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The One REAL Reason to Avoid Lock Poker

There are so many things associated with the ongoing Lock Poker fiasco that have been overstated, overblown, and misunderstood that I felt it was time to take a closer look at what precisely is going on at the often criticized poker room. In this column I’ll focus mainly on the cashout issues the site is having.

Before I get into the cashout issues themselves, and why you should steer clear of Lock Poker for the time being I want to touch on some of the debate and why it’s not really helpful in terms of the larger picture.

Probably the silliest argument you’ll hear from the most vocal critics is the

“We need to get the word out to protect the innocent players!” argument.

Think about this for a second. The rationale seems legit: let’s get the word out on Twitter, and on 2+2, and wherever we can, so people who are completely unaware don’t signup at Lock Poker and lose their deposit. But how do you get the word to people who have no knowledge of 2+2? Anyone who has to Google, “US poker site” isn’t going to be directed to Brian Hastings’ Twitter account, and unless he tweets Lock Poker stuff every day they would have to scroll through the thing to find anything about Lock. And they are not going to “stumble upon” the 2+2 thread.

The only people that are going to read it are people that are already at least casually aware of what is going on –and if you think these people are going to wade through 100 pages of posts (or even a 1,000 word summary) you are sorely mistaken.

Also, let’s keep in mind that people that know nothing about online poker and Lock are probably not plunking down $1,000 on a deposit. Most new players are depositing $50 or some other pittance. So the notion that we are protecting ignorant players is a bit out of touch. I’m sure there is some anecdotal evidence of this, but of greater concern (at least to me) is why we should telling informed people that might be on the fence to avoid the site.

I’m not saying that blasting Lock Poker on social media pointless or that it is wrong to do so, but let’s be realistic as to why we are doing it. Whether subconsciously or not, the people who don’t play at Lock Poker, because they don’t trust the site, don’t want bad players going where they aren’t playing; they want them on their tables. I also think that for many people it’s a matter of wanting to be out ahead of the next scandal.

For me there is a simple, legitimate, reason not to play at Lock Poker. But first, let me explain what I do if anyone asks about Lock Poker or any other US-facing site: I simply tell them that I wouldn’t deposit my money on any of them. If they are still set on playing I resort to making a very uninspiring case for, Bovada (largest), Black Chip Poker (fast cashouts), and a few other rooms with more cons than pros.

The case to be made against Lock is far simpler though: As soon as you deposit your money loses about 70% of its value. Lock funds currently trade for about $.30 on the dollar, and as I learned collecting baseball cards as a kid, the real value is not what is listed, but what people will pay for it.

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