The Cake Poker Network, once thought as a serious competitor for the #3 U.S. friendly poker room, looks like it is on its way to being a non factor in the online poker world. It suffered yet another blow when Doyle’s Room left the network last week.
Traffic numbers from Poker Scout show a 100-250 player drop from the previous week. This is about a 20% drop in player base. Cake Poker has fallen out of favor for quite a few reasons.
Late last year I called out Cake Poker for some of their shady dealings. One was not paying rakeback or affiliates on their Gold Card Exchange rake. Another was the fact that they charged $50 for a check with a $500 minimum and offered no other reasonable way for U.S. players to cash out. They also introduced a casino but do not pay affiliates revenue share.
Now Cake Poker has made it so that their guaranteed tournaments and money added tournaments never get off the ground. Cake Poker requires 40 players to register for a tournament to get off the ground. Even though they allow late registration they will still cancel a tournament with 39 players to avoid the risk of even a small overlay. This is especially dumb because the entry fees would cover the last couple of entries even if nobody else enters. This hurts Cake Poker’s reputation as it relates to player perception.
Cake Poker also started making their Gold Card tournament prizes pending bonuses instead of straight cash. This created quite a backlash and for now it looks like most of these tournaments are back to straight cash prizes although the prize pools are very small.
Although Cake Poker is U.S. friendly up until now they only started offering options other than UseMyWallet for U.S. players. Only recently did they add an echeck deposit type option and cash transfers such as Western Union and Moneygram.
It isn’t too late for Cake Poker to get their act together. With Lee Jones gone there isn’t anyone to address these issues at Two Plus Two. This has caused even more speculation about their ability to recover. With major skins bailing, cashout speeds slow and promotions not being handled correctly it is no wonder why Cake Poker has declined so much in the last year.