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HighstakesDB Disses Winning Poker Network

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On Wednesday, Aug. 2, a negative opinion piece appeared on entitled “ACR & Black Chip Poker Players Advised to Exercise Caution With Deposits/Withdrawals.” We here at Professional Rakeback have our ears tuned to any developments in the online poker industry, so we eagerly devoured the article, ready to absorb any relevant information it contained. Unfortunately, the text was very short on useful information while being long on fear mongering, unsubstantiated claims, and wild speculation.

Details on the Allegations

Magnifying Glass

Let's go into the specific charges levied by HighstakesDB against Americas Cardroom, BlackChip Poker, and, by extension, the entire Winning Poker Network as a whole. First of all, HSDB website claims that waiting times for withdrawals have increased markedly from their former speediness “with some players waiting weeks or in some cases months.” As “evidence” for this bold assertion, the writer cited a post made by twoplustwoer “MarcusMPG” in the official Winning Poker Network Withdrawals thread, stating that he hadn't received any updates on his $10,000 payout request. As is plainly evident when we look at the original post, he made the request on May 2 and posted about it on May 4. Two days is well within the timeframe stated by the Winning Network for Bitcoin withdrawals, and since this user didn't make any further posts on the subject, we can assume that he received his money with no problems. As detailed in our monthly Poker Payout Reports where we use real world information collected from forums and social media, bitcoin payout times at the WPN are some of the fastest in the industry. **Editor's Note: We notice that MarcusMPG was buying America's Cardroom funds, with bitcoin, just a few weeks ago. It stands to reason he did not get screwed over in any way on his cashout! - Further Update: MarcusMPG responded to us and posted at 2+2 that he was paid out promptly! How hard would it have been for HSDB to PM him as we did?

“MarcusMPG” hinted in his post at another accusation fired off by the crack team at HSDB: that ACR and BCP are making savvy maneuvers on the Bitcoin market to shortchange customers. These poker rooms, the story goes, are identifying points when the Bitcoin price is at a high and timing withdrawals for these periods so that they can therefore ship users a lesser number of coins. This suggests a level of financial acumen that's certainly beyond the execs at the Winning Network and just about every other investor too for that matter. The idea that they can predict whether the BTC price is going to rise or fall with any degree of accuracy is laughable. Why, they would certainly be better off putting this mysteriously acquired foresight to use in purchasing the appropriate futures or shorting crypto-currency rather than in attempting to pull a fast one on their customers. Of course it could be true. Maybe WPN and company employ the mysterious trader who made $200 million trading Ethereum last month?

Everything we've discussed so far could have been the result of careless fact checking and a willingness to pass along unsubstantiated assertions. But the next whopper featured at HighstakesDB is either deliberately deceptive or displays a complete lack of understanding about common practices in online poker.

In the HSDB column, there appears a quote of a discussion on Twoplustwo regarding the rake requirement that must be met before being able to withdraw funds after depositing them. Just about every poker site that's running today has such a requirement because they don't want to have to eat the fees both ways for someone who isn't going to play much. You see, it costs money to move money. Poker sites pay 3rd-party processing companies, such as Skrill, Neteller, credit card processors, banks, bitcoin exchanges, etc., hefty fees to process deposits and withdrawals. Our very own Kahntrutahn gave the answer that WPN requires depositors to rake between 10% and 15% of the amount they deposited – depending on the method used – before requesting a withdrawal. Somehow, this got translated in the author's mind to the rake at the poker tables being 10% - 15%! He or she even included an image of the Twoplustwo conversation with the caption: “Huge rake %'s make it difficult to turn a profit at WPN.” We detest the appearance of “%'s” in any form of writing. Even text message. But what we loathe even more is a poker information site seemingly going out of its way to mislead readers or at least hiring writers who have no clue what they're talking about!

There's more of the same type of stuff in the rest of the piece, including wonderment at the fact that Americas Cardroom and BlackChip Poker temporarily halted Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals on Aug. 1. Now, if you've read our coverage of the Bitcoin hard fork, you know that this was a sensible precaution for WPN to take until the situation settled down, not a shady and unexpected tactic indicative of any wrongdoing. Rumors of possible corporate embezzlement on the part of network ownership and non-payment of affiliate commissions are just a few of the weird allegations contained in the article. If there were a lack of affiliate payments being made, it would be all over affiliate forums such as Gambling Portal Webmaster's Association, Affiliate Guard Dog, Casinomeister, and the like. Suffice it to say, there are no such warnings on the aforementioned affiliate forums, nor are there are any facts at all presented by HSDB to back up these rather bizarre statements.

Why Did HighstakesDB Commission Such a Write-up?

$100 Bill

The highly negative tone of HSDB's “reporting” on Wednesday along with an almost total lack of verifiable facts leads us to wonder what's going on in their heads. After all, not more than a month ago, they were promoting both Americas Cardroom and BlackChip Poker as “Top Picks” to their users. This is shown in the below webpage, saved on July 6 by

Homepage of on July 6, 2017
Home page of on July 6, 2017 as displayed by

It's unlikely that, in the intervening few weeks from then until today, the "expert researchers" at uncovered enough hitherto unsuspected data on the Winning Poker Network to make them do a complete about-face. What's more likely is that their affiliate relationship with ACR and BCP has soured somehow, and HSDB wishes to cast aspersions on WPN out of spite. The bad blood doesn't even necessarily need to be a result of anything the network did; it could just mean that HighstakesDB worked out a better deal somewhere else. **Editor's Note: Professional Rakeback's CEO has confirmed that, Ignition Poker, the site that HSDB pitches at the end of their WPN "hit piece", does in fact pay larger affiliate commissions to high volume affiliates. Could this be HSDB's ultimate motivation?

While used to be known for objectively relaying the latest news in the world of high-rolling online poker action, that changed with its sale in 2016 to 180Vita. This conglomerate has been gobbling up independent poker media outlets for several years now, and it seems to value booking short-term financial rewards over the tougher, but ultimately more rewarding, strategy of delivering honest content and building up a following the old-fashioned way. We're just happy that their mistruths about the Winning Poker Network are so laughably absurd that it's no trouble at all to debunk them.

Winning Poker Network: Reliable Online Poker

Cards and Chips

We urge our visitors to pay no attention to the obviously biased advice given by HighstakesDB. The Winning Poker Network is comprised of several reputable operators. When you create an account at Americas Cardroom, you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 initial deposit bonus as well as $50 free to play Jackpot Poker sit-and-gos. Check out our review of ACR's poker games for instructions on how to get started. If you'd rather join up at BlackChip Poker, then we'll show you how to do so here. Other leading network sites include True Poker and YaPoker.

For an extensive list of U.S.-Friendly internet poker sites, be sure to look through our guide to the top places for Americans to play cards for real money online.