Ty Stewart, the executive director of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), is now paying back for making fun of Ultimate Poker’s teething problems. Ultimate Poker, which was launched on April 30, 2013 in Nevada, is the first licensed and regulated real money online poker room in the US.
Besides being pulled up for using a player identification service provider of ill repute, Ultimate Poker got a bug that made a couple of Nine of Spades appear in the flop of its Texas Hold’em game. While promoting WSOP’s soon-to-be-launched real money online poker room, Stewart made fun of Ultimate Poker’s problems and said: “I think the market is ready for a first-class product.”
Recently, WSOP.com went live for a short time, inviting poker players to try out its real money poker games. WSOP owner Caesars Interactive Entertainment immediately noticed a bug in the system, closed the online poker room, and informed Nevada regulators. This greatly amused Station Casinos Incorporated, which owns a major part of Ultimate Gaming, the operator of Ultimate Poker. One can expect interactions of such nature between Caesars Interactive and Station Casinos for a few more months because they are going to be the only companies running online poker businesses in Nevada.
Although Nevada regulators granted interactive gaming licenses to several gambling companies, none of them are in a hurry to launch online poker products. Wynn Resorts Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation appear hardly interested in online poker. On the other hand, Boyd Gaming Corporation and MGM Resorts International want to launch an online poker business, but have to wait till Nevada grants a license to their partner Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, the giant European gambling company. Recently, Norbert Teufelberger, chief executive officer for Bwin.party, informed the press that his company has shifted its focus to New Jersey.
Currently, Ultimate Poker is the only licensed online poker room in Nevada. Although Caesars announced plans to launch WSOP.com during the WSOP season, which will conclude somewhere in July, it will not be able to do so because of technical difficulties. Caesars might have to wait till November to launch WSOP.com.
Seth Palansky, spokesperson for Caesars Interactive, said recently about the planned launch: “The honest answer is unsure. Yes if we complete our checklist. No if we do not. The good news is we are progressing well in our testing and it won’t be too much longer until we can offer it online.”