Juicy Stakes withdrawal declined. They are trying to extort players.
Let me first give some history. I made my Juicy Stakes
account in March of 2012 with a "Free $10 No Deposit Bonus" by downloading it through a forum that is no longer in business. The only requirement was that in order to cashout that free $10, I would need to accumulate 100 FPP's. Eventually I had grinded my way to roughly $1000 and had cleared 300+ FPP's. At that time Juicy Stakes payments were taking roughly 5-8 months to receive. To my surprise (and everyone else's on JS) they sold the company to Zagox Management, and they agreed to start paying players out in 3-15 days, but they would charge a $100 fee to do so, and the minimum cashout would be $250. I submitted a cashout in March of 2013 for $800, and left $100 or so in my account. And received the check in 10 days. All was well...
In the time being, lots of players started to stop playing at Juicy Stakes, and were happy they could actually get their funds off the site in a timely fashion. Since there was a decline in traffic, the guarantees started to get cut and the MTT selection at JS was drastically impacted. During this time I started to play less and less at JS, due to limited game selection. And the fact that they did away with private forum games, which I played often.
Over the past few months, I had decided to start playing a little more at JS and try to get my bankroll to that $250 threshold, so I could just basically cashout my balance and be done with that site. Since there is limited MTT selection (ex. $5.50 buy-in, $200 Gtd) I played some ring games and, well it didn't go my way and I spewed like $60 bucks. At that point, I looked for the best MTT option for my bankroll and started to play. I had some success and as of a week ago, I had nearly $500 in my account. At that point I decided it was time to withdrawal.
On 1/11/14, I submitted a withdrawal of $471.08 And on 11/13/15 I received an e-mail saying my withdrawal was declined! Here is a copy of that e-mail
Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,
Congratulations on your winnings and thank you for choosing Juicy stakes.
Your pending Withdrawal of $471.08 via Check has been declined. This is due to your not accumulating the required net rake for receiving a payment from your account.
We ask that accumulate $80.00 in Net rake before a payment can be issued from your account.
Should you have any further queries please contact our Support team or the Poker Manager.
Juicy Stakes Poker
After getting that e-mail, I instantly contacted support to figure out WTF they were talking about. I explain that I have cashed out in the past with NO ISSUES, and tell them that their Terms Of Service says nothing in it about any of these rake requirements.. AFter going back and forth through e-mail for 6 days with support, they basically tell me it's a decision made by a Poker Manager and for more info I could contact Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a copy of the e-mail
This is a follow-up to your query regarding the rake needed in order for you to make a withdrawal. Kindly note, that your query was escalated to the Poker Manager and we were advised that for further explanation on this, you can send an email to Adam at email@example.com
Thank you for your understanding and have a pleasant day.
Juicy Stakes Support
I then e-mailed Adam, as instructed, and explained the situation (for the 5th time.) On 1/19/15 I received this response
Good morning Sean!
I hope this finds you well and that you have had a good weekend!
When we took over Juicy Stakes in October 2013 our goal was to create a stable and secure poker environment for the Juicy Stakes poker players. A poker environment where players could enjoy playing poker and being able to withdraw their winnings in a timely manner which was not possible with the past owners. We took over all the existing player funds at that time without receiving a cent from the old owners. This take-over made it possible for players to withdraw their funds that were basically lost at the old Juicy Stakes.
For this to work out for the players and for us as a company we need players to play and not only to withdraw their funds. We guarantee to process withdrawals as long as players play and invest a bit in this project.
Since we took over your gaming at Juicy Stakes has been very limited and we have already paid out $800 to you. If you want to continue to enjoy our good cash-outs then you will have to accumulate $80 in net rake before you can withdraw again.
If you have any further queries, please contact us we will be happy to assist.
