American-Based Online Poker Room Folds

American-Based Online Poker Room Folds

Legal online poker room Live Ace announced they are going out of business due to an inability to generate enough revenue but its customers fortunately won’t be left completely in the hole.

Another one bites the dust. Live Ace, a so-called “legal” online poker room that operated from the United States and allowed Americans to play online poker for real money, is the latest poker room of its kind to go out of business. Live Ace pulled the plug on itself in mid-December, announcing on its website that it has “suspended operations” because it is unable to “generate revenue sufficient to cover our operating costs.”

A Short-Lived Experience

The New York-based site debuted in August and only lasted a scant four months. Live Ace operated via the subscription model, also called the sweepstakes model, in which customers paid a monthly fee to become members of the website and could then participate in online poker tournaments for free. Tournaments awarded cash prizes to winners.

Not a Complete Loss

Although Live Ace going belly-up might be bad news for the site’s customers, there is a silver lining to the cloud. The good news is that all customers have been assured that they will collect 100 percent of the funds in their Live Ace wagering accounts.

Usually when an Internet gambling website of any kind goes out of business, it just closes up shop and disappears. On occasion the website may announce its own demise, but it almost never returns any funds to customers. That’s because there usually aren’t any funds to return—lack of money is what generally causes online gambling sites to fold.

The last major site to go under was World Sports Exchange, a sports betting website. The site folded in April after announcing they were going out of business. However, it also stiffed all its customers out of their monies—funds that totaled millions of dollars.

Full Announcement

A complete statement and announcement were posted on the Live Ace website reading as follows:

“Dear Live Ace users:

Thank you so much for your support since our August launch. We have worked tirelessly over the past two years to bring competitive, legal, rake-free online poker to the U.S. Unfortunately, despite support from our passionate user base, we haven’t been able to generate revenue sufficient to cover our operating costs. As a result, we have suspended operations at this time.
We will continue to honor cash redemption requests until March 1, 2014 and if you have unused Club Live memberships or chip packages we will reimburse you. Cash redemptions of auction winnings will be made via Dwolla or check to the address on file.
Refunds for unused Club Live memberships will generally be reimbursed via credit to the credit card used for the purchase. If you previously submitted a cash redemption for auction winnings via our site, that request will be honored and there’s no need to take further action. In order to redeem cash or request refunds please follow the steps below:

1. Mail a letter (we cannot accept email, website or other electronic communications) detailing your request to:
a. Live Ace LLC, PO Box 20028, New York, NY 10001
b. Please include Username, First and Last Name, Complete Mailing Address (e.g. Street, City, State, ZIP code), Email Address and preferred method of payment: (1) Dwolla with account number and associated email or (2) mailed check.
c. Ensure you are verified to redeem cash auction winnings. If you are not, please include a legible copy of a current government-issued ID and signed form W-9 to verify your identity, age and state of residency.
d. We will make every effort to process requests within 4-6 weeks.

We appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed being able to play competitive online poker again.

The Live Ace Team”

A Few Sites Thrive Online

Legal online poker rooms based in the United States have had mixed success over the years. Some, such as Pure Play, Triple Jack, NLOP and Club WPT are currently thriving.

Pure Play is privately owned and operates from San Francisco, while Triple Jack is privately owned and is run from Florida. NLOP, which stands for National League of Poker, is privately owned and run from Las Vegas, while Club WPT operates from Las Vegas and is owned by the World Poker Tour. Other legal e-poker rooms failed miserably, including Duplicate Poker, Zosoz, Skill Bet and Spade Club, which was owned by Card Player magazine.

A new online poker room called Texas Block ’em announced it will go online in 2014. That room will operate from Palo Alto, a suburb of San Francisco.

Tom Somach
Written by
Tom Somach
Tom Somach is an American journalist who has covered the gambling industry for more than 20 years. Although he has covered every aspect of gambling from bingo to baccarat, his specialities are poker, sports betting and Internet gambling. His work has appeared in newspapers such as the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Edmonton Sun and the Las Vegas Sporting News, and on websites such as Gambling911.com, PokerHelper.com, BettorsWorld.com and RollingGoodTimes.com. In addition, he is a radio host and producer, having appeared on and created numerous radio shows in the USA about poker and sports betting.

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