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261  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 09, 2012, 12:16:31 AM
Our tournament is final... Petrescuerz clears it in the last few minutes with a daring combination of Roulette and blackjack, for a $55.22 bonus. Job well done Smiley
262  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 08, 2012, 06:09:05 PM
With $0.50 hourly poker freerolls and bigger tournaments starting over the next few hours, it might be possible to do this entirely in poker; OTOH you might have to spin the wheel a few times.

Except that to qualify you have to have bet over $100 in total, and so the freerolls don't help you pass that hurdle?

Start a poker table...those bets count.
263  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 08, 2012, 04:39:02 PM
There are about 7 hours left in our leaderboard tournament and no one's qualified to the +$25 mark yet. 100% up to 9BTC goes to the first place winner, with prizes for 2nd and third ( if anyone qualifies  Roll Eyes ).

Check it here: https://strikesapphire.com/blog

With $0.50 hourly poker freerolls and bigger tournaments starting over the next few hours, it might be possible to do this entirely in poker; OTOH you might have to spin the wheel a few times.

264  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 06, 2012, 08:57:03 PM
What Dooglus means is that StrikeSapphire takes some measures to prevent poker collusion, which includes preventing players who share IP addresses from sitting at the same tables.

It looks like the measures against players sharing IP addresses are no longer working.  Did you relax the rule, or is it a bug?

There's an exceptional reason for this, and I don't want to fill up this thread with it; it's not actually a bug but a relaxation of certain constraints. If you contact me I'll explain.
265  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 06, 2012, 01:53:57 PM
My gf and i love going in a free tournament.

I hope you don't share the same IP address, or live in the same province as each other!  Wink

What Dooglus means is that StrikeSapphire takes some measures to prevent poker collusion, which includes preventing players who share IP addresses from sitting at the same tables. This is pretty standard stuff at poker rooms. We make an exception to this rule for any table with the word "friends" in the name. If you're on the same IP with your buddy, you can start your own "friends" table or tournament, or join our nightly $0.40 Partners and Friends tournament. The point of this is to let players know if they're joining a table where there might be a higher probability of team play (we realize we can't prevent it totally, but we want to create as transparent an environment as possible).
266  Economy / Gambling / Re: A public plea to SealsWithClubs on: July 05, 2012, 12:21:35 PM
All of those games have chance. Swing at the monster.... miss. Swing at the monster... hit! Monster drops.... a dry bone or a dirty rag or a pile of gold!
Good point.
The government goes after what the people in government want to go after.
Or what the multi-billion-dollar Vegas lobby tells them to go after. I'm not even sure they're aware that you can make money playing Diablo. And then again, they might just attack Bitcoin virtual worlds from a completely different angle, not trying to prosecute them on gambling grounds, but going after them as potential money-laundering hubs instead. The FBI made a reference to that in their leaked Bitcoin report. Since they can't control the payment processors and force AML/KYC that way, they might decide to go after any site that facilitates the exchange of BTC between its users. But that's a much bigger process and one that concerns the whole Bitcoin community. The narrow gambling issue makes an easier target.

If you start from the assumption that the government's just doing Vegas's dirty work, and that the idea is to shut down any possible competition and starve the market before Caesar's Palace Online launches in the US with some kind of ludicrous 15% poker rake, then pretty much anything goes.
267  Economy / Gambling / StrikeSapphire: NEW $0.50 Hourly Freerolls + 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard is back! on: July 04, 2012, 06:38:05 PM
Title says it all... our 15 BTC Weekend Leaderboard returns this weekend with 9BTC, 4BTC and 2BTC prizes to the top winners over the weekend... details (and the leaderboard) are on our blog at https://strikesapphire.com

And, we've just introduced round-the-clock hourly freerolls for the month of July! $0.50 each, and only 3 players to start'em. Get started and make some free coins!
268  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin Startup List. on: July 04, 2012, 03:24:10 PM
Don't forget us! Strike Sapphire S.A. is incorporated in Costa Rica and complies with US and international gaming law. We've been open to the Bitcoin community since 19/7/2011. We're actively looking for the right investors to help us grow our software and casino business.

