In a surprise decision, British online poker giant Black Belt Poker is shutting off its skin Feb 28th, 2014. Started by British poker legend Neil Channing, Black Belt ran for nearly six years in the competitive online poker industry, sponsoring successful live events across the UK.
Always the affable front man, Channing put up his own cash for tournament guarantees, and played all their live events, not only giving the site a good poker name, but also a friendly face. Neil was always happy to chat with another player at the table, or over a beer at break.
In an email to Black Belt players, Channing thanked them for their support, but conceded the time had come to shutter the site.
“I've been helped in [this] endeavour by some excellent staff, some loyal and patient investors and a fantastic community of players who I hope have all had plenty of fun along the way. Sadly sometimes in life you just have to accept that things are not working and you need to move on. That time has come with Black Belt Poker.”
The business will still run as a limited company, but will cease trading and close the poker skin, which ran on the iPoker Network. Black Belt guarantees that all player funds are safe and accessible: “there is no question of any players not receiving their balances which are safely held by our partner and cashier cage provider Boyle Poker, in a ring-fenced bank account.” Players should login to withdraw their funds before midnight GMT on Friday. Players who don’t get their balances out before the skin closes can still contact Boyle Poker directly for a full refund of their balances on Black Belt.
Channing closed off his announcement with heartfelt thanks for the Black Belt players, investors, and staff. “All that remains is for me to thank everyone who invested, who worked hard for us, who were sponsored by us, who participated in poker discussions on our website and particularly those who played on Black Belt Poker.”