Approximately a month ago, we reported on the disagreement between PokerShare and the Excapsa network over their brief partnership in 2005. The case, which was heading towards the courts in England, has recently been settled with all parties seemingly satisfied with the outcome.
If you remember after last year's World Series, PokerShare entered the online poker world with a unique concept. Besides having the cash players competing against each other on the virtual felt, those same players would share in the profits that the company took in. A percentage of those profits were to be put aside and divided among those cash playing members, according to how much action a particular player put into the room. Everything seemed to be copasetic between the burgeoning online room and the network that supplied them the software for the site, Excapsa.
Things quickly turned acrimonious as the site began to grow, however. The Excapsa network, whose major power player is UltimateBet, noticed that, while PokerShare was beginning to draw much of the action from outside of their realm, it was also cutting into their own network rooms. Thus began some actions from Excapsa that led to the lawsuit being filed by the owners of PokerShare. It started with Excapsa shutting off access to American players and then, in November of 2005, the complete shutdown of PokerShare when Excapsa pulled the network plug from them.
After intense negotiations (and an avoidance of the courtrooms), all has been settled now. Although a firm number hasn't been announced, a look at the previous actions by former online partners could be indicative of what type of dollar figures could be involved. Recently, another settlement between PartyGaming and former partner Empire Poker resulted in the purchase of Empire by PartyGaming for a tidy $250 million. Whatever the amount may be, it's enough that PokerShare will be returning to the online world.
"We're very pleased to have resolved our differences with Excapsa Software Inc. and Game Theory Limited and wish them well in their imminent flotation," stated PokerShare CEO Lucan Toh. "We consider them to be a very well run company and we will certainly be investing ourselves once they enter the financial world." In announcing that PokerShare will return in March with their new software, Director of Gaming Max Wright continued, "We are in tip-top shape for our return to the market and are very pleased with our new partners. We fully expect to regain our status as the most promising site on the web." Once PokerShare is back on the Internet scene, they aren't going to waste any time attempting to grab their own part of the ever increasing online gaming world; April will bring a full online casino along with the poker room, to be called CasinoShare.
Now what will be interesting is see how the "new" PokerShare will make its comeback. Players seemed to be very interested in the profit sharing concept that they brought to the online community and, before their shutdown, were showing a great deal of potential. Online players, however, also have long memories and the shutdown in November could tarnish PokerShare's triumphant return. We should see the results of the return as the year plays out through the most powerful component of all, the poker player's money.
Ed note: Don't share with anyone. Play at Party Poker