Duplicate Poker.com has folded its cards, citing the global financial situation as the cause for its failure despite having what it claimed was a prosecution-proof answer to US player problems regarding legality. The closure comes after several weeks of reports of slow pays from the Internet poker website.
The company posted a website notice Sunday October 5 addressed to players and advising as follows:
"Duplicate is sadly bidding farewell to its players. Caught in the middle of the global financial situation the company is not able to continue to provide service. We are a small victim of the global financial crisis.
"Regretfully as of the (sic) today, October 5th, 2008 we are closing our service. We thank our players for being with us. Hopefully at later time and in a better economic climate Duplicate Poker will re-appear."
Duplicate Poker management claimed repeatedly that their poker concept was unique and removed the element of luck from the gambling equation, leaving only a skill – and therefore legal – game.
It did this by running its tournaments on two or more tables consisting of the same number of players. Each table was dealt with an identically shuffled deck of cards. Every player held the same hand as the person seated in identical seats at other tables.
All players began each hand with the ability to bet the same number of playing chips, regardless of prior performance in the previous rounds.
The object of Duplicate poker was to win more chips than your opponents sitting in corresponding seats at other tables. Ultimately, the winner was decided based on the total number of chips accumulated up until the end of the game, as compared with those held by all players in the same seats at the other tables. Conceivably, even a player who loses chips overall can win at the game if that player loses fewer chips than his opponents.
By removing the element of luck, the concept circumvented the potential for legal hassles.
While the game was more conducive to an automated online format because of pre-set decks and the need to record very accurate scoring, Duplicate poker was also played in a live format. The first-ever Duplicate land poker tournament was held in February 2007 at the Cherokee Casino in Tula, Oklahoma.
In July this year Duplicate Poker's chief operating officer, Moshe Davidovich, described his company as "…one of the fastest growing online poker communities" and announced that it would add Ring games to its growing repertoire of playing options. He urged players to "visit the next big thing in skill-based gaming at Duplicatepoker.com."
Players with enquiries or problems are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org