Merge Poker Skins, Affiliates Severely Impacted by Erroneous Reporting

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Merge Poker Skins

While tried its best to quash rumors that the Merge Poker Network was the subject of an investigation by the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, the network experienced more than a 40 percent loss in business over this past week.  Affiliates, who have watched their incomes diminish dramatically since the events of April 15 (indictments of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker), have taken a serious hit this past week. 

“It was a complete run on the bank at most of the Merge Poker skins and was absolute bulls***,” remarked Chris Costigan, Publisher of the news site.  “It’s a travesty.  Anyone familiar with how these agencies work understand that so-called ‘sources’ do not give out such detailed information and request that it be published.  They are endangering such investigations.  It’s criminal and they are putting their own careers on the line.  A lot of people believe this nonsense because they are still rattled by the events of Black Friday April 15 (the indictments of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and” posted an article last week that was full of obvious agendas looking to take down either the Merge Poker Network or one of its main skins.

“We suspect the later,” said Costigan. 

“It’s not so much the Merge Poker Network per se that is the target of this smear campaign, but one of its larger skins and we will leave it at that,” Costigan said.

“Considering that the Maryland US Attorney’s Office was running a sting operation for over two years, processing payments for the likes of and, and nobody, not even, knew about it, there is no way in Hell that that office would leak out information specific to the Merge Poker Network about to be indicted.  Merge does not even allow customers from Maryland, new or existing, to play on any of their sites.”

“The article really took us all at the knees,” said one Merge Poker Network skin. said it best:  Where are the facts?

Gerry Poltorak of Poker News Boy writes: 

“First, I want to point out that I did not misspeak when I said they were making assumptions.  There is nothing in their article that equates, or even comes close, to being hard facts.”

Costigan pointed out:  “If Subject Poker seriously had sources inside the Maryland US Attorney’s Office like we do, they would not have published the bull**** that they did in a blatant effort to cripple this particular poker network.”

Poltorak asks this question:  “How come it is nearly impossible for the CIA to pass information to the FBI without a dozen or so hoops to jump through, yet these guys (Subject Poker) can get information so easily from the DOJ?”

One of the better parts of the article as referenced by Poltorak:  “And what about the vagueness of it all?  At some point in September, it may be mid-September and it may be late-September.  However, things could change and it could be later.  Sounds like they are going with Homeland Securities’ releases about terrorism.  They have some reports.  They don’t know when or where, but there are rumors that terrorists are going to strike.”

When we say there is nothing to the Subject Poker article, might know a thing or two.  We put our money where our mouth is when gaining access to such information. successfully filed a Motion to Intervene to gain access to the US Attorney’s Office out of the Southern District of New York ongoing investigation into  Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars more than two years prior to the actual indictments being handed down (see Motion to Intervene and decision by the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain).  The day the Motion was filed, the US Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of Douglas Rennick, a payment processor connected to those two online poker companies.  The US Attorney’s Office made no qualms about releasing the names of both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars as part of this ongoing investigation, though they were granted the right to redact names of other individuals.  Costigan Media chose not to repeal that decision. 

Baruch Weiss acted as Legal Counsel for parent company, Costigan Media, in its filing of the Motion to Intervene.  Mr. Weiss spent 18 years with the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York as Senior Trial Counsel and he also served as Legal Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security.  If you think he came cheap, guess again! doesn’t play games when it comes to disseminating critical information to the poker and gambling community.

With that said, we challenge Subject Poker to file a similar Motion to Intervene against the Maryland US Attorney’s Office if they are so adamant about “protecting the online poker community” and truly believe their “source” that Merge Poker is about to be indicted in mid-September, or maybe late-September, or maybe never since presumably – as the article implies – the Maryland U.S. Attorney (Rod J. Rosenstein) now knows the information has been made public and will no longer pursue the Merge Poker Network (what an absolute joke).


- Jagajeet Chiba,