We don't take public or anonymous investment. Company beneficiaries must have a clean record and be able to pass background checks conducted by an internationally recognized casino licensing body.

ed:
- Strike Sapphire S.A.,   CR,   https://strikesapphire.com,   Gaming Software and Casino
269  Economy / Gambling / Re: A public plea to SealsWithClubs on: July 04, 2012, 02:00:46 PM
Okay here's a question that's pretty off-topic but still related to the concept. In Diablo 3 where they have the real money auction house that allows you to sell and buy gold for real money. Aren't they technically making their own currency and therefore should be illegal?

Buying and selling virtual goods like WoW gold or Bitcoin isn't illegal in and of itself, and doesn't have any relationship to gambling laws unless there's an element of chance. No government in the world views them as currencies; but they don't have to be currencies in order to be a form of "consideration" or "reward". It's equally illegal to gamble for amazon store credit, Thai Baht, or shoelaces. If there was a game of chance in Diablo where you could risk your gold, with a prospect of winning more gold from the house or from another player, and an element of chance was involved, then it would be tough to argue that they weren't running an illegal online casino.

It's the combination of consideration + chance + reward that makes it illegal. It's not illegal to operate a golf tournament, a poetry contest or a bowling league. An online chess site for Bitcoin would be legal. There are Gin Rummy sites that operate legally in the US for real money, because there's no element of chance in Rummy. All these things take out the element of chance. It's also not illegal to run a poker site with valuable prizes, and make money off of advertising, as long as people can't pay money into it to increase their chances of winning (flat-rate subscription poker sites are a very fuzzy legal gray area and might be legal) - this way you remove the consideration. And it's not illegal if you remove the reward, like Zynga, and take money for poker but don't offer any way to cash out winnings.

Linden Labs faced exactly this situation and had two realistic choices... they could shut down all the in-world slot machines and casinos, or they could prevent people from changing Linden Dollars back into USD. They chose to shut down all the in-world games that had an element of chance.

The PPA argument goes that poker gets around the chance element by being a game of skill over the long term. Unfortunately though, that's not the view of the US Government (yet).
270  Economy / Web Wallets / Re: weird blockchain.info address problem on: July 03, 2012, 08:03:08 PM
Hm. Anyone still having deposit problems with StrikeSapphire? We're not seeing anything unusual like unconfirmed transactions on our end.
271  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: [Payout Updates] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation on: July 03, 2012, 01:19:52 PM
3) How do you tell if you claim has been marked as accurate?

If you email reimbuse.bitcoinica@gmail.com then I can tell you.

So far ~50 people have been paid out. Around 4x as many people are marked accurate. Right now, I think people marked as accurate will be paid back first. If you aren't in that category then you'll have to wait until after they're paid, at which point a new batch of people will be marked with accurate status. And so on, until 50% payouts have been done.

Originally me and Tihan marked a bunch of people as accurate based on our assessment of character. This is how Zhou wanted to pay people back quickly (just by deciding who is notable and who isn't). However Donald, who's largely taken the initiative on the payments prefers to do them completely based the numbers. As he's taken charge of it, I prefer to respect his decision on that. So people who send us emails like "I'm so trusted in the community" - that really does not have much bearing (for now).

The claims are making good progress. It's expected to be slow but I'm satisfied and don't want Donald to rush the process / make mistakes. That would be the worst thing ever as we only have the exact funds from the site.

Genjix, have any payments gone out yet to USD holders? (i.e. I put a bank that accepts checks for me as the best method for payout)
272  Economy / Gambling / Re: bitZino - HTML5 Bitcoin Casino - Provably Fair on: July 01, 2012, 03:38:42 AM
Nice site. Good code. I lost a couple coins to you just messing around. I don't know if the hashing on the customer side is really necessary, but it's a nice touch, and you implemented it well.

