Seals With Clubs (SwC), the suddenly defunct Bitcoin-only only poker website, has announced that all its players must cash out their balances by May 5, 2015, or they will be lost.
SwC was the biggest Bitcoin poker operator on the market until it suddenly went offline on February 11, citing a “hardware failure,” which it quickly told its Twitter followers it was working to resolve in “ETA 2 hours.”
However, the hours stretched into days, and a full nine days later, SwC announced it would be ceasing all operations due to threats to “operational security” that had plunged the site into “a perpetual state of jeopardy.”
Meanwhile, SwC Chairman Bryan Micon revealed that his house had been raided by the Nevada Gaming Commission on the very day SwC went offline. Micon, who was marched onto his lawn by armed officers, and had computers and electronics equipment confiscated before being released without charge, said the raid on his house was not related to the technical difficulties experienced by Seals With Clubs.
He did, however, explain that the rest of the SwC management had chosen not to continue with the poker site and that he would revive the project under the name SwCPoker.
“It’s unclear what happened,” said Micon. “The system is, of course, very secure and has thwarted hacking attempts in the past, so it’s unclear to me what, from a technical perspective, exactly went down, but the rest of Seals With Clubs management quit.
They do not want to continue after this, and I do. So, Seals With Clubs will continue to wind down, cash outs will continue to be processed, all the bitcoins were saved.”
The message to former SwC players this week was clear, however: time to cash out those Bitcoins. “The cash out system will only be maintained for another sixty (60) days,” said a statement on the site. “All activity on the sealswithclubs.eu domain will cease on May 5th, 2015. After this date it will not be possible to retrieve your balances, connect an email address to an account, or reset your password. Please request your cashouts immediately and pass along this notice to others if you know any former players.”
Micon launched SwCPoker with a new management team at the end of February and after a slow start, the site is beginning to gain traction, with weekly cash game averages now around 50 to 60 players, according PokerScout.
Still smarting from the humiliation of the armed raid on his home, he has moved to Antigua. “I didn’t really want my two-year-old daughter, whom I love very much, to grow up in a police state, where creativity is often met with guns and handcuffs,” he said.