Bitcoin poker remains as one of the widely popular games in Bitcoin gambling. Other than the excitement in using skills to beat opponents to win the pot, cashing out wins has never been the same with Bitcoin on board.
Fast withdrawals sealed the deal for playing poker with Bitcoin, given the dawdling cashout process in real-money poker rooms online. The benefits of the cryptocurrency like player anonymity and worldwide accessibility further made Bitcoin poker a clear winner among avid players.
These qualities also opened a window of opportunity for Bitcoin poker to establish a solid stand in the iGaming market, matching the popularity of the early favorites like Bitcoin casino and Bitcoin dice.
Year 2015 started well for the Bitcoin poker brands, but the road leading to market success proved to be filled with obstacles.
Bitcoin poker had a promising start this year with several poker websites poised to offer improved services and gameplay.
BurnTurn Poker, a rebrand of Satoshi Poker under a new management, promised a distinct Bitcoin poker experience. Leaving the traditional casino ambiance for a modern interface highlighted by artistic graphics, the poker site launched in beta testing phase in April and gave a taste of what is in store.
But the reimagined Bitcoin poker it brought to the table only lasted four months as the website is now offline.
Suffering a similar fate is BitnPlay, which forwarded instant betting in poker.
BitnPlay Co-Founder Andreas Anastasiades previously told Best Bitcoin Casino:
“Our competitive advantage is that we use Bitcoin as more than just a payment method: we eliminate the concept of deposits and withdrawals to separate the financial and gaming aspects of poker.”
This setup, however, might have been too premature for the Bitcoin market since the curtains fell on BitnPlay shortly after.
Staying in competition a challenge in itself
With the numerous names earlier announced to offer Bitcoin poker, only a few held their ground. GetLuckyPoker, owned and created by Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi, is still online, but its doors are still closed for new players due to ‘closed beta testing.’
Breakout Gaming, another brand that received so much hype this year, is yet to showcase its services. Fortunately, the new gaming platform that features a team of brand ambassadors composed of professional poker players like the back-to-back World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Johnny Chan still shows signs of determination to deliver.
Moreover, SwCPoker, which was the offshoot of arguably the largest Bitcoin-poker site then, Seals With Clubs, is yet to match its predecessor’s performance and record. Seals With Clubs, which was run by Bryan Micon, went offline as a result of the legal battle that had Micon serve two years in detention and pay a fine of $25,000.
Hope still shines for Bitcoin poker
Although the Bitcoin-only poker sites struggle to succeed, the market for cryptocurrency poker still thrives, but it involves the fiat currencies.
Ever since Americas Cardroom, an online poker under the Winning Poker Network, began processing Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, its potential to gain more followers heightened. Add to this its series of $1M GTD tournaments that were warmly received despite cases of DDoS attacks.
This year might not have been all too favorable for Bitcoin-only poker sites, but this is not an indication of what the future of Bitcoin poker is coming into 2016. With the market gaining more exposure and stability, Bitcoin poker can bounce back, especially with the full operation of the aspirants in this trade.