When Should Site-Sponsored Pros Cut and Run?

The swirling problems surrounding Lock Poker, which by outward appearances seems to be insolvent and limping along for the last few months, has produced a loud hue and cry from Lock players over many issues.  The most serious concern by far is the neverending wait for cashouts from the site, which have now stretched from time of submission for as much as five months for U.S. players, and — for some forms of withdrawals — for more than two months for players not in the U.S.

Some of the recent rules enacted by Lock have ventured into the land of the ludicrous, given outside observers the general impression that Lock is a site swirling around the drain.  Among those are the institution of Lock’s Fair Play Technology, the ring-fencing of Lock players from other Revolution Network sites, the recent cancellation of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of pending withdrawals with highly suspicious explanations for it, and the retroactive (!!!) institution of a new rule declaring that funds transferred between players can never be withdrawn from the site.

One of the secondary topics has been a widespread call to Lock pros to renounce the site in the face of Lock’s mounting problems aimed in particular at the 20 “Lock Poker Elite” pros, who likely get the most green for sporting Lock Poker gear.

This isn’t as easy as a lot of observers might think.  Sometimes such endorsement contracts carry poor-performance or termination-with-cause penalties that means that Lock might be able to grab money back from pros who chose simply to walk away.

That’s all conjecture, however.  What’s perhaps more instructive is to look at a handful of Lock’s biggest names, and see who seems to be continuing to wave the promotional banner, and who seems to be doing the bare minimum, mailing it in.  Let’s sample a few pros’ Twitter accounts.  Feel free to skip down below the images to hop right to the discussion.

Here’s Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi:

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.47


Eric “Rizen” Lynch:

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 30 22.41


Annette Obrestad:

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 30 22.44


Casey Jarzabek:

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.45

Brett “Gank” Jungblut:

ScreenHunter_04 Apr. 29 17.42


Melanie Weisner:
ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.51


Matt Stout:
ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.53

Chris Moorman:
ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.54


And a couple of glimpses at the Lock Poker feed itself:

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.48

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 29 17.50



It appears that there’s a fairly distinct split between Lock pros who are still actively promoting the site versus those who are mailing it in, with Michael Mizrachi in a special category of his own: he seems to mail in random and very rare Tweets for all of is sponsors, good bad or otherwise.

It also appears that the re-Tweeting of certain Lock promotions and events must be mandatory, as evidenced by that “Lock exclusive tournament schedule” Tweet from April 22nd.  It was re-Tweeted by every pro I checked.  With that in mind, it’s easy o see that there are still some pros who are promoting Lock actively in the face of the site’s difficulties.  Eric Lynch is one example, though he’;s curiously shifted in recent weeks from active statements and defenses of Lock to simple re-Tweetings of promotions and bounty events Lock is running.  Given that if any of these pros own a little piece of Lock, it’s Lynch, that’s kind of interesting.

Pros such as Jarzabek and Obrestad still seem to be in there pitching as well, while others including Moorman, Stout and Jungblut seem to be doing the minimum, perhaps hoping to create a little space if the situation at Lock continues to deteriorate.

It’s a difficult situation for most of these pros.  The purist in all of us would like to see one of these pros make a Jerry Maguire-type stand, but that’s not realistic: to be a poker pro requires a certain focus on the money that most of us dabblers can’t quite match.  The flip side is that your typical poker pro is simple unable to walk away from an endorsement deal while there’s still a few bucks to be squeezed out.

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