Carbon Poker Scam

Carbon Poker Scam

When searching for a poker room lots of things factor in. Design is important, for some people its bonuses, and for others it’s the rakeback. The most important factors for us here at 9to5poker are security, reliability and trust. We want a safe and fair gaming environment that we can trust and we need to know we have direct access to our funds.

Over the last two decades a few prominent online poker scandals have come to light which have harmed the industry. Full Tilt was one of the biggest in recent history, with players waiting years to receive their funds after the infamous Black Friday. The sites responsible really hurt poker on a global level because it discourages people from coming to play for fear of getting scammed.

Poker Scams

Owners of poker sites, as well as users, have been involved in some scandals in the last decade. These are often different, but in all cases it’s the players who suffer.

UltimateBet Superuser Scandal

In 2007 rumors began to circulate that UltimateBet had superusing accounts on their software. These accounts could see opponent’s hole cards and could therefore play perfectly against them. What was most worrying was that the management were the ones using them! After an investigation into player’s hand histories they finally admitted the existence of these accounts and had to repay over $1.6 million. They must have cost themselves more though as the site lost almost all it’s traffic.

Black Friday

In 2011 the department of Justice closed down Full Tilt Poker and other American sites as they were operating with an illegal license. It was discovered during this investigation that Full Tilt owners (some prominent pros like Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer) had been embezzling money out of the company. They had taken $400 million of player’s deposits which should have been kept separately and securely for players to withdraw from. It was over 5 years before everyone from Full Tilt was paid out and it went from the highest traffic online poker site to almost null overnight. Fast forward to today and Full Tilt exists only as a skin for Pokerstars.

Lock Poker Scandal

Lock Poker closed down finally in 2015, almost 2 years after complaints about withdrawals. It was revealed that no withdrawal requests had been processed for over a year and that the money simply wasn’t there to pay the players. Lock Poker owner Jen Larson had removed funds to live her luxury lifestyle at the expense of the players, and it’s estimated that over $24million is still owed to the players. Lock poker pros like Annette Obrestrad are still ostracized by the poker community and not welcomed into live events by players.

Pitbull Pot Shaving

The notorious Pitbull Poker were responsible for causing some of the biggest outrages from players. Along with numerous accounts of Superusing by their pros, there were also reports of pot shaving. This is where Pitbull Poker would take a portion of the pot on top of the rake while giving no explanation. This is obviously completely unfair and not reasonable for a card room to do. Pitbull Poker represented the smash and grab attitude that a lot of the poker site owners had. They looked to take everything they could from the player while giving very little back in return.

Unfortunately it has always been difficult for players to do much against these greedy owners and often the only thing they can do is take to the forums and warn other people to steer clear. Over the years there have been a number of poker sites blacklisted for their handling of players and their funds, and unfortunately we’ve had to add Carbon poker to this list.

Carbon Poker History

Carbon Poker was once the leading client for the merge network. Carbon has been around since 2004 under the name of making it one of the oldest in the industry. Carbon poker was a global gaming platform, accepting players from practically everywhere in the world. It had a large player pool with rakeback systems, affiliate networks and bonuses for new players. They updated their software in 2012 and boasted a slick look for users. After Black Friday they shut down shop and most of it’s perks for players. Since that point there has been a dramatic decline for Carbon and it’s treatment of players. Carbon poker still operates within the U.S and European markets, but given it’s recent changes you should steer well clear.

Carbon Poker Scandals

Carbon poker’s treatment of their players has been getting worse and worse over the past few years. User’s complaints have begun to occupy a lot of the forum topics about Carbon Poker as they seem to now show a complete disregard and disrespect for the players in the past 5 years. The problems have been getting worse and Carbon poker is now basically scamming players out of money.

Carbon Poker Blocking Cashouts

Carbon poker cashout times have been getting slower and slower. To receive a cash out check could take months or more, and other methods are just as slow. Within the U.S cashouts can be slow across the board but even more concerning is the fact that their European cashouts are also taking months to process too.

Carbon poker has also refused to honor rakeback arrangements of money earned and have refused to cash tournament tickets. These have been earned or won by the player and it is entirely immoral not to honor them. Carbon poker refusing to pay these out is essentially robbery.

These delays and refusals indicate one thing, that they don’t have the funds available. This should NEVER be the case given that players money should be held in a protected account ready for cash outs. We can only theorize that they are removing the money from this account for personal use. Don’t put your money on their site, you might never see it again!

