Nevada Online Poker Review February 18, 2014

Another interesting week of online poker in Nevada is now behind us and we’ve got a number of stories to get you caught up on. We’ll start off this week’s column with our usual look at the big stories coming out of the two Nevada online poker sites, Ultimate Poker and, before moving on to the latest tournament results and traffic numbers in Nevada, and finally finishing up with an interesting story that could get a whole lot more interesting if the SCOTUS decides to hear a certain poker-related case. Get ready for the scoop on all these stories and more in this week’s Nevada Online Poker Review. The Scoop: Satellites to WSOPC Caesars Palace is running tons of satellites to the World Series of poker this year, but as the World Series of Poker is still a ways off (it will be here sooner than you think though) is also offering their players satellites to an event a little closer on the calendar, the WSOP Circuit Series stop at Caesars Palace which begins on February 28th. Beginning on February 19th and running through the 26th, will host a nightly satellite to the $1,650 Main Event at the WSOPC Caesars Palace. The satellites will be $16.50 buy-ins with rebuys and add-ons available. At least one seat will be awarded each night. You can find the complete satellite schedule by visiting The Ultimate Poker Scoop: Two Street Holdem on hold After we spent last week’s Ultimate Poker Scoop teasing the imminent launch of Two Street Holdem, Ultimate Poker threw a monkey wrench in the engine and put a damper on things when they announced the launch of their new game would be put on hold to work out a few more details. The delay was relayed to the poker community by Chris Danek, who also happens to be the game’s creator. According to Danek’s Twitter account, UP is still trying to work out the best blind/ante structure for the game as well as iron some of the interface issues the game creates—being a two street game and using the four-street software of Holdem games. Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada Sunday $15K Guaranteed The Sunday Guaranteed in Nevada blew through its guarantee this week, as 89 players put up the $215 buy-in ($200+$15), creating a prize-pool of $17,800. Here is a look at how the final table participants fared:
MrBeaumont – $5,073.00
deigo – $2,937.00
Leona – $1,780.00
BShriever5 – $1,424.00
Roldy – $1,228.20
MrMcSpewins – $1050.20
Turbozzz – $872.20
SuGaRaY71 – $605.20
Karla10 – $480.60 The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker Ultimate Poker’s $100 buy-in ($91+$9) $10k Sunday Guaranteed pulled in 119 players, just inching past the guarantee, as the prize-pool’s final tally was $10,829.
dubasdb – $2,782.54
RunninGoodMC – $1,949.44
allprowi – $1,324.65
FeelsGoodMan – $983.10
PokerPro – $758.17
BullDog59 – $583.24
DeepInYa – $474.93
jnasty1979 – $256.31 Traffic trends in Nevada Cash-game traffic in Nevada barely moved week-over-week according to is maintaining average traffic numbers of 110-120 cash-game players. Ultimate Poker seems to be using the cruise control button as well, as average traffic at the site remains at 75 cash-game players. The word on the street DiCristina case is up to the Supreme Court This Friday the United States Supreme Court will decide if they will hear the DiCristina v. United States case, which was pivotal in getting poker recognized as a game of skill—a ruling that was unfortunately later reversed. Here is a look at what will be up for discussion from the SCOTUS blog—yeah, the Supreme Court has a blog; who knew: The DiCristina case stems from a private poker game in New York where Lawrence DiCristina was charged with running an illegal gambling operation. DiCristina successfully argued that poker was a game of skill, but that decision was later overturned, and now the case is making its final stop at the Supreme Court. If the court chooses not to hear the case the current ruling will remain.