Now you just need a full-time customer service staff to handle Dooglus... and watch out, he wins more than he loses Grin
273  Economy / Gambling / Re: mem's BITCOIN GAMBLING LIST on: June 29, 2012, 06:00:47 PM
Hey mem, thanks for the compliment in our thread on Keno! We don't get a lot of players for that so I'm glad someone appreciates it  Wink

Just a note, I think you might've put $15 in the wrong column based on what Dooglus said... our min cashout is always $5, never more. Our max bets are a little off in the list...here they are:

* Blackjack - $15 for beginners, $25 for Silver VIPs (up to 3 hands at a time, at up to six tables at the same time, if you can do that much blackjack).
* Three Card Poker - $5 for beginners, $10 for Silver VIPs (also up to 3 hands at a time)
* All of our Video Poker games have stakes up to $1.25.
* Craps - $10 for Silver VIPs (plus 3x pass line odds, making it a max $40 pass line bet).
* Sapphire Rummy - bets per hand are actually $0.15 up to $15. I'm not sure where the $10,000 came from... that's a little steep Wink
* Slots and Keno both take bets up to $1.25 (if you switch from $0.05 to $0.25 mode)
* Roulette - $0.01 to $5 for newbies, $50 max bets for VIPs.

Also, Dooglus mentioned in our thread we have a "certain level" where you can get Silver Star VIP status. I should clarify that. The level used to be 5,000 player points, back when he qualified for it, but it's since gone up to 10,000. On July 19th, it will go up to 20,000. Players earn one point for every $0.25 played in any game. They can be spent on poker freerolls, but when considering an application for VIP status we look at the total amount earned, regardless of whether they've been spent or not.
274  Economy / Gambling / Re: A public plea to SealsWithClubs on: June 27, 2012, 06:26:28 PM
It's not the players who have to worry, it's the site operator. Going big to the States is a risk that only makes sense if you make, literally, boatloads of money off it. There aren't boatloads of money in Bitcoin poker. There won't be until someone develops the US market for it. Which means that at the outset, for the operator, there's a long period of high risk exposure with very little payout while they try to develop this market. If they succeed in developing it without a legal challenge, larger players will jump in and take it away from them. If they fail they end up either with no earnings, or worse, in court.

Obviously poker players don't give a fuck about the legality, but investors do. I'm telling you why no big casino has been willing to enter the Bitcoin market. I heard exactly this from the owner of one of the world's biggest sportsbooks. They're watching and waiting to see if the smaller fry get snatched or not.

+1 @freemoney about poker behind being impossible to play behind TOR...
275  Economy / Gambling / Re: A public plea to SealsWithClubs on: June 27, 2012, 03:43:59 PM
ssaCEO, I don't disagree with what you've said, but here's the thing:

They can't make a bitcoin poker site illegal unless they make "free" poker sites illegal as well.  To do that, they would have to legitimize BTC as a valid currency and as "real" money.  That's the last thing they want to do... so a BTC poker site would be tough to shut down on those grounds, simply because it would open a different can of worms that no one in the current financial industry wants opened.


You raise a good point, which I think this is a common misconception in the Bitcoin community. It's not true that they would have to classify Bitcoin as a form of currency in order for gambling with it to be illegal. In most US states, and Federally, gambling with anything of any value is illegal if it can be exchanged for currency. The US government would never argue that casino chips from Harrahs are legal tender; but you can't start a website where people mail in MGM chips and get chips back, if there is an element of luck involved. The government doesn't make the case that Zynga credits are a form of currency, but Zynga would be violating state and federal law if they allowed a market to evolve in which their credits were traded out for money.

In other words it doesn't need to be "Money" to violate US law. The law prohibits anything with any value being risked on a game of chance if there's a reward. The only loophole is that some states consider poker a game of skill rather than chance; but even those states regulate who runs the games and how they're allowed to do so.

Only games of pure skill, like Gin Rummy, or Chess, or Golf tournaments, are excluded from this. The only other way around it is to either (a) only pay out money (no consideration) or (b) only accept money (no reward). If all three elements are present (consideration, chance, reward) then it's illegal gambling. Regardless of what form the consideration or reward takes.
276  Economy / Gambling / Re: A public plea to SealsWithClubs on: June 27, 2012, 02:40:20 PM
We've run offshore to non-US players for almost a year, and we've consulted on this with some of the best gaming lawyers on the planet, and here's our unvarnished, and unpopular view:

1. The market among Bitcoiners who occasionally play poker is saturated, as SgtSpike said.

2. Freemoney's right on all counts: Pouring money into a slicker client isn't necessarily going mean an instant gold poker site (see: BTCOnTilt), and really high end poker software does cost millions, or at least hundreds of thousands to develop and refine. I started working on our software 4 years ago and I'm still improving it. I wouldn't claim it's anywhere near the level of PokerStars downloadable product in terms of features & whatnot. It's glossier than Mavens, but Freemoney's beating the shit out of us in terms of player volume. The point is, there is much more to building a successful poker site than having good software. And to be realistic, there isn't enough of a current Bitcoin poker market to justify further feature enhancement or even a mobile client for us at this point... let alone hiring a team to start coding what would be a $250-500k next gen project from scratch.