Carbon Poker Player Exclusion

Carbon poker has begun excluding the winning players from the pool just to protect their profits. Presumably this is because the winning players are withdrawing money which they don’t like or cannot afford. By blocking these people from playing they are penalizing them for no real reason. It shows a complete lack of integrity by the management and lack of respect for the players. People have not been shy about sharing this information on various poker forums, and Carbon pokers popularity and reputation has dramatically decreased. 

Carbon Poker Customer Service

Carbon poker’s customer service is basically the nut low. They take a long time to reply and are incredibly unhelpful. They make little or no genuine effort to aid the players and best case scenario just reply quoting the management’s generic lines. There are countless players looking for a reason why funds are unavailable, why their withdrawals are taking so long to no avail. You can ask for management but they’ll just say the same thing over and over again.

If you’re unlucky enough to have a carbon poker account and need assistance I’d recommend looking on the forums, it’ll be quicker and much less tilting! And hopefully give you some piece of mind to hear that other people are going through the same thing.

Carbon Poker User Stories

When you look at user reviews of Carbon Poker you frequently see the words scam, scandal and cheated. This is unsurprising given their actions. Let’s take a look at some of the stories on the popular poker forums.

On 2+2 Vadim_Aliyev tells his story of how he was denied $800 of rakeback and a ticket he had won in a satellite worth $215. Understandably he contacted customer support who gave him absolutely no assistance.

Vadim Aliyev’s interaction with customer support was essentially pointless and he did not get his money back. He also waited nearly 3 months to receive withdrawals. What’s most concerning about this is that in the previous year he had raked over $50,000 on Carbon Poker. This apparently made no difference and he was given no help or explanation.

Another user Soda tells his story of delays and being denied money by Carbon Poker.

Not only did Carbon Poker delay his withdrawal for an unreasonably long time, they removed his rakeback system which was a promotion when he signed up.

There are countless stories of bad experiences with carbon poker, ranging from delayed withdrawals to collusion in games. The sheer volume of complaints speaks volumes about how Carbon Poker conduct business.

Carbon Poker – Holding All the Cards

Unfortunately for us players Carbon do have full control over their system. They dictate the promotions, rakeback, withdrawal times and what can be cashed out. There are very few systems or organizations in place to challenge their authority. 9to5’s advice is to avoid Carbon Poker all together!

Avoid Carbon Poker!

Carbon poker have given many reasons not to trust them with your money and very few incentives to play there. There is so much competition online for poker players that you can and should look elsewhere to play. Remember to always read reviews and user experiences before choosing any poker site and look at any scandals they’ve had in the past.

Best Online Poker Sites

Fortunately for us there are lots of different card rooms which means we don’t have to settle for someone offering a bad product. We have looked at what first attracted people to Carbon Poker and found some awesome card rooms for you to try instead.


BetOnline have a great interface with good software that allows you to find your preferred games easily. BetOnline has a big first deposit bonus, up to $2500, and reload bonuses throughout the year so if you’re switching it’s a good reward and incentive. They have fast withdrawal times and are completely reliable, with no major scandals tainting them. Legal within the U.S, BetOnline are a good option for you to consider.

Ignition Casino

Ignition took over from Bovada as a casino and card room. They have a range of different types of poker, from micro stakes hold em up to high stakes Stud. They have a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $1000  and some other great in game promotions. Ignition Casino software is great too, with mobile games and in browser capabilities. Ignition is offering a safe and fun environment to play poker in some of the softer games around for U.S players.

America’s Card Room

America’s Card Room is one of our favorites because of how it’s dealt with scandal before. It took over from the infamous Doyle’s room which also could not pay the players back. They quickly paid everybody out and established crucial trust with the users. America’s Card Room is growing rapidly and is set to be the number 1 U.S card room within a few years. You can personalize their software, they have a large field of soft opponents, and a massive variety of games. America’s Card Room has a VIP system where you earn rewards as you play. It’s perfect for grinder who like to put in volume. They also offer a 100% first deposit bonus up to $1000, so setting up an account today and taking advantage of this temporary offer can help pad your bankroll.

Each of these card rooms offer a safe alternative to Carbon Poker who frankly don’t deserve your time of day. If you’re going to put money in somebody else’s hands, make sure it’s somebody you can trust.

Carbon poker is not just bad for the players, they’re bad for the game and have given online poker a bad name. They promote the darker, exploitative elements of poker and undo a lot of the positive change that has happened within poker since Black Friday. But don’t let that steer you away from online poker in general, there are still plenty of good, reputable sites to play on, including in the US!