Bitcoin poker suffered a big loss when Seals with Clubs, the most popular Bitcoin poker site in the world, shut down on February 11.
But players who enjoyed wagering at the virtual tables using crypto-currency didn’t have to wait long for their favorite site to come back, albeit in a new form.
On March 1, Seals with Clubs relaunched as SwCPoker.eu, and many players immediately jumped over to the spiritual successor to what was previously the flagship Bitcoin poker room.
“Thanks to all loyal SwC players for making the SwC Poker soft launch a success,” said a message on the SwC Poker website. “Within hours SwC Poker was the world’s largest Bitcoin poker site. Over 100 players simultaneously connected within just a few hours is a great start to the new home of “The Big BTC.”
Players were able to join the new site by resetting their previous Seals with Clubs passwords. That meant that players were able to keep their old screennames, as well as their krill, the loyalty points that were used at Seals with Clubs to enter freerolls and collect rakeback rewards.
After the site had been up for a couple days, SwC Poker expressed excitement over how the relaunch was going.
“What a brilliant few days for Bitcoin poker,” a message on the site read. “The successful launch of SwC Poker has been met with worldwide cheer. New games and features are online…look for cash game stakes to slowly increase as confidence in the new system builds. Thanks for the outpouring of support for SwC.”
The new site does seem to boast some improvements over the old Seals with Clubs software. Most notably, there are a lot more games on offer: Seals with Clubs had only Hold’em and Omaha, while SwC Poker also features stud, mixed games, and Open Faced Chinese Poker, which have proven to be a popular addition.
The Seals with Clubs shutdown came after a February 11 raid on the home of chairman Bryan Micon by the Nevada Gaming Commission. During the raid, Micon was handcuffed and had a variety of electronic devices seized. Micon was not arrested, and has since relocated to Antigua with his family. His former partners at Seals with Clubs were unwilling to continue operating the site given the potential legal troubles they might face, and as such, transferred all assets to Micon so that he could run a new site from a new location.
“The previous management, they believed in Bitcoin and poker in general, but they just didn’t want to do it themselves,” Micon told PokerNews. “I still want to do it, and there is a lot of other people who have volunteered to work on it after the raid. The team now is slightly bigger than it was before and it’s really nice to see this happening.”
Currently, SwC Poker is operating without regulation from any gaming authority in any jurisdiction. However, since Micon has now relocated to Antigua, he said he is hoping to obtain a license there.
Micon hopes that the positive history of Seals with Coins will earn the trust of players even without regulation.
“Our three years of history is exemplary,” he said. “We have never had an issue.”