It's been a terrible week for Bitcoin poker, as SealsWithClubs announced on their website, as well as on forums, that they have decided to close down the poker room effective immediately. The initial message towards why the owners decided to close it down was not that clear:
"On approximately February 11th, 2015, several events occurred related to operational security that we consider to indicate SealsWithClubs now operates in a perpetual state of jeopardy. We will not divulge details publically, but they may come to light if any team member chooses to come forward of their own volition at a later date. All player funds and data remain intact and the issue was not software related." A statement on SealsWithClubs read.
Seals had already been down more than a week at this point and has allowed all players to cash out their balances through a form on their website. At the same time it was announced that Bryan Micon will be taking the software that the site was developing for SealsWithClubs over to his new site Swcpoker.eu, which he will run and manage with his own team.
Micon has never had any troubles speaking his mind, so naturally he has made a video which explains why SealsWithClubs was shut down so fast, which includes him being arrested in his house in Nevada by guys with guns, having his electronics stolen by the police and ultimately not being charged with a crime - You can see the full video below.
While Micon has received an okay from the other board members of Seals to continue operation, it is not something that they will endorse in any sort of way. Furthermore they have released an announcement stating that they cannot guarantee future security, integrity and solvency:
"SealsWithClubs Chairman, Bryan Micon, would like to carry forward the business with his own team (currently settling in Antigua) but the majority ownership cannot guarantee the future security, solvency, and integrity of that operation because there will be no administrative oversight carried over from SealsWithClubs. Members of the SealsWithClubs team and ownership are not ones to lightly endorse anything, not even our own longstanding trustworthy team members, which is why nobody ever makes a sole decision. This dynamic has saved the business several times throughout the years. With Micon operating on his own with his own team, the checks and balances we have kept in place against one another internally for 3+ years will have been removed."
All of this leads to the fact that the biggest Bitcoin room in the world has been shut down, which means that thousands of Bitcoin players now will be searching for a new place to play. While it seems logical that many will go with Micon's new room, there is no telling when that will be online.
Despite the world having tons of Bitcoin poker rooms, nobody else have a reputation even close to Seals, which makes it hard for players to trust them. No other place has the liquidity that they had either, unless you are willing to not play with Bitcoins, but only use it to deposit and withdraw with, which in case would make the Winning Poker Network the ideal place for you to play.
SwcPoker.eu is online at this point, but it is not possible to register, login or play yet. The site will feature the new 2.0 software, which will feature more games, more features and overall a much better experience for players.