Lock and Cake may have played a part in the downfall of Intertops, but made a lot of mistakes of their own. It did, of course, begin when they found themselves on the same network a Lock. By then, everyone was beginning to realize that Lock funds were pretty much like Monopoly money. It made sense for the other sites on the network to segregate themselves from Lock. But they also segregated themselves from each other.
This segregation meant that rather than having a combined player pool, each site had to rely on it's own, much smaller, player pool to fill it's tournaments. When sites couldn't meet the guarantees by themselves, the guarantees started dropping, and a lot of tournaments disappeared altogether. I hung in there for a while hoping that Lock would go away and segregation would be lifted. But even after Lock left the network, many sites, including Intertops, chose to stay segregated. Every once in a while, it seemed like they were starting to try to rebuild their tournament schedule, they would suddenly gut it again. What finally did it for me was when all of their straight tournaments seemed to be replaced by rebuys/add-ons, re-entries, turbos, ultra turbos or bounties or some combination of them. To me, all of these formats tend to promote outrageous play, like players shoving 73 blinds into a pot that's got 16 blinds in it to pick up a bounty. Or because it's a turbo and blinds are going up going up, even though they're only on the second level. Or because they know they buy themselves out of their horrible play when they should have been eliminated.
Of course the cash game action dried up as well, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has ever paid attention, especially while multi-tabling. Say there are four 9 seat tables going at a particular stake. If you were to observe the players at each table, you would notice that many of the players are sitting at two, three or even all four tables. That means that 36 seats might be occupied by 18 or 20 players. While on the Cake network these players might have come from across a network of up to 30 skins. For the sake of making a simple point, let's assume 20 players, let's say from 10 different skins. That's 2 players per skin. Now segregate all of the skins from each other and see what happens to their cash games.
It has been suggest that Intertops makes so much money from their sportsbook that they simply don't care about the poker site. Intertops is supposed to be part of a company that operates one of the oldest and largest sportbooks in the world, with yearly profits estimated to be in the billions. There may be some validity to that theory.
I don't know why they choose to remain segregated when Lock poker is no longer on the same network as them. It would seem that even if they chose not to invest in their poker site, the very least they could do is be part of a decent network. Whatever the reason, one of the best poker sites
in the world, outside of the big two, seems to have gone to heck. I myself haven't logged onto it in about 5 months. I believe I still have about $150 there. I left it there in the hopes that Intertops might recover. More and more I'm starting to doubt that that will ever happen.