Struggling online poker site Lock Poker took another kick to the goolies this week after online payment services outfit Skrill announced it would “no longer accept uploads or deposits to Lock Poker.” Skrill offered no specifics on the factors that led to its decision, saying only that the ewallet “reserves the right to suspend functionalities of any Merchant Account” in accordance with its T&Cs.
Skrill insists it will continue to process withdrawals so that players can reclaim their funds, but Lock’s persistent inability/unwillingness to process its players’ withdrawal requests makes it unlikely that Skrill staffers will have to put in much overtime to handle outbound Lock transactions anytime soon.
Lock spokesman Shane Bridges told Pokerfuse that the decision to suspend Skrill deposits was Lock’s idea, part of its plan to focus on “clearing up our cashouts.” (Presumably, once this feat has been accomplished, Lock will attempt to master the complex maneuver of walking and chewing gum at the same time.) Bridges’ claim to have initiated the Skrill restriction brings to mind Lock’s insistence that its expulsion from the Revolution Gaming Network was actually the result of Lock CEO Jennifer Larson (pictured) hitting the ejector seat. Meanwhile, a video of Bridges’ spintastic abilities has surfaced (and is helpfully embedded below.)
Meanwhile, Bridges informed major Lock affiliate Gambling911 that the company was continuing its efforts to redirect criticism by initiating legal proceedings against Revolution with their mutual gaming regulator, the Curacao Licensing Authority. The first charge of the the three-pronged complaint alleges that Pure Poker – the Revolution skin that attempted to convince Lock players to stay with Revolution if they wanted to live – doesn’t hold a valid gaming license. Lock also makes a vague claim that Revolution failed to properly distribute cross-cage funds from Lock to other Revolution skins, saying that the funds had been “allocated … not for the purpose for which they were intended.”
Lock’s final ‘a-ha’ moment comes from its claim that Revolution has violated the terms of an agreement its owners reached with patent troll 1st Technology, which launched legal action against Revolution’s previous incarnation Cake Gaming NV a few years back, citing alleged infringements of 1st Technology-owned patents. Given its understanding of this agreement, Lock believes that “the entire network model may be invalid.”
Since the patents held (but most certainly not developed) by 1st Technology are impossibly vague, it’s unclear whether Lock is arguing the invalidity of Revolution’s network model or the very concept of network poker itself. A belief in the latter would allow Lock a convenient explanation for its decision to face post-Revolution life as a standalone site, rather than be seen to be making futile attempts to convince other poker operators to share liquidity and/or imminent doom. However, Lock will likely come to regret its decision to play the patent troll card, given that much of Lock’s activities are vulnerable to the same litigation.
For instance, Everleaf Gaming’s owners could file suit over Lock’s infringement of their patented ‘method for enraging customers by returning funds in an untimely and haphazard manner.’ Similarly, Full Tilt Poker’s former brain trust could sue over Lock’s violation of its “method for issuing corporate communications blaming third parties for one’s own egregious faults.” And soon enough, those holding the skeletons of Absolute Poker’s intellectual property could sue for Lock’s unauthorized use of their “method for ceasing all operations by disappearing off the face of the earth, leaving aggrieved customers in the dust.”