When PokerShare entered into the combative online poker world last year, it was a novel concept. Not only would players battle on the virtual felt for each other's bankrolls, they would also share in the profits of the company. It looked to be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Soon after it started, however, the wheels appeared to fall off. As part of the Excapsa poker network, UltimateBet was the big room. According to the lawsuit, as PokerShare's profit sharing program began to take off, it appeared that more action was heading over to the PokerShare side of the house than the network preferred. It is alleged that Excapsa was quick to counter this action, first barring American players from the site and then removing their support, effectively shutting PokerShare down in November of 2005.
According to the London Sunday Express earlier this week, as UltimateBet and Excapsa consider a possible floatation on the London Stock Exchange that could be worth up to 200 million British pounds, PokerShare has filed suit against UltimateBet for 100 million pounds. PokerShare cites that the actions of Excapsa and UltimateBet, especially the removal of usage rights to the software and technology that had been agreed upon between the rooms, as being the prime reason why the site was forced to cease activity.
The parties are expected to appear in court in the next few weeks, unless there is some action prior to that which will satisfy all concerned. While the suit is expensive, the Excapsa network could potentially withstand the action, but with serious damage. It would definitely hold off on the stock flotation that had been under consideration and a judgment against them would potentially have some impact as well as far as player confidence.
PokerShare most definitely wants to return to the online poker world, but would it be successful? Although the concept of the profit sharing program was what drew people to the site, after failing once would players come back to the idea? Online players have not shown much loyalty to sites that have been pulled out from underneath them and even a great idea can be shot down by previous failures. It will be interesting to see how the drama plays out and what effect any decisions, monetary or otherwise, will have on the players involved.
Ed note: Grab your share of the great action at Ultimate Bet