Juicy Stakes Affiliate Team
I was astonished to say the least after getting this e-mail... I instantly fired off a reply to Adam and that e-mail. It read
I'm at a loss for words after reading that e-mail I was sent by you.. I find it comical that you would even send an e-mail like that to your customers.. You guys are trying to place blame on someone else (old owners,) and act like you are doing us (your customers) a favor.. Not really sure what any of that has to do with me? You guys are the ones that decided to take over a company that was having financial issues, or at least, issues paying their customers. AND YOU KNEW THAT GOING INTO YOUR ACQUISITION OF JUICY STAKES! So if things didn't exactly pan out for you on your end after acquiring Juicy Stakes, that's really here nor there, in terms of the customers.... You knew what you were getting yourselves into, prior to taking over. In other words, you knew the responsibility you were assuming when you guys took over. Period. So for you to now, suddenly, try and change the terms and conditions on cashouts... Well, that's basically extortion. Needless to say, that is no way to run a business! Why weren't these changes put into place, when you first acquired Juicy Stakes? Rather than, more than a year later? And why wasn't I, as a customer, ever informed of these changes? If you were going to make a major change, one would assume you would inform your customers, but that didn't, and hasn't happened! Again, that's no way to run a business.
As far as my play is concerned, I play the games that interest me.. With that said, over the past year your tournament lobby has been drastically reduced, in terms of the number of games available, and in terms of Guarantees offered. Since I'm not a fan of turbo games, nor do I choose to play games with buy-ins under a dollar, there isn't much to choose from. That and the way you have increased the number of players that get paid in any given tournament (basically diluting the prizepools), again, I'm not a fan of that, which leads me to play here less. If you look at my play history, you will see that I took to the cash game tables a few months ago, and paid the price.. After that, I decided that I would stick to playing MTT's, as that is where my comfort zone is. And since then, have played the MTT's of my choice, when my time permits.
At this point, I'm sick to my stomach over this whole ordeal. I submitted a cashout request on 1/11/15. And it took me 3 phone calls to support, as well as 3 e-mails, and 8 days for you to finally get back to me with this ridiculous ruling. If this is the way you are now running the business, why did it take 8 days for me to receive an e-mail that tries to basically extort me? Why didn't I just receive this e-mail from the beginning? It just seems like a really shady way to do things..
Seeing as I run the risk of going broke before I ever reach $80 in rake... As I would need to play more than $800 worth of tournament buy-in's before reaching $80 in rake, and my balance is roughly $500... (not to mention the lack of games that peak my interest) Can you just deduct $80 from my balance, and call it rake? Making it so I can go ahead and cashout? Hopefully you can see things from my side. And you can understand how I see this as basically extortion.
Look at it from my perspective. A few months ago, I had $120 or so in my account. So, at that point, I was trying to grind my balance to $250, so I could then make a cashout. Considering the minimum cashout is/was $250, I had some work to do.. Now, a few months later, and after I have reached that $250 cashout threshold, so I can go ahead and make a cashout... I am being told I have to generate $80 in rake, out of the blue!
Looking forward to a response, and hopefully we can get this resolved asap.
So yesterday, 1/21/15, I got a reply from Adam. It read
I am sorry that you see it that way and see it as extortion even though we have already paid you $800 without any requirements. The requested withdrawal was paid back in 2013 to show you that our processing was working and that we were willing to work with our customers.
If you want to continue to enjoy our good cash-outs then you will have to accumulate $80 in net rake before you can withdraw again.
Juicy Stakes Affiliate Team
At this point, it looks like I'm ****ed. And if you play at JS, you probably are too... I have been doing as much research as I can and have found that I'm not the only one they are doing this to! I have found 3 other cases where they are doing this to other players aswell. One of those players has a balance of $8K. And the other, a balance of $300K. Boy do I feel for the guy with $300K on the site.. At this point, all I can really do is, try to grind that $80 in net rake (without going broke) and SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THESE SHADY ****S!
What they are doing is basically extortion! If you play at Juicy Stakes, beware!