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Thread: JaoPoker -- combining a shady online poker site and multi-level marketing! What could go wrong?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    JaoPoker -- combining a shady online poker site and multi-level marketing! What could go wrong?

    We all know about the existence of shady online poker sites.

    And most of us know that multi-level marketing schemes are generally a scam.

    But what if someone combined the elements of BOTH the lack of trust of a sketchy online poker site AND the unsustainable pyramid model of multi-level marketing? Doesn't sound like a place you'd love to play?

    Introducing JaoPoker -- a poker site combining both of these exciting elements!

    Here is a nice boy named Tam Nguyen, explaining all about JaoPoker:




    Jump to about the 3 minute mark if you want to hear about the LOL affiliate stuff.

    The site is at https://jaopoker.com ... but they also run the Jao Network for the "business side" of the network. On the Jao Network site, you can watch some more videos about the marketing part.

    JaoPoker requires an affiliate code to sign up. This guarantees that everyone playing is under some affiliate, and thus the pyramid begins.

    As with all multi-level marketing schemes, you supposedly get rewarded both when people sign up directly under you, as well as when they sign up under those who originally signed up under you. See, each new player can also get his own affiliate code, and they are encouraged to sign up others. Therefore, if a player you referred then refers others with their code, you still get a piece of the action. Sweet, amirite? And totally sustainable, of course, just like all multi-level marketing schemes!

    Now, before you run over to Jao and sign up, figuring, "What do I have to lose?", there's a bit of a problem.

    You need to pay money to be a recruiter and get your own referral code. So if you really do want some of that sweet referral money, you need to pay up front. This is often the hallmark of a multi-level marketing scam. You have to pay into the wonderful, can't-miss moneymaking scheme before attempting to sell it. In most cases, you're actually selling the opportunity to sell, rather than a viable product.

    But what if you just want to skip all the referral stuff and just play poker? Is it at least a decent and reliable site?

    Well, let's see...

    It's based in Cambodia and supposedly licensed there. Feel safe yet?

    You are allowed to play from the US.

    But you might wonder about payment processing. How is a new site, illegally operating in the US, processing payments?

    They're using Paypal!



    Not kidding.

    PayPal, which has a very strict anti-gambling stance, is JaoPoker's method of payment.

    Sounds like a great long-term plan, huh?

    Nevertheless, there are lots of get-rich-quick wannabes promoting Jao Poker behind the scenes, and attempting to present it as a legitimate poker (and affiliate) option.

    Apparently people are mostly marketing this through Facebook poker and gambling groups, fearing that forums full of more experienced players (such as PokerFraudAlert, 2+2, and Pocketfives) will laugh them off the page.

  2. #2
    lmao @ the Paypal . This business is going to last about 3 seconds. It will be interesting to see what their plan B and C are once Paypal tells them to fuck off
    :freelewfather

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    Gold ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoney View Post
    lmao @ the Paypal . This business is going to last about 3 seconds. It will be interesting to see what their plan B and C are once Paypal tells them to fuck off
    Clearly Bitcoin or another crypto will be their fall back at this point.
    Rule #1 in EMS: One way or another the bleeding will eventually stop..

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Tam Nguyen appeared on PokerFraudAlert Radio on 5/11/17 (start at the 82 minute mark).

    I want to thank Tam for coming on. Very few people are willing to come onto PFA Radio to defend themselves (or their product), when we are clearly coming from a position of skepticism. It took guts for him to do this.

    I will also say that Tam seemed like a nice and personable guy. I didn't get the "scammer" vibe from him. He seems to believe in the JaoPoker product.

    With that said, I need to clear some things up.

    From his subsequent tweets and Facebook group posts, it appears that Tam believes he convinced me that I was wrong about JaoPoker. I have not changed my original position, aside from perhaps my belief that it's not outright trying to scam people.

    I still don't like multi-level marketing schemes. I feel they are scammy. The biggest problem I always have is the fee one must pay in order to become an affiliate. That's unnecessary, and seems like it's simply a scheme to collect money for the company. Tam described it as paying for "back office expenses", but as I said on the show, that's nonsense. There really aren't any significant expenses to adding affiliates, given that they can be electronically entered into the system (and in fact, this process could be fully automated, not even requiring human intervention!) I cannot see how they can possibly justify charging $250 to be an affiliate.

