PokerShares — one of the original poker staking sites — will be closing its digital doors on March 31, 2022. The announcement came over Twitter from the @pokershares account.
“Next week will be 5 years since we’ve launched, and unfortunately we’ve decided the time is right to conclude this journey,” read the first in a five-tweet thread.
The thread ends with: “We appreciate your continued support over the years and sincerely hope your favorite player is crowned 2022 WSOP main event champion.”
To begin the phasing out process, PokerShares will stop creating new staking markets starting from January 1, 2022. Anyone with a balance on the site will then have until the March deadline to clear out their accounts.
The reasons the PokerShares team gave for closing down suggested that they are moving on to work on other projects. This might mean a greater emphasis on the online casino elements of the PokerShares site, or they could be dumping the whole thing for and upping sticks for pastures new.
PokerShares’s site founder Mike “Timex” McDonald retweeted the @pokershares thread but has not commented personally yet.
A farewell to (poker) hands
“It has been a rewarding experience,” the PokerShares statement says, “to help make the poker staking market more efficient, give fans at home more skin in the game, and allow the community to have a better perspective on how the market tends to rank various players.
“As time has progressed our team has grown more focused on other ventures. And grown further removed from the ins and outs of top-level poker, as well as found regulatory limitations have limited our ability to continue growing our business effectively.”
When PokerShares started out five years ago, the staking market was almost entirely conducted person-to-person or over social media and poker forums.
Introducing a middle man to guarantee transactions and to function as a kind of escrow was a radical idea. Many people were skeptical that a business could turn a profit without the vig making the product unpalatable. Many people, it turns out, were wrong.
The PokerShares business grew, and so did various competitors. Sites like YouStake compete directly with PokerShares, and an increasing number of online poker sites like GGPoker and PokerStars have added in-house staking products.
YouStake in particular has managed to create a name for itself with players like Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, and James Woods selling their WSOP action through the site.
Nowadays PokerShares is a much smaller part of the staking world. This might explain why it is on its way out.
Farewell old friend, you’ll be missed.
Featured image source: Twitter