preceding week, including but not limited to, the unfavorable view of payment processors and financial institutions regarding online gambling and the extensive advice of our legal counsel, we have been instructed to cease activities and comply with this prohibitionist legislation.

We were fortunate to have a first-rate membership and it was our pleasure to provide a destination site where members were able to enjoy their favorite card games and tournaments with the surety that we were to buttress the integrity of the forum. In this inclement environment however we believe our ability to do so may become impaired nor do we anticipate this matter to improve in the near future.

We once again thank you for your patronage of JetSetPoker and deeply regret these unfortunate circumstances that have materially and adversely impacted both the Site and the industry.

Best regards,
JetSetPoker Management Team

Cardroom vs Full Tilt Poker

On September 30, 2011, Cardroom International filed a lawsuit against the parties involved in the Black Friday indictments. Black Friday was the day that indictments were unsealed against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. Cardroom International operates a subscription based online poker room that launched in 2008. Cardroom at first alleged that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker had violated the Civil Racketeering Influenced and Corruption Organization Act (RICO) by monopolizing U.S. TV networks with their own paid programming promoting their online poker brands, effectively shutting Cardroom.com out of the online poker business.

This lawsuit was later amended to make a claim on Full Tilt Poker’s software. The allegations stated that Full Tilt officers, principally Chris Ferguson and his “Jesus Coalition”, had entered into an agreement with BH Development, JetSet Poker’s software developer, where neither party could sell their software rights without the other’s approval. BH Development was acquired by Cardroom International in 2007 for $15,000. This complaint has yet to be settled.

JetSet Poker’s Claim as to Why Players Were not Paid

While many in the online poker community assumed that players were not paid due to a lack of liquidity, JetSet Poker management claimed that it was because their Neteller account was locked due to U.S. Government actions. The account allegedly had $75,000 in it. This claim is dubious. JetSet closed on October 13, 2006. The U.S. Government’s action against Neteller did not happen until January 17, 2007. Even then, these funds were eventually released to U.S. residents. JetSet Poker was allegedly operating in the U.S. This means that if they filed a claim with Neteller, they would have eventually received these funds.

Another reason these claims are suspect is that player withdrawals were not covered by the UIGEA. The UIGEA made it illegal for banks to process known gambling payments, mainly deposits. JetSet Poker could have easily made refunds through Neteller at the time of their closure. Access to the U.S. banking system was not necessary to process these payments. Considering the bankruptcy of their software company and the five minutes’ notice of closing, there is likely more to this story than Neteller’s legal problems three months later.

Avoid Sites Operating in the U.S.

Not only did JetSet Poker accept U.S. players, they were allegedly operating in the US. Canadian online poker players should never deposit into an online poker that accepts U.S. players, much less one located within the borders of the United States. The Cardroom.com subscription poker room is also suspect due to their legal action. We advise avoiding it as well. That is easy to do since it has virtually no action.

Lessons Learned From JetSet Poker

JetSet was a small poker site.  What little traffic it had mostly came from freeroll winnings.  There were few actual depositors.  The lesson learned from JetSet Poker is to avoid sites where the player pool is seeded through freerolls.  This does nothing to help the liquidity of the site.  JetSet Poker’s software company operated in the United States.  Another lesson learned is that sites located in jurisdictions where online poker is likely illegal should be avoided.

What JetSet Poker Was Like

JetSet Poker used a blue color scheme.  It spread Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha High/Low.  Most of the action was in Fixed Limit Hold’em.  JetSet Poker offered one house game.  It was Pai Gow Poker.  It used a prop banker but it was widely believed that was a façade.  The prop banker took the bets for the house and kept 5% of all winnings.  There were a few features player enjoyed.  The main one was a list of emoticons where players could frown, throw chips or celebrate.

Where Are JetSet Poker’s Components Today?

JetSet Poker’s software was retired when the site closed. It returned in 2008 when Cardroom.com opened a subscription site after acquiring the JetSet Poker software. Cardroom.com still operates today but it has little or no action.

Scandals Related to JetSet Poker

Snapshot
Player Funds Lost?
Yes

Last Payout:
2006

The main scandal at JetSet Poker involved closing the night before the UIGEA was signed into law by President George W. Bush.  It only gave five minutes of notice.  JetSet Poker asserted in court filings that it owned part of Full Tilt Poker, a site that failed after Black Friday when a financial scheme was uncovered.

JetSet Poker Player Impact

All JetSet Poker players were never paid.  The site stopped communicating with players immediately after flicking the switch on the online poker room.

Related Failed Sites

JetSet Poker Timeline

  • 2003
    JetSet Poker opens.
  • 2006
    JetSet Poker closes with five minutes notice, never pays players.
  • 2008
    Cardroom International opens subscription site with JetSet software.
  • 2011
    Cardroom International sues PokerStars and Full Tilt claiming that the sites monopolized the poker market.
  • 2013
    The Cardroom International complaint was amended to claim partial ownership of the Full Tilt platform. Chris Ferguson and related company are added to the lawsuit.

JetSet Poker FAQ

When did JetSet Poker open?

The site opened in 2003.

When did JetSet Poker close?

JetSet Poker closed on October 13, 2006.

Did JetSet Poker give any notice before closing?

JetSet Poker put a message in the lobby five minutes before closing.

What happened to player funds at JetSet Poker?

Players were never paid. All funds were lost.

Is Cardroom.com related to JetSet Poker?

Cardroom.com uses the software that once powered JetSet Poker.