If you play poker, chances are you know the name Mike Mizrachi. A phenomenal veteran of the game, Mike has racked up 3 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles over the last 10 years. After accumulating more than $14.5 million in live tournament cashes, he’s decided to take on a new project. Known as “The Grinder” for his unrelenting determination on the felt, Mizrachi is launching his own online poker room for US players using Bitcoins instead of traditional monetary deposits and withdrawals.
The 33 year old US poker pro has employed the assistance of family and friends to promote the new Bitcoin poker site, GetLuckyPoker.com. Joining him in the venture are his three brothers, including 2x WSOP bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi. His good friends Mike “The Mouth” Matusow and this year’s WSOP Main Event final table bubble-boy (10th place, $565,193) Luis Velador have also signed on as sponsors of the new Bitcoin online poker room.
The website is already open to the public, but the games are not. GetLuckyPoker is currently in the soft-launch beta testing phase, as it has been for the last year. Mizrachi is hoping to have the poker room live by January of 2015, and has been heavily promoting it on his Twitter feed lately. Just last night, he tweeted an invite for players to register an account and participate in “a little poker beta freeroll”.
In an interview last week with Lee Davy of calvinayre.com, Mizrachi explained the reasoning behind the launch of his own online poker site. “I have decided to make my own luck,” he said. “We will have a few pros on there. It will be called GetLuckyPoker.com and we will be using bitcoins.”
Some players have been historically skeptical about the idea of using a digital currency, and even Mizrachi said, “Hopefully, that works.” He admitted that the Bitcoin concept is new to him, but he feels “like it has a good shot of being a success… You have to take risks.” The online poker site’s FAQ page explains Mike’s rationale behind choosing the crypto-currency.
Question: “Why for the love of god would you use something like Bitcoins?”
Answer: “Like all things in life, it’s a gamble. However, Bitcoins have a couple of features that are extremely beneficial for an online poker site, number one is relative anonymity, anyone can open a “wallet” and put Bitcoins into it, the wallet has no account information embedded into it, this makes it extremely easy to sign up and use. Since Bitcoins are decentralized (There is no central bank) U.S. financial laws governing online poker sites do not apply. It makes Get Lucky Poker legal for U.S. players to use and play poker on.”
“The Grinder” said his poker site will offer many more card games than are currently available at most US online poker sites, including “Badeci, Badugi, Deuce to Seven.. as many games as we can get up on there.” It will be interesting to see how far off the ground GetLuckyPoker gets in 2015, assuming the full-scale launch does occur in January as expected.