Mike McDonald Launches PokerShares

Date: 2017-01-12
Author: Jason Glatzer

There are a variety of websites that allow players to ask for stakes for online and live poker events. Some of these sites employ complex software that tracks not only how much players won and lost, but make the payment system efficient, while other websites keep it simple with players reporting and paying out on the basis of trust
Staking allows players to play events they might not otherwise be able to afford or to reduce variance. Investors can make money on these players while also living in the shoes of the player as part of the experience. One major complaint by investors and some poker players, including Mike McDonald is that the mark-up investors are asked to pay and often do on many players is too high.
Three years ago, Mike McDonald opened the Bank of Timex to combat this issue. McDonald offered mark-up that in most cases was lower than what the player was offering in some events and even on players that weren’t asking to be staked. This was a short-lived experiment as McDonald realized there could be some regulatory issues that he wasn’t prepared to handle at the time.
Last week, McDonald was at it again by launching a sleek website dubbed PokerShares. The website employs the same concept of the Bank of Timex, however, is organized in a way that many sports bettors should be familiar with.
In addition to McDonald formalizing his concept with a website, PokerShares is also licensed by the laws of Curacao under the C.I.L. Curacao Interactive Licensing N.V. license. Also, the US regulatory regimes should be hands off as no bets are allowed to American residents.
Timex explained his rationale to launching the site and why it could be popular to people that enjoy investing in players.
“The poker investment economy is scary for buyers,” McDonald explained when PokerShares launched. “The most desirable horses are generally well outside the buyer’s network. Sellers pick whatever rates they want and sell even if the vast majority of buyers think they’re unfair. Plus, the buyer has to trust they are going to be paid.”
The website allows players to deposit and withdraw quickly via the popular e-wallet Skrill with all bets taking place in Euros regardless of what the designated currency of the poker event being bet on is.
Both big live and online bets are available on the website and there is also a function to ask for a bet not currently listed. In some cases, PokerShares may even offer a bet at negative mark-up as well.
Thus far the concept appears to be popular with many. Jason Mo shared on Twitter that, “fwiw the rates on @pokershares look reasonable given the service, props to @MikeMcDonald89 for trying to make the mtt market more efficient.”
While the year is short, this could be thus far the biggest story in poker. This site is currently in Beta mode and the poker community should expect improvements assuming there are no hurdles still to cross like there were during the Bank of Timex’s short regime three years ago.

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