3. Bitcoin poker can't be profitable until it starts drawing players away from sites that take mainstream deposit methods: People who've never used Bitcoin before. What's the incentive for Europeans to leave Moneybookers and start playing poker for Bitcoins - even if that Bitcoin site has a beautiful $1M poker client? People go where other players are. The entire Bitcoin poker market right now, even though it's almost completely concentrated on Seals, is nowhere near large enough to gain traction to steal players from Stars.

No, the people who will willingly switch to Bitcoin are the ones whose options have run out, because their country has banned online gambling. And in the case of poker, that means Americans.

So the American general public is certainly ripe for *any* site that lets them play poker. They'll jump through any hoops to get Bitcoins and get there, and they don't care what the software looks like (not that much, anyway). And if Seals builds that market sufficiently before a major player steps in with existing, glossy software, they may have enough momentum to stay relevant without ever paying for a software upgrade.

But in order to do this, they would need to start marketing Bitcoin as a new way of playing poker to the American general public, outside of the Bitcoin circuit. This is what the long-awaited Infinitipoker is doing, with big sponsorships and apparently serious investment.

So it's worth asking: If there's this virgin market for American poker players, why is it that PokerStars and Party Poker and Playtech and Microgaming haven't opened up Bitcoin deposits to Americans? In a word: It's probably illegal. And no one in their right mind wants to be the first to test in court the theory that taking Bitcoins for online poker is somehow different than taking Western Union. In all probability, it isn't. A small site with no existing stake in the industry or future Vegas contracts to blow, and which flies under the radar and does not market to mainstream American consumers, may be able to make a bit of cash from the situation over the next 1-2 years before online poker is re-legalized under Vegas ownership in America. They would need to be very careful about not making too much noise, and getting out before the shit hits the fan. A site that has aspirations of becoming the next PokerStars will never, ever make enough money off Bitcoin poker games to finance the legal bill they'll see when the Justice Department comes knocking. Moreover, they will have blown their shot at future legitimacy; they will never be legally licensed in the US at some later date. That is the situation; it appears to be a wide-open playing field, but it's actually empty because all the other players have either been arrested or have already been given a backdoor deal and are waiting for a green light to re-enter the market.

Freemoney is doing the sensible thing. A GLBSE offering - which is probably illegal itself - and mass-marketing to Americans who are the only really viable market who would switch to Bitcoins to play poker right now, would be suicide.
277  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire | We need some support. on: June 27, 2012, 12:31:59 PM
Yes: Online gambling is legal in the UK and most of Europe.

Proxy use is ok as well.

This is bad advice. Proxy use is forbidden on StrikeSapphire. We take all reasonable measures to prevent it (as well as some unreasonable ones). Moreover, it's a violation of our TOS, and any account we believe to be using a proxy for the purpose of circumventing national laws will be frozen and ID verification required to unlock it.
278  Economy / Service Announcements / Re: [Payout Updates] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation on: June 24, 2012, 08:15:42 PM
I emailed bitcoinica.reimburse@gmail.com several days ago asking for a status update. No response yet. Please let me know what further action you require. You have my passport on file, and you know who I am.
279  Economy / Gambling / Re: StrikeSapphire - NEW Bonus - New $15 Blackjack - New 15 BTC in Weekend prizes! on: June 15, 2012, 02:27:57 PM
Couple of new features to report!

1. After many requests, we've finally gotten around to adding a 4-color poker deck option in Account > Preferences.

2. We've improved the No Limit / Pot Limit poker chip slider, so that clicking behind the chip stack ow will increase the stack by one raise increment. If you hold down shift and click, you can still get the old behavior that jumps the slider to the point you're clicking at.

More new stuff on the way  Smiley
280  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Forum moderation policy on: June 14, 2012, 11:14:00 AM
Image sigs are totally banned now?
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