Blog All About Poker Websites!!!
My bank account has been hacked. This is the second time in the last two months. The first time was not related to any online transaction, but three days ago two forged checks were passed using my bank account number and was likely stolen by one of the many fly-by-night 3rd party payment processors that every online poker site has been forced to use by the United States Department of Justice’s prohibitionary stance against gambling online.
My friend who is in a management position at the biggest bank in the world (also a poker player) told me that the exact same scam was run on him and that there has been rampant fraud since the enforcement portion of the UIGEA was enacted last year. The payment processing organized crime syndicates started with massive amounts of chargeback fraud and apparently graduated to passing forged paper checks. There have been numerous internal memos at this bank linking these online poker transaction directly to fraud cases and have told all banks to watch out for these high risk transactions.
Forged check #1.
Forged check #2.
I was told by the fraud department that whoever gathers the account information gives it someone on the ground, who then deposits the check and receives a percentage commission. It seems to me like it would be extremely easy to find out where and when a check was deposited, pull the video, and arrest the person.
Trying to Catch Some Phish
There is also a phishing scam built into these forged checks, which is fascinating to me.
If you look at the checks, there are websites listed in the memo of each one: ascpay.com and buyvobilling.com. If you visit these websites, you will notice that they look different but have the exact same wording on all pages. Example:
- From buyvobilliong.com: “The BG is a 21st century company with a strong focus on growth and value. We believe that by providing our customers with a valuable service and at a competative price we can create the type of company that customers are willing to come back to.”
- From ascpay.com: “ASC is a 21st century company with a strong focus on growth and value. We believe that by providing our customers with a valuable service and at a competative price we can create the type of company that customers are willing to come back to.”
Both of these websites have live help chatting feature, and when I visited them I tried to chat and see what they would say, but they put me on hold for hours without answering.
Both of these websites have an “866″ number and when I called each, they both had almost the exact same run around message referring me to a billing department that then had a recording explaining that due to unusually high call volume, I should send them an email. I have sent a nice email asking for help with a check I don’t recognize, and if they could please email me back with an explanation.
I suspect that they are trying to accomplish one thing for sure and one thing not for sure. They are definitely trying to throw you off the scent so that you do not immediately contact your bank’s fraud department. They want to give you the run around long enough that they can get away with my loot. If I actually get an email back, then I suspect the only reason would be to phish for more info so they could defraud me more.
There are several things that are ridiculous here:
- Checks are not being physicaly examined prior to be debited from my bank account. I was told that checks for under a certain amount of money do not get verified, and that no one ever physically lays eyes on them at all.
- The United States government is making ridiculous laws that create an unmanageable situation for the banks that are supposed to enforce said retarded laws. This prohibition stance is looking more and more like prohibitions of the past and present. Instead of focusing on regulation and quality control, the criminals are allowed to run rampant and make all the money, while government agencies spend time and money fighting a neverending war. As soon as one drug dealer gets locked up, another pops up in his place. As soon an overseas payment processor gets shut down, another one pops up in its place, and is determined to make as much money as possible in a short amount of time before it is shut down. By any means necessary. Fuck you, poker players. That’s what you get for doing stuff we don’t like. See? Criminals will steal your money and steal your identity. See how bad gambling online is? You should stop! This is why we can’t allow it in our country.
- This is one that should be a totally separate post, but playing online poker did not cause this. The only people online who have my bank account information are the affiliate departments for several online poker sites. So the problem is… Since I am getting paid for marketing services only, why the fuck am I getting paid by these 3rd party payment processors whose purpose is purely to process gambling related transactions? Why am I not getting cut a check directly from the affiliate program’s checkbook? Why am I getting paid by thugs when all I am is a marketer, not a lowly gambler? (sarcasm obv)
I will update this when (if) I get a response from Buyvo or ASC.
Has anyone else seen this scam? If my bank source is correct, this has been going on a lot lately.
Like me are you on the look out for easier ways to fulfil your big poker tournament dream i.e. have someone else foot the hefty buy-in costs? If you are, then you’d probably love what I found. A few days back I came across a new poker site called appropriately enough, “BuyinBank.com” that announced “Play More Live Tournaments”. My curiosity aroused, I went about exploring the site to find out exactly what was on offer and what the strings were.
I found that BuyinBank.com was a new site that had just launched, but unlike the usual poker sites where you play poker, this is a site that aims to provide poker fans something more than just playing poker – it offers you an easy way to play at major poker tournaments held around the world. BuyinBank.com let’s you chose the live poker tournaments you want to play and funds your buy-in costs. And even more amazingly, if you do well at these tournaments, you get a fair stab at earning a poker sponsorship with them and having your dreams come true. I thought, wow, this is it – the answer to the question on how to keep funding the entire buy-in costs. So I spent some time digging into the site a little deeper and here’s what I found:
I discovered that Buy-in Bank presents the poker player with a unique poker rewards program that helps them earn buy-ins which down the road, could result in full sponsorship based on your performance. BuyinBank.com has tied up with some well-known poker sites. Players can play at any of these sites and earn points known as “Grinder Points” which can be exchanged for sponsorship packages. Grinder Points are like air miles; the more real money games you play, the more points you earn. Of course, to take part in these promotions you first need to open a free Buy-in Bank account.
