Feb. 20, 2015 – UPDATE: Seals with Clubs has been permanently shut down, according to the website, noting that security issues are the root cause. Players have been advised to withdraw any funds on the site as quickly as possible, as there is a limited window to do so.
Seals With Clubs has been the largest and most successful Bitcoin poker site in the world, allowing players to deposit, play and withdraw in the crypto-currency.
But anyone who has followed the news around Bitcoin knows that nothing ever seems to go smoothly for the currency’s community of users, and now it seems as though Seals with Clubs is no exception to that rule.
On February 11, Seals With Clubs went offline due to a technical problem. At first, nothing seemed unusual about this: it was an inconvenience, but it would hardly be the first time that a poker or casino site had gone down for a short time.
“We’ve had a hardware failure and are working to resolve it,” the official Seals With Clubs (SWC) Twitter accounts said soon after the site went down. “ETA 2 hours.”
For a while, it appeared that it would soon be back to business as usual for the site, as the SWC Twitter account announced that the site was about to come back up for players momentarily. But as the hours wore on, it became apparent that there were much more serious problems behind the scenes.
“Sorry everyone, there were some issues coming back online and we’re going to have to be down for awhile longer,” the site tweeted the next day, as the problems persisted.
As the site continued to be unavailable, the operators set up a manual process of withdrawing Bitcoins for players who wanted to cash out before the technical issues were resolved.
“While we are down, you can enter withdrawal requests using the form below. It will enter a cashout for the entirety of your balance and will be processed within twelve hours,” read a message on the front page of the SWC website. “I’ve also pulled all balances from the Beta Site so players can cashout those funds as well. Affiliate payments and Rakeback for last week has been paid, these chips are available for cashout.”
The problems at SWC seem to have nothing to do with Bitcoins themselves, and are rather related to technical issues with the poker site itself. That’s an important distinction to make, as there have certainly been Bitcoin-related issues in the media over the past few years.
Between worries over the collapse of exchanges and concerns over the security of Bitcoin wallets, the currency has been predictably volatile, with a single Bitcoin being worth nearly $1,000 in late 2013 and around $233 at the time of this writing.
As for SWC, the site seems to be keeping a sense of humor during the extended outage. On their website, an image of Star Trek’s Spock with the caption “sobbing mathematically,” a popular meme, is displayed prominently at the top of the page. The SWC Twitter feed has also kept things light, responding to some of the suggestions made by players in recent days.
“FYI we have already tried turn-off-turn-back-on,” they tweeted, saying that they had also tried the popular “blow on the cartridge” method of getting Nintendo games to work. “Thanks to the community for all the helpful suggestions.”