    Tam trotted out the usual multi-level marketing answer that the $250 "shows that people are serious" about referring, but again that's BS. Why does it matter if people are serious? The company should be thrilled to get as many affiliates as possible, whether these affiliates refer a little or a lot.

    Tam claimed there are "350 to 400 affiliates" at the moment. If this number is true, that means they've collected as much as $100,000 in affiliate signup fees in 2017 alone. Wow.

    But what if we ignore all of the affiliate stuff, and discuss whether the poker site itself is okay? After all, you don't need to become an affiliate to play there, and you are welcome to sign up an account for free.

    As far as that's concerned, I don't necessarily think the site is a scam, but rather it is new and difficult to trust at the moment. This is true for ALL new, unlicensed poker sites. (They claim to be licensed in Cambodia, but that's meaningless.) As we have no proof that the money on deposit is safe or segregated, there's no way for us to know whether the money on deposit is actually there, or if it has been stolen. Now, this is indeed true of all unlicensed online poker sites, including huge ones like Ignition. Still, it's a lot easier to trust a large, long-running operation like Ignition over a small, Johnny-come-lately site which has been around for only a few months.

    Regarding deposits and payouts, while there are some backdoor methods such as checks and bank wires allowed, those will likely disappear (due to legal risks or busts) if the site grows any more than it already has. PayPal is going to shut them off incredibly soon, as they are very hard-line against any form of gambling. I could easily see where, even if JaoPoker WANTS to pay people, they will have no way to reliably do so.

    I just don't think a poker site has been conceived very well if PayPal is one of the payment options.

    I would more understand this if it were an underground poker site which isn't marketed, but this one IS marketed. Sooner or later, the hammer is going to come down.

    JaoPoker is only microstakes and small stakes at the moment. This means your risk is pretty low if you play there. I also believe that, at the moment, they will likely pay you quickly. (I don't have proof of this, but that's my gut feeling.)

    Overall:

    - I think the multi-level marketing side of the site is usual scammy garbage which is typical of MLM schemes

    - The poker site itself is probably okay for the moment, but the site or money can disappear at any time, and they may have problems paying you once their current methods go away

    - Verdict: Not an outright scam, but proceed with extreme caution, and avoid the affiliate stuff

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    Silver GringoStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Tam Nguyen appeared on PokerFraudAlert Radio on 5/11/17 (start at the 82 minute mark).

    I want to thank Tam for coming on. Very few people are willing to come onto PFA Radio to defend themselves (or their product), when we are clearly coming from a position of skepticism. It took guts for him to do this.

    I will also say that Tam seemed like a nice and personable guy. I didn't get the "scammer" vibe from him. He seems to believe in the JaoPoker product.

    With that said, I need to clear some things up.

    From his subsequent tweets and Facebook group posts, it appears that Tam believes he convinced me that I was wrong about JaoPoker. I have not changed my original position, aside from perhaps my belief that it's not outright trying to scam people.

    I still don't like multi-level marketing schemes. I feel they are scammy. The biggest problem I always have is the fee one must pay in order to become an affiliate. That's unnecessary, and seems like it's simply a scheme to collect money for the company. Tam described it as paying for "back office expenses", but as I said on the show, that's nonsense. There really aren't any significant expenses to adding affiliates, given that they can be electronically entered into the system (and in fact, this process could be fully automated, not even requiring human intervention!) I cannot see how they can possibly justify charging $250 to be an affiliate.

    Tam trotted out the usual multi-level marketing answer that the $250 "shows that people are serious" about referring, but again that's BS. Why does it matter if people are serious? The company should be thrilled to get as many affiliates as possible, whether these affiliates refer a little or a lot.

    Tam claimed there are "350 to 400 affiliates" at the moment. If this number is true, that means they've collected as much as $100,000 in affiliate signup fees in 2017 alone. Wow.

    But what if we ignore all of the affiliate stuff, and discuss whether the poker site itself is okay? After all, you don't need to become an affiliate to play there, and you are welcome to sign up an account for free.