South Point launches Real Gaming: Becomes Third Online Poker Site in Nevada

As was first reported by’s John Mehaffey the online poker market in Nevada just got a bit more crowded as South Point Casino has launched their Real Gaming platform in the state. After a number of setbacks and delays that included a rebranding (more on those below) Real Gaming is now up and running, but developing their software and gaining the approval of regulators could very well have been the easy part of their journey. Now South Point will have to compete with two already entrenched poker rooms, with a brand new, untested product. An already saturated market Real Gaming will join Ultimate Poker and in a market that has average cash-game traffic of less than 200 players, something that Chris Grove of sees as a potential problem. Although there are only two other sites in the market, Real Gaming is coming in late to the show and with an unusual poker client (more on this in a second) they may have trouble siphoning players away from their competitors. No download necessary South Point’s Real Gaming online poker site is the first HTML5 online poker product in the country, which means it is a Flash based product that doesn’t require a download; the poker room simply opens in a new browser window. The simplicity may be appealing to casual players, but it will likely be off-putting to serious players, who prefer the added features of a fully downloadable client, especially the capability of playing multiple tables. Without first attracting some high-volume players it may be difficult to lure in their target audience (casual players) as they prefer sites with solid player pools, even if the games are a bit tougher. Unique geolocation verification Real Gaming is also unique in another way as well. Player verification at the site is carried out via an app download. Here is how it works [from the website]:
Make sure you have the Real Gaming App installed on your iPhone or Android phone. Download at
Login to and select a game to play in the Lobby.
Click the “SMS” button and you will be sent a Text Message. (You must already have Verified your account.)
Click the link in the Text Message to launch the “Real Gaming” location app on your phone. Once the app says “Get My Token,” push that and then enter the token you receive from the app into the game. Real Gaming’s geolocation method should improve success rates, but like their software, this is an untested method that could prove to be a major advancement or a major disappointment. Nevada revenue numbers should be available soon With the launch of Real Gaming we will also start seeing revenue numbers from Nevada’s online poker market—which has me and my fellow iGaming nerds aficionados doing cartwheels. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has been holding off on releasing any data regarding the iGaming industry until three sites were up and running. According to Chris Grove the NGCB has confirmed online poker revenue numbers will be included in the February report, which will be released in March, and we’ll get our first look at the revenue numbers from this nearly year-old industry. Timeline of South Point’s online poker client
South Point was the first company to get the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s stamp of approval on their Internet poker license way back in August of 2012.
Following their licensure, South Point proclaimed that they would be the first online poker site in the state, and had designs on a 2012 launch, which was later pushed back to early 2013, and obviously neither timeframe was kept.
In October of 2011 South Point launched an in-house free-play online poker room created by Zen Entertainment, and dubbed South Point Poker. This room was later slightly upgraded in 2013 as the company started to prepare for a real-money launch in Nevada. However, players gave the free-play room abysmal reviews and South Point went back to the drawing board. Real Gaming’s current real-money online poker site was developed in-house, and not by Zen Entertainment.
In July of 2013 South Point ditched it’s eponymously named online poker site in favor of the more ambiguous, Real Gaming brand.
On February 19th, 2014 Real Gaming launched in Nevada and will now go through the rigorous trial period demanded by the NGC.