Once you open an account at BuyinBank.com, you must select a poker room from those listed and download the software. Register at the poker site, make your deposit and inform Buy-in bank of your username there. Effectively, this process links the poker room to your Buy-in Bank account allowing you to begin earning your Grinder Points by playing poker. You also earn Grinder points for referring a friend to the site. The next step is to utilize the points you earned at the “Poker Tour Store”, which is the site’s online store where you can get a poker sponsorship package in exchange for the points.
BuyinBank.com is also looking for poker players to represent their brand at live tournaments. So, if you are interested, you could let them know about it and you will receive a kit containing a branded shirt and hat to wear at the tournament. Depending on the outcome, you stand to gain special prizes and even a sponsorship deal.
The BuyinBank.com website: The overall appearance is pleasing to the eye and the site is extremely user friendly and easy to navigate. If you have any queries or face any problem which is not covered by the FAQ section, you can always correspond with the support staff via email. The site has a News Section where you can read up on the latest news in the poker world. Also, the Poker Strategy Section tries to put up poker related articles that would be useful to players at all levels. I’d say that BuyinBank.com is a one stop shop for poker enthusiasts – it helps improve your game and keeps you updated on the latest poker news. Above all, you can live your dream of playing at a live poker tournament and get sponsored too!
So this is the first “Friday Roundup” or “Weekly Roundup” — which gives me more leeway to post it on not a Friday, which sounds appealing — at PokerWebsites.net. It may be the last time this is actually on a Friday since Thursday night dart league is starting back up soon and obviously preempts any “work” to be done on Fridays. We’ll see.
* If you scour that website real hard, you can find my impressive 5-26 record last year (16%). It was a thing of beauty. At least I came in 4th to last – 3rd to last would’ve ruined my year.
So, obviously the big news around here this week was the addition of an honest-to-God newfangled blog on this here website.
We have been working behind the scenes to add some sick features and will hopefully be updating our poker forum tracker to be more useful (and whimsical!) as well as getting the online poker site traffic page back up and running. It hasn’t worked since we changed the cms like forever ago. It was kind of weak to start with though, so whatever. I vow to get that back up and running and blow Poker Scout and Poker Listings out of the water! …or at least make our number prettier than theirs, which has to count for something.
The new content we got up this week was mainly new poker toplists such as the best low rake poker sites, easiest poker sites, and I even got one up that have no use to anyone productive on the planet highlighting the best poker sites to play while at your job. Just consider that my own personal contribution to the coming double dip recession that everyone believes isn’t coming. Enjoy!
World Cup Mania!!
He should have caught it with his hands. Duh.
Let me preface this by stating that I am from America and know absolutely nothing about soccer. California, actually – contrary to me using “yeehaw” in the above title, I am not from Texas.
I couldn’t care less about soccer (see – football, futbol), but every four years I pretend to know a bunch about soccer and look down my nose at stupid Americans that can’t appreciate the finer points of the beautiful game when the World Cup rolls around. The 0.05% of Americans that give a shit about the World Cup got our hearts ripped out with an extra time loss last Saturday to Ghana, and I promptly adopted Ghana as my new favorite team, just like in 2006 when Ghana beat the U.S. too.
And they promptly lost one of the most heart-wrenching games of any sport I have ever seen this morning. Man that was a good game.
...like this idiot.
Luis Suarez from Uruguay is a huge douche, even for a soccer player. He was flopping all around the field and then absolutely robbed Ghana of the winning goal on the last play of the game with a totally lame intentional handball at the goal line. LOL, soccer.
Anyways, go whoever wins! The World Cup is all about comraderie and friendship between nations right? Yay!
Apparently, I will use this space to talk about completely random things that no one probably cares about except for me, so deal with that if you ever come back here.
In other news, the World Series of Poker has been going on all month and the Main Event is starting up. Who cares.
See y’all next week! Maybe.
Comment starter – Is this a complete waste of time?
If I could give one tip to most poker webmasters who are adding poker strategy articles to their new poker website it would be:
Please. Just stop.
- If you are writing these articles yourself, just stop.
- If you are paying someone who is not a well known pro to write poker strategy, just stop.
- If you are writing poker strategy articles because “Well, I have a poker website. I need to have some poker strategy…” Just stop.