    As far as that's concerned, I don't necessarily think the site is a scam, but rather it is new and difficult to trust at the moment. This is true for ALL new, unlicensed poker sites. (They claim to be licensed in Cambodia, but that's meaningless.) As we have no proof that the money on deposit is safe or segregated, there's no way for us to know whether the money on deposit is actually there, or if it has been stolen. Now, this is indeed true of all unlicensed online poker sites, including huge ones like Ignition. Still, it's a lot easier to trust a large, long-running operation like Ignition over a small, Johnny-come-lately site which has been around for only a few months.

    Regarding deposits and payouts, while there are some backdoor methods such as checks and bank wires allowed, those will likely disappear (due to legal risks or busts) if the site grows any more than it already has. PayPal is going to shut them off incredibly soon, as they are very hard-line against any form of gambling. I could easily see where, even if JaoPoker WANTS to pay people, they will have no way to reliably do so.

    I just don't think a poker site has been conceived very well if PayPal is one of the payment options.

    I would more understand this if it were an underground poker site which isn't marketed, but this one IS marketed. Sooner or later, the hammer is going to come down.

    JaoPoker is only microstakes and small stakes at the moment. This means your risk is pretty low if you play there. I also believe that, at the moment, they will likely pay you quickly. (I don't have proof of this, but that's my gut feeling.)

    Overall:

    - I think the multi-level marketing side of the site is usual scammy garbage which is typical of MLM schemes

    - The poker site itself is probably okay for the moment, but the site or money can disappear at any time, and they may have problems paying you once their current methods go away

    - Verdict: Not an outright scam, but proceed with extreme caution, and avoid the affiliate stuff

    My one problem with Tam is that he has the perfect setup/excuse and you guys even mentioned it on radio.

    Even if he isn't being scammed by the owners of Jao, he could just claim to be. If this turns out to be a scam, what is stopping Tam from disappearing into Asia and just not coming back to the states? What's to stop him from claiming that he was scammed too?

    I'm not sure if you've ever been to Cambodia, but they don't really have a federal government and khalawat was right when he indicated that everything is merely a $50 bribe away.

  6. #6
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Tam Nguyen appeared on PokerFraudAlert Radio on 5/11/17 (start at the 82 minute mark).

    I want to thank Tam for coming on. Very few people are willing to come onto PFA Radio to defend themselves (or their product), when we are clearly coming from a position of skepticism. It took guts for him to do this.


    I will also say that Tam seemed like a nice and personable guy. I didn't get the "scammer" vibe from him. He seems to believe in the JaoPoker product.

    With that said, I need to clear some things up.

    From his subsequent tweets and Facebook group posts, it appears that Tam believes he convinced me that I was wrong about JaoPoker. I have not changed my original position, aside from perhaps my belief that it's not outright trying to scam people.

    I still don't like multi-level marketing schemes. I feel they are scammy. The biggest problem I always have is the fee one must pay in order to become an affiliate. That's unnecessary, and seems like it's simply a scheme to collect money for the company. Tam described it as paying for "back office expenses", but as I said on the show, that's nonsense. There really aren't any significant expenses to adding affiliates, given that they can be electronically entered into the system (and in fact, this process could be fully automated, not even requiring human intervention!) I cannot see how they can possibly justify charging $250 to be an affiliate.

    Tam trotted out the usual multi-level marketing answer that the $250 "shows that people are serious" about referring, but again that's BS. Why does it matter if people are serious? The company should be thrilled to get as many affiliates as possible, whether these affiliates refer a little or a lot.

    Tam claimed there are "350 to 400 affiliates" at the moment. If this number is true, that means they've collected as much as $100,000 in affiliate signup fees in 2017 alone. Wow.

    But what if we ignore all of the affiliate stuff, and discuss whether the poker site itself is okay? After all, you don't need to become an affiliate to play there, and you are welcome to sign up an account for free.

