Hundreds of column inches have been devoted to the unhappy story of online poker room Cardspike and its questionable association with senior executives of the Casino Affiliate Program company  and this week the saga dragged to a close as the operators advised players that it was about to close its doors.
 
In an email to players, CardSpike advised:
 
"We are contacting you to confirm that Cardspike.com will be shutting down all operations effective May 31, 2009. Deposits will no longer be accepted into your account effective immediately.
 
"You can cash out your account at any time before May 31, 2009 by your preferred method. After May 31, 2009, your account will be cashed out and the balance remitted to you via the method you used to deposit.
 
"Thank you for your past support."
 
But almost as an afterthought came the sting in the tail, which is being interpreted by many as the final deceit from the company – it read:
 
"*Note – The minimum withdrawal amount is $50. In light of these circumstances we can manually process a withdrawal for less than $50 but there will be a processing fee of $40."
 
This is seen as prejudicial to those players that happen to have a low balance in their accounts, by placing them in such a position that the "processing" charges exceed the worth of their current balance.
 
In a long-running story replete with questions of integrity, conflicts of interest and downright deceit, the end has apparently matched the beginning in those areas.