Why Choose Regulated Poker Over Unregulated Poker

Faster withdrawal times, improved oversight and transparency, and the knowledge that your money is safe and secure are just a few of improvements regulated online poker will offer US players. In this column I’ll make the case why US players should start jumping on the regulated online poker bandwagon and swearing off unregulated online poker rooms. If you’re on the fence or having a hard time quitting your current unregulated online poker room then I suggest you keep reading. Reason #1 — Oversight With the onset of legalized, regulated online poker, US online poker players have their state regulatory bodies to lean on and hold accountable, who in turn have to answer to elected officials in the state. These added layers of oversight are the reason live casinos are so trusted when it comes to the safety of your money and the fairness of the games being offered in the United States, and now these same protections will extend to online casinos and poker rooms. If you play at a licensed, regulated online poker site, never again will you have to worry whether or not the people protecting your money is little more than a “fly-by-night” offshore regulatory body that has setup shop in some far-flung locale: Regulatory bodies that rely on the same companies they are overseeing for their very existence –with some, like Kahnawake’s Joe Norton, possessing ownership interests in the very poker rooms they are suppose to regulate! Reason #2 — Transparency In addition to having more reputable and legitimate oversight, regulated online poker rooms are far more transparent, allowing patrons to see everything from their licensing details to the company’s management structure, to the breakdown of their rake structure –which is now required by law. Now that online poker rooms are subjected to legitimate licensing requirements that require transparency, the potential for a shady individual to hide within a company’s infrastructure (or hide their involvement through a shell company) is a thing of the past. There will be no more “October Surprises” for online poker players. This transparency also prevents companies from using player funds to pay for other operational expenses, as safeguards are now in place that require frequent audits and stipulate the manner in which a company holds player funds. Reason #3 — Improved Payment Processing One of the most immediate and noticeable improvements that will come about from a regulated online poker market will be the speed with which withdrawals are processed, and the safety of the funds you have in your online account. Online poker players in the US will no longer have to wait weeks to months for a check to arrive, and will no longer have to fret that the check might be printed on rubber paper. From now on, when you deposit at an online poker room, your money will not immediately lose value (players at some current unregulated sites sell their account balances for mere pennies on the dollar) and it will no longer be tied-up for months on end. In addition to the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have access to your money, players will also have far more deposit and withdrawal options to choose from, with payment processors and credit cards no longer restricted from handling online poker transactions –provided they are themselves licensed. Reason #4 — Look at the track record If I still haven’t convinced you why you should choose regulated online poker sites over unregulated online poker rooms, look no further than the track-record of unregulated Internet poker sites over the years:
PokerSpot – PokerSpot was the first online poker site to leave the poker community high and dry in 2002, when the Dutch Boyd led poker room went belly up owing some $400,000 to their players – money that still has not been paid back to this day.
Ultimate Bet – Over the course of several years, Ultimate Bet insiders stole tens-of-millions of dollars from players through a cheating program, and when the DOJ indicted the owners of the site on April 15, 2011, UB continued to accept deposits and later went belly-up owing the community somewhere in the realm of seven figures.
Absolute Poker – Like their sister site Ultimate Bet (the two companies merged in 2010), AP was another site involved in an insider cheating scandal, and left players out in the cold, owing millions, when they were finally shut-down.
Full Tilt Poker – US Full Tilt Poker players are still waiting for about $150 million of their money; money they have not had access to since April 15, 2011.
Lock Poker – How bad is the situation at Lock Poker? Lock Poker’s withdrawal times are so slow, and the company’s ability to pay is in such question that $100 of Lock Poker money is worth somewhere between $10 and $25 on the open market. And this doesn’t even cover the countless examples of online poker rooms seizing legitimate accounts, slowpaying their players, or turning a blind eye to cheating. It’s time to toss away the security blanket and demand what’s better Change is hard, and it can be unpleasant at first, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, and when it comes to online poker in the US, changing from an unregulated to a regulated market is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, that change is starting to occur across the United States, with licensed Nevada online poker rooms up and running, and Delaware and New Jersey on the precipice of joining the list of states with regulated online poker. But even in locales that have licensed online poker rooms, many online poker players are still playing at, or considering playing at, unregulated online poker sites. As I outlined above this is a major mistake. It might be the appeal of larger player pools, or the bonuses and promotions being offered that lure you in, but just remember: There is a reason the site is offering you a deal that seems too good to be true, and more importantly, there is a reason the site has not applied for a license or has been turned down. Sure, some unregulated online poker sites have done right by you over the years, and some unregulated online poker rooms have very good track records and decent reputations. But keep two things in mind: 1. These sites are already breaking at least one law by operating in the US, so what other laws are they willing to break? 2. Unlicensed sites are graded on a very steep curve, and if the curve includes sites like Ultimate Bet, Lock Poker, and PokerSpot, it’s not hard to come out looking like a well-oiled machine. These unlicensed sites are hoping you turn a blind eye to their failings, and choose familiarity and the status quo over progress. The valedictorian of summer school Even if an unregulated site has a solid reputation even these supposed well-oiled machines have their problems. In the current unregulated market they don’t even appear to be problems, but in a regulated market, lengthy withdrawal times, unnecessary fees, and lackluster security against collusion and poker bots would never be tolerated. They are for lack of a better term, the valedictorian of summer school. Since their offshore licensing bodies don’t demand tight security measures and don’t have the capability of diligent oversight, these problems are currently just accepted as part of the process by online poker players; in a regulated market they are being stamped out. In poker forum parlance: Regulated Poker > Unregulated Poker.

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