    As far as that's concerned, I don't necessarily think the site is a scam, but rather it is new and difficult to trust at the moment. This is true for ALL new, unlicensed poker sites. (They claim to be licensed in Cambodia, but that's meaningless.) As we have no proof that the money on deposit is safe or segregated, there's no way for us to know whether the money on deposit is actually there, or if it has been stolen. Now, this is indeed true of all unlicensed online poker sites, including huge ones like Ignition. Still, it's a lot easier to trust a large, long-running operation like Ignition over a small, Johnny-come-lately site which has been around for only a few months.

    Regarding deposits and payouts, while there are some backdoor methods such as checks and bank wires allowed, those will likely disappear (due to legal risks or busts) if the site grows any more than it already has. PayPal is going to shut them off incredibly soon, as they are very hard-line against any form of gambling. I could easily see where, even if JaoPoker WANTS to pay people, they will have no way to reliably do so.

    I just don't think a poker site has been conceived very well if PayPal is one of the payment options.

    I would more understand this if it were an underground poker site which isn't marketed, but this one IS marketed. Sooner or later, the hammer is going to come down.

    JaoPoker is only microstakes and small stakes at the moment. This means your risk is pretty low if you play there. I also believe that, at the moment, they will likely pay you quickly. (I don't have proof of this, but that's my gut feeling.)

    Overall:

    - I think the multi-level marketing side of the site is usual scammy garbage which is typical of MLM schemes

    - The poker site itself is probably okay for the moment, but the site or money can disappear at any time, and they may have problems paying you once their current methods go away

    - Verdict: Not an outright scam, but proceed with extreme caution, and avoid the affiliate stuff

    Druff, see the bolded portion. You duped this guy into coming on to your radio show. You didn't even tell him he was on POKER FRAUD ALERT RADIO so he had no idea you were the guy who was talking shit about Jao Poker to begin with. Nicely done. That's a real class move when you lie to your guests about what show they are actually on. You didn't give him the intro you give everyone else, you simply said "welcome to our show"

    that was pretty egregious

    if you didn't get the scammer vibe from him then you must've not been talking to the same person that we all heard on the radio. That guy had a canned response for everything you asked, and it wasn't even rehearsed. he kept studdering, saying the word "um" and the word "actually" as if he has the facts and you didn't. That's text book "full of shit".
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I wasn't sure if he knew the radio show was the same site was the one which posted this not-so-positive review of JaoPoker.

    So I didn't want him to start off defensive.

    Turned out it didn't matter, because he knew the whole time it was the same site.

    Of course he had canned answers. That's why I said I wasn't convinced. Multi-level marketers always need canned answers, because their entire setup falls apart under actual scrutiny. The best they can do is give answers like, "You need to buy into the system for $250 to show you're serious", because there's really no other way to explain the $250 initiation fee to be an affiliate.

    Given that he just got into JaoPoker about 5 weeks ago (which I believe), I think this is more a care of wanting to believe what he's told, rather than knowingly scamming people.

    I don't even think the owners believe they're scamming people. They probably think they invented something lucrative and wonderful, and everyone will benefit from it.

    But that can be said of most failed poker sites/networks. They start with good intentions, dip into player funds when times get rough, and close up shop when the money is all gone.

    This hasn't happened with JaoPoker, but that's what I see in its future.

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    Diamond chinamaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I wasn't sure if he knew the radio show was the same site was the one which posted this not-so-positive review of JaoPoker.

    So I didn't want him to start off defensive.

    Turned out it didn't matter, because he knew the whole time it was the same site.

    Of course he had canned answers. That's why I said I wasn't convinced. Multi-level marketers always need canned answers, because their entire setup falls apart under actual scrutiny. The best they can do is give answers like, "You need to buy into the system for $250 to show you're serious", because there's really no other way to explain the $250 initiation fee to be an affiliate.

    Given that he just got into JaoPoker about 5 weeks ago (which I believe), I think this is more a care of wanting to believe what he's told, rather than knowingly scamming people.

    I don't even think the owners believe they're scamming people. They probably think they invented something lucrative and wonderful, and everyone will benefit from it.

    But that can be said of most failed poker sites/networks. They start with good intentions, dip into player funds when times get rough, and close up shop when the money is all gone.

