Mike "Timex" McDonald Launches PokerShares Beta
Just over three and a half years ago, Canadian tourney legend Mike "Timex" McDonald attempted to launch a stock-market style betting system he called "Bank of Timex" looking to "short" players in events at the World Series of Poker with a good markup for their backers. A great idea for sure, but after the legality of making markets over the internet, especially in the USA, was considered, the idea was nixed within just a few days. Well, it's been a long and complicated road, but finally "The Bank of Timex" is up and running as a fully legit business, "Pokershares - the official Bank of Timex"!
There was considerable debate at the time as to whether McDonald's idea had legs. Perhaps poker player and professional gambler Haralabos Voulgaris summed it up best when he said, "The idea behind the Bank of Timex is brilliant - but essentially making markets and booking action on the internet is not so brilliant."
Although Pokershares will not be available for US citizens at this time due to the aforemention legality issues, the site is licensed and regulated by the laws of Curacao, with client funds segregated from company funds.
Users of Pokershares aren't simply limited to buying action of players in WSOP events; on the site you'll find a huge selection of tournaments and players, each with a highly competitive mark-up.
There are also options on how you want to bet. For example, as well as simply betting that you horse will cash in a tournament you could choose to make an "outright bet" where you can bet on a player cashing, final tabling or winning the tournament.
As well as tournaments you can also find plenty of other poker related action on the site. Currently there are bets to be had on the upcoming Cate Hall vs Mike Dentale heads-up match, or on the next "Brains" vs "AI" humans vs bot NLHE challenge. There's also an option to bet on the prop-bet made by poker pro and podcaster Joe Ingram, who made a bet last month that he would self publish a book of at least 40,000 words by the end of January. Furthermore, users are able to request their own bets which will be assessed by the Pokershares team and if accepted, will be eligible for inclusion. In his intro video McDonalds uses "betting on Jason Mercier winning another 7 bracelets", or on "Dan Bilzerian cycling from Vegas to L.A".
McDonald was on Joe Ingram's podcast last night to discuss Pokershares in more detail and answered a ton of questions, so if you're looking for a little more than what you can find in the current FAQs then check it out here.
For a more general overview, check out the intro video below.