I have seen way too many poker websites that have shitty poker strategy articles where they just do not fit or add any value at all. Your “Chili Poker Bonus Codes” website does not need a page about “2-7 Triple-Draw Lowball Starting Hands.”
I have seen the exact scenario above. It’s like poker webmasters go “Uhhh… well I can only think of three pages that make sense on this super small niche exact match domain name that I have. I know! Seven Card Stud strategy articles! That’s exactly what this site needs. No one will see that coming!”
If you can’t think of any more on topic pages for your topic, then stop writing.
We Don’t Need More Inaccurate Poker Strategy
The internet is littered with crap poker startegy. We do not need more. If you are tempted to write poker strategy, link to the best page you can find on that topic instead. There are plenty of very high quality poker strategy resources like Ed Miller’s blog or Greg Walker’s ThePokerBank.com. You will not add anything more than what these poker experts have already added to the web. You just won’t.
Link to them, don’t hire some losing $50 no limit player to write weak strategy that will contribute to people losing money.
It Really is All About Quality
If you really are a poker expert, or as close to being whatever that means that people wouldn’t flame you on 2+2 for claiming to be one, then by all means, write about poker strategy until your fingers bleed. If you have a new theorem or way to approach the game mentally like someone amazing like Tommy Angelo does, then by all means, enlighten us all.
If your site isn’t about poker strategy, then why have a poker strategy section? I made the mistake of doing everything that I have mentioned above when I started out on my first website. No one visited the strategy section, and no one got any better at poker by reading any of the basic strategy articles I had there. But I felt like I needed poker strategy articles there, because what respectable website about poker doesn’t help the visitors get better? Mine didn’t, even though I tried.
I have learned to leave the teaching to the people who are qualified to teach, and stick to my little corner of the web, helping people find the right poker room to play at.
What is the point of your site? Stick to it.
Here it is. This is the all new PokerWebsites.net (PW.net) blog.
I (Nick) will be updating this blog on a regular basis as well with site news, a weekly spotlight on other poker websites, and notable online poker site developments. The other writers for PW.net will be also contributing here to announce new content on this site as well as writing some general online poker site news.
I also plan on using this blog as a platform to share my development and ideas about pw.net and the (online) poker business as a whole. Occasionally I am sober enough to come up with some cogent thoughts that I think might be interesting enough to share with you, my faithful minions. We’ll have to wait and see if that holds true. I’m pretty bad at telling the future.
So PW.net has been live in various forms of completion since mid-October 2009, which make it about seven months old at this time. I have spent nearly every waking second (in between LOST and Bad Girls Club marathons) trying to make this website shiny enough to get some traffic. Everything was going swimmingly until the Google “Mayday” update, when my spiking traffic numbers on the site spiked into the ground suddenly. This may have been a blessing in disguise as I have spent a lot of time learning and researching and taking a renewed interest in how to build organic (Google) traffic.
It seems I had fallen behind the times on some of the newer trends in search engine marketing in general. I had always been of the school of thought “build a good website and they will come,” but every webmaster knows that it takes a bit more than that. It takes having friends and other websites of your own that can give you some good links to get Google to notice you. Traffic and pageviews have started to trend back upwards in the last few weeks and we have started to get a lot more international non-U.S. traffic also, which is a big current and future focus of mine. This is especially important for traffic as the U.S. online poker future is still a tumultuous one.
The Future (Maybe)
I am currently working on getting more great content, feature and tools up and running.
We currently have a cool feature tracking and ranking all of the biggest poker forums based on traffic and post counts; both cumulative to date and daily in the past 24 hours. It is updated daily and I believe that that our poker forum tracker is the best page of its kind online.
I am working with a programmer to release a couple very cool WordPress plug-ins as well that I think a lot of poker webmasters will want to use on all of their websites powered by WP.
I hope to add a lot of translated content in the next few months and focus on making this a truly international website that can offer a lot of detailed info and tips for poker players from all over the globe.
Social Media Integration
Everyone knows that Facebook and Twitter are the biggest thing online since Pets.com, and I have finally come around to agreeing with everyone. We are working on integrating more social media features into this site (Comment below!). I know a blogs are the dinosaurs of social media interactivity, but this blog is the first real step in that direction. On all non-blog pages on PW.net, you can currently share that page on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, as well as email or share on the other countless millions of social bookmarking and network sites. I plan on making this easier than is currently offered, as well as making blog posts here automatically show up in our Facebook fan page, and (upcoming) Twitter fan page.
Click here to become a fan of PW.net on Facebook!
The Future of This Blog
So I plan on blogging here at least once a week with a “State of PokerWebsites.net” type post, which will talk about what we have done that week, highlighting new / updated content as well as any interesting news in the online poker business world. I want to also highlight good things that other poker webmasters are doing, so if you are a poker webmaster and have added anything cool or unique lately that you think should be highlighted here, feel free to comment below or get ahold of me on the contact us page.