    This hasn't happened with JaoPoker, but that's what I see in its future.
    Not if they keep getting the $200 a month or whatever fee they charge to affiliates monthly

     
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      sah_24: lol

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    LOL at the idiot affiliates making up stories about PFA when people cite this thread as to why they don't want to get involved with Jao:

    Name:  farid.png
Views: 3403
Size:  356.3 KB



    Here is this idiot's Twitter, by the way:

    http://twitter.com/danielfaridsold

     
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      Hockey Guy: Druff, how could you?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Also lol at this:


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    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Also lol at this:


    will the WSOP twitter have a flame war with them like they did ACR?
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

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    Gold ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Somebody needs to remind this Aussie that Australia outlawed online poker and technically what he's doing could violate Federal laws in his country..
    Rule #1 in EMS: One way or another the bleeding will eventually stop..

  13. #13
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    BUMP

    Already some minor problems with Jao. Apparently their "points store" hasn't opened as promised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacknstax
    I racked up over 1,000 cash points and one of the reps said in July 1 the store will open

    ... and it is now August 20th 2017 and the long promised store to spend your reward points is still non - existent. It's a shame because they have the power to change some of the players (and even the haters) attitudes. Why tell the players the store will be open in June ? More BS
    And longtime Minnesotan poker player "bicyclekick" posted this:

    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclekick
    I heard an alleged story from a reliable source about the owner scamming a couple deals here in minnesota. As well as hearing other unfavorable things.

    I'd stay far far far away from the site and owners
    https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...poker-1669940/


    And perhaps most entertaining, in what appears to be a battle of scammy affiliates, kahntrutahn (willing accomplice to the Full Flush scam) is now on a mission to "expose" Jao:



    That was from Tam Nguyen to kahn, in response to an article he posted on his website bashing Jao. (kahn has an account on this site as "HowQuaint").

    In the meantime, kahn is bragging how he's going to expose Jao to the masses for being a scam. You know, because that's totally different than Full Flush Poker, which totally wasn't a scam even though they stole everyone's money and went down, all while kahn was lying to everyone about their cashout times.


    Oh... and on a side note, sadly Jao has been getting signups through a well-liked, Texas-based female poker player named Ashley Hine, aka "Action Ashley". Unlike Tam Nguyen, who seems like an extremely slippery character, Ashley is a very nice, married mom of 3. Somehow she got sucked into drinking the Jao Kool-Aid, and people are signing up because they like and trust her. I tried to reason with her, but it fell on deaf ears, so I gave up.

    (NOTE: Ashley saw through Jao's lies, and defected from there about 2 months later. She appeared on PokerFraudAlert Radio on November 5: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...-Action-Ashley )

  14. #14
    Tam Nguyen had pretty much the same reaction to you when you still posted the site was shady after the interview didn't he? That you were just upset because they didn't agree to your terms for some kind of ad revenue or something?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Name:  jao-closed.jpg
Views: 1369
Size:  39.9 KB



    Here's Tam's excuses:

    Name:  jao-tam.png
Views: 1370
Size:  379.7 KB

  16. #16
    Inaugural Spring Classic Champion HoodedN's Avatar
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    You deleted my thread about this?

  17. #17
    I for one am shocked to hear that a company with such a solid business model has gone under.

    At least all of the player funds are safe.

    Right?

     
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      duped_samaritan: right.

  18. #18
    Inaugural Spring Classic Champion HoodedN's Avatar
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    you should look into that CGCatDaddy. for some reason i feel like he was involved in another fraudulent site, Full Flush Poker

  19. #19
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    This incident is pretty much the story with just about all small, US-facing poker rooms.

    Eventually they go belly-up, and disappear with everyone's money.

    Player funds are never segregated, and they dip into player funds before closing, so the closure almost always means they're flat broke.

    Curious where all the Jao $ went, though, because they weren't spending anything on marketing (to my knowledge), and they also go income from those fools sending them $250 to be affiliates.

    So it looks like they just outright stole it, likely by ownership/management paying themselves too much, and now it's gone.

  20. #20
    I may go back and listen to the Tam Nguyen interview but didn't he personally guarantee everyone's money was safe?

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