Overview – SwC appeared on the scene earlier this year following the disappearance of Seals with Clubs and is successfully filling the gap left by its predecessor. Serious problems with security led to the popular Seals With Clubs poker site being shutdown earlier this year to the dismay of online poker fans; having become the target of hackers who swiped 42,000 passwords from the database, the company took the decision to suspend their services. Despite reassuring customers that they’d be back up and running promptly, Seals with Clubs remained defunct, however some former employees moved on to create SwC Poker, a spin-off from the former site. SwC distinguishes itself by dealing solely in bitcoin: player balances are denominated in bitcoins and all cash-ins and cash-outs are done through the digital currency. A bold move, committing themselves exclusively to this new and experimental crypto-currency, but it’s one which they’re confident will pay off in the long run. The use of the bitcoin straightaway enables them to offer poker services to players from across the globe, allowing them to break into the lucrative US market. SwC’s focus on investing in innovation confirms they have an eye on the bigger picture.
The Competition – Traffic is adequate, with an average of 100 players online at any given time. Players are usually relatively experienced with a fair knowledge of basic poker strategy but that isn’t to say the tables are devilishly hard. Those seeking a more challenging game may have to look elsewhere.
Cash games are by far the most popular, with a choice of Limit & PL Omaha, Limit & PL Omaha Hi-Lo as well as NL Hold’em. 1 poker chip is worth 1/1000 of a bitcoin. Their “krill” rewards system is updated daily after midnight (eastern time). The more krill you collect, the higher rakeback percentage and access to more freerolls. Krill is updated regularly and rakeback is paid weekly.
Tournaments are hosted regularly by SwC, the buy-in usually being 2 bitcoins with an attractive prize pool of 60 bitcoins (or 60,000 seal chips) which can inflate even higher with more entries.
Banking – Being a bitcoin poker site, options of payment are limited only to the digital currency. This is no drawback however, it arguably enhances the sites appeal as SwC promises their customers speedy cashouts in less than 12 hours. Once a customer has acquired a wallet for their bitcoins, they can cash in their currency with no problems.
Security is an understandable concern (considering the hacking problems faced by the sites predecessor) and the team addresses any issues upfront in their regular updates on the site’s homepage. They do make clear that players funds are segregated and therefore are not at risk from online theft. No personal information is necessary, with the exception of an email address, when registering. SwC is big on anonymity – they promise an experience similar to a live cardroom wherein chips can be bought, played and cashed out with total anonymity assured.
Software – The SwC team has devised their own software which is impressive but the site’s graphics are somewhat average and could possibly use some updating.
Customer Service is via email, SwC assures its customers of a speedy response to queries and concerns, usually within 24 hours. Their website FAQ is extensive and informative.
Why join? – The people behind SwC have been dealing in bitcoin longer than anyone else on the online poker scene, giving them an edge over their competitors in terms of familiarity with the digital currency and experience in handling it. They understand the gravity of internet security concerns and host a number of good tournaments.