Following a great deal of discussion, poker pro Mike timex McDonald’s (pictured) foray into a stock market-style betting system was shut down within days of its opening. He cited current views on internet gaming as the reason.

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On Sunday, McDonald established what became known as the Bank of Timex, looking to “short” players in events at the World Series of Poker with a tremendous markup for their backers. In essence, it worked like the stock market in that McDonald and his partners would offer potential customers the option of buying shares in a player at a lower markup. In the event that a player cashed, the Bank of Timex would pay the investor out of the bank funds at the lower markup rate. If the player failed to cash, the Bank of Timex would pocket the funds put up by the investor.

McDonald, who graduated from the University of Waterloo with a math degree, didn’t enter into the potential business lightly. Looking at the world of staking, McDonald realized that players tend to overvalue themselves when it comes to their tournament success. As such, he offered a way for potential stakers to get in on the action at a reduced markup while potentially making some money off the failure of the backed pros.

Poker players will often sell “pieces” of themselves to alleviate variance in tournaments. When a player does this, they often sell those pieces at a marked up price. If the player doesn’t make the money, he keeps whatever is invested in him. If the player makes the money, then investors get paid back on what percentage they bought. For a big score, a small investment can turn into a nice payoff.

Within hours of the opening of the Bank of Timex, questions began to arise over whether it was good for the game. Poker pro Ari Engel(pictured) commented on Twitter on Monday, “The Bank of Timex is bad for the poker industry. Instead of sub-par players being put into tournaments, Timex takes piles of equity out of the poker world.”

Another poker player also thought it wasn’t a good idea, but he looked at it from the regulatory aspect of the situation. Taking some time away from the NBA Finals, Haralabos Voulgariscommented about the Bank of Timex over Twitter: “He’s using Twitter and servicing Americans, probably collecting and settling in the U.S. too. Not smart.” Voulgaris did give some kudos to McDonald, stating, “The idea behind the Bank of Timex is brilliant – but essentially making markets and booking action on the internet is not so brilliant.”

Just as quickly as it started, the Bank of Timex came to a crashing halt. After receiving some compliments on the situation, McDonald came back to the Bank of Timex Twitter feed on Monday to announce its cessation.

Congrats, marketplace idiots,” McDonald began on Twitter, “you guys win again! I’ve spent the evening learning more about the legality of online gambling and can’t really justify keeping this going. It would get too big, too quickly and I doubt I’d even get to keep the money I win from you guys.”

On a closing note, McDonald explained why he started the Bank of Timex in the first place. “I wanted to do my part to fix how stupid the marketplace is,” he Tweeted, “but I guess I can’t really try to fix poker’s problems without being penalized.” It is thought that he will cover the action already booked, although he hasn’t confirmed that.

The reality is that staking is a part of the poker community and McDonald, in his efforts to work stock market philosophies and banking principles into his Bank of Timex idea, might just be ahead of his time in what he tried to do.

What do you think about the Bank of Timex? Let us know by leaving a comment here or visiting this PocketFives thread.

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