One of the most profitable US poker pros of our time, Phil Ivey is making headlines once more. No, he didn’t add another WSOP bracelet to his 10-strong collection, nor was he accused of cheating another casino out of millions at the high stake punto banco (baccarat) tables. This time, it was a Twitter post revealing the temporary closure of free-to-play online poker games through his website, Ivey Poker, that drew the attention of the media.
The message showed up on Ivey’s Twitter account over the weekend, announcing that at least a portion of the Ivey Poker website will be ceasing operation, effective immediately. Ivey Poker launched last year as a free online poker program where players could get together in a social environment via Facebook and compete against one another for play chips. The true purpose of the website, however, did not launch until 2014, when the Ivey Poker League was adapted as a full-fledged online poker training website.
Although the Facebook-powered online poker app is free to play, and there’s no real money to be won from the games, players were able to gain special rewards. The winners of exclusive tournaments would be awarded ‘Gold’, which could then be used within the Ivey Poker app to unlock premium features, such as poker training videos from the league’s elite coaches, including one of the world’s top performing poker females, Jennifer Harman, and online poker phenom, Cole South.
According to 10x WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey, those free poker games are no longer available, at least for now. The US poker pro preluded his announcement by saying they are, “working on multiple product extensions and new categories for Ivey Poker expansion in 2015.” That text alone sounds unequivocally positive, but the missive continued by explicating the closure of online poker games in the Ivey Poker app.
“Since we launched our game here at Ivey Poker we’ve learned quite a few things… first and foremost is that a dedicated and loyal community is essential. So to our loyal players, we felt we needed to communicate to you about some changes you’ll be seeing over the coming months.”
Next, Ivey’s post dropped the proverbial bomb. “We plan on suspending the current game this Saturday, October 25th. Though that may sound ominous – – it’s actually just the first step in our evolution as we prepare to launch an even bigger and better gaming experience for you all in 2015. We do appreciate all you have done for us here at Ivey Poker; it has been a joy and a learning experience for all of us….and one that we hope will continue as we grow and evolve!”
There haven’t been any changes to the online poker training division of the Ivey Poker website, which has continued to receive regular updates to the instructional video line-up from pro poker coaches. Only the poker games themselves seem to be affected. No specific time frame was given as to when the Ivey Poker app will be restored, outside of a broad reference to 2015. Judging by the closing text of the message, which reminded players to “Stay tuned for more – – the best is yet to come!”, the US poker pro will offer more updates to the online poker app’s progress as they become available.