I have been involved in the online poker industry since its infancy. I have always tried my best to be a player’s advocate. When I see a poker room that is not acting properly I feel I should call them out in the hopes that they change their ways. This is one of those instances.
Recently Cake Poker launched new Gold Card Exchange. Players that sell cards are subject to a 10% vig. This is absurdly high. Cake Poker and their skins do nothing but provide the software to allow these trades. They should be able to collect 10% of every trade? Most stock brokers charge no more than 1.5% and that is if they are full service and have no interest in the outcome. Cake Poker seems to think taking 10% of these trades out of the poker economy is OK. The games and liquidity are bad enough without them taking such a huge chunk of fees off the tables.
Not only do they take 10% of these trades but players don’t receive rakeback from the trades. While I guess I understand that part affiliates also don’t receive revenue share off of the revenue gained from these trades. This is no different than Cake Poker introducing a sports book or casino and refusing to include this revenue in affiliate MGR. What makes that worse is that if an affiliate’s player deposits to buy gold cards, then redeems the gold cards for cash or a freeroll winning then the affiliate is on the hook for both the deposit fee and the promotional deduction without the benefit of being able to at least offset these deductions with the gold card exchange rake.
While I’m calling out Cake Poker let’s move on to their ridiculous cashout fees. If a player uses UseMyWallet they get hit with a $35 fee. If a player requests a check they must pay a $50 processing fee! On top of that the minimum check cashout is $500. Considering most of the games on Cake Poker are micro limits this is virtually impossible for most players. Where does the rake and newly introduce exchange fees go if not towards processing?
Full Tilt, Poker Stars and Cereus all offer echeck cashouts to players for no charge. Cake Poker players must pay $50 and wait for a paper check to arrive. This just isn’t right. If Cake Poker wants to be taken seriously in the online poker world they need to get their act together. Players that rake hundreds if not thousands a month should be able to receive their winnings without punitive fees.
After leaving Cake Poker after a cashout fee dispute I would still log into Cake Poker often to see if my massive collection of gold cards were the cards of the day. About a month ago I found that my old 5 of hearts were worth $2000 cash. This wasn’t a $2000 freeroll entry, it was $2000 cash. I had 8 of them for $16,000. While I didn’t believe them I contacted support.
Support agreed with me that I was owed $16,000 and that a software error was preventing me from being able to cash this in. We went back and forth at lightning speed (their support speed is an A+) but to no avail. The next day I was told that even though support had told me that only a software bug prevented me from being able to cash in my $16,000 the entry was actually a mistake and it was a $2000 freeroll.
Apparently Cake Poker had not learned the lesson earlier that week when the same thing happened. It would seem someone had made a major error and entered a tournament in as a cash prize earlier in the same week. This was the answer I had expected when I emailed them but after countless emails confirming I had won $16,000 this wasn’t exactly the proper answer. No, I never expected to receive the $16,000 as I figured it was an error but the fact that they could make such a major error, confirm I would get paid and then renege is beyond operational incompetence.