Ultimate Poker Hits First Hurdle
Nevada gaming regulators are determining the relationship between Ultimate Poker and an unlicensed service provider. Ultimate Poker, owned largely by Station Casinos, is the first legal online poker room in the United States currently available only to Nevada-based players.
The unlicensed service provider is Iovation, a company that was linked to a 2008 online cheating scandal where players could peek at the hole cards of other players and resulted in a speculated loss of over $20 million in four years.
A.G. Burnett, Chairman of the Gaming Control Board, stated that the agency is working with officials from Ultimate Poker to determine the extent of the relationship. As of last weekend, an Ultimate Poker spokesperson stated the company had discontinued using services from Iovation, addressing several concerns placed on poker forums and threads regarding Iovation and its ties to the disgraced UltimateBet (no relation). “We understand that there were concerns among some of our customers. We hope this makes our players feel more comfortable,” the statement added.
Iovation was a sub-contractor for CAMS, a Nevada-approved service provider. The use of Iovation caught the attention of several online poker players, who rang up the forums, websites, and news threads loud enough to encourage a company response.
Said Burnett in a statement, “This is in the category of where the ultimate responsibility rests upon the licensee, and I know they are addressing the issue. We, in turn, will analyze what we receive back from Ultimate and decide how to proceed from there.”
According to its Facebook page, which currently lists almost 46,000 likes, Ultimate Poker is plowing ahead. Over the weekend, it released Verizon-friendly updates so that people on “America’s Largest and Most Reliable Network” can join in on the fun.
Customer services accessibility and issues are resolvintg, as is expected from an online poker site that was wildly anticipated. According to the comments on the Ultimate Poker Facebook page, the largest player issues seem to be confirming in-state IP addresses when using internet hotspot services. These, among other issues, are sure to be ironed out in the coming weeks and months.
Aside from the current issue with Iovation, Ultimate Poker has received fairly good reviews for its tournaments and services. It reached its 100,000th hand within one week and had 50 active tables after just three days of operation. It’s first real-money online poker tournament saw a Las Vegas resident walk away from his computer with $4,173. The winner, Mr. Daniel Healy, said it best:
“It is really exciting to be a part of history, winning the first tournament. I have been keeping up with the news updates and poker blogs ever since Black Friday hit and was extremely excited to hear that online poker is here.”