Just 20 days after circulating a press release that claimed it was "one of the fastest growing online poker communities," DuplicatePoker.com has been forced to shut down.
When Duplicate Poker players went to the site's home page on Sunday, they found the following statement:
Duplicate is sadly bidding farewell to its players. Caught in the middle of the global financial situation the company is not able to continue to provide service. We are a small victim of the global financial crisis.
Regretfully as of the today, October 5th, 2008 we are closing our service. We thank our players for being with us. Hopefully at later time and in a better economic climate Duplicate Poker will re-appear.
The Duplicate Poker Team
It must have been a shocking development for those players since on Sept. 20 Duplicate Poker announced that it had registered its 250,000th player, reinforcing "the growing interest and success of this unique skill-based online poker game."
Pinhas Romik, the founder and CEO of Duplicate Poker, was quoted in the release as saying. "DuplicatePoker.com has quickly gained global appeal and poker players at all levels are playing this new game and developing new strategies for winning. Our revenues have increased six-fold since the public launch and we expect the game's popularity to continue its upward trajectory."
Duplicate Poker was considered a skill game because players didn't necessarily try to outplay opponents at their table, as is the case in a standard poker game. Players in corresponding seats at various tables were dealt identical poker hands, and the hands play out. Winners and losers were determined by the amount of chips won or lost in comparison with other players who were dealt the same cards.
The site unveiled a new look on its Web site in April and just this past summer it sent a player who won a tournament at the site to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.