"Chairman" of SealsWithClubs.eu Flees To Antigua After RaidPublished on February 22nd, 2015 4:32 am EST
February 11th, 2015 is a day that Bryan Micon will never forget.
February 11th was probably going to be just another day for Bryan Micon - playing at the park with his 2-year old daughter, flying his drone over various areas of Las Vegas, playing poker on SealsWithClubs.eu and posting/retweeting anti-government messages on his Twitter account.
Instead, Micon allegedly found himself being led out of his Las Vegas residence at 8 am in nothing but "boxers and handcuffs". According to Micon, "many, many men with guns" broke down his door to execute a search warrant from the Nevada Gaming Commission, due to his association with SealsWithClubs.eu.
Micon, as you may or may not have known, advertised himself as the "Chairman and affiliate manager" of Bitcoin poker site, SealsWithClubs.eu. The site benefited from the rise in prominence of the Bitcoin crypto-currency and from the fact that it served US players who were able to benefit from the site's ability to easily process deposits and withdrawals.
Unfortunately for Micon and the rest of the people associated with SealsWithClubs.eu, this rise in prominence attracted the attention of the Nevada Gaming Commission. The Nevada Gaming Commission does not take kindly to people who are helping to operate unlicensed online poker rooms that cater, in part, to residents of the state of Nevada. Micon, who has loudly professed his love for Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker, decided to maintain his residence in the state of Nevada, despite the fact that his association with SealsWithClubs.eu put a target directly on his back.
On February 11th, law enforcement agents swarmed Micon's residence and took "most" of his electronics. Criminal charges, it can be assumed, would have followed shortly behind after authorities scanned the contents of Micon's computers.
In an unusual twist, Micon was released without being charged after a long day of being detained and no travel restrictions were imposed on him. Micon and his family wasted no time in booking a flight to Antigua, which is where Micon will almost surely spend the rest of his life.
On February 11th, a number of events took place that had people wondering about both Bryan Micon (who is fairly well-known in the poker world) and SealsWithClubs.eu.
Micon, who usually makes at least a dozen posts to his Twitter account every day, went completely silent on his Twitter account. The SealsWithClub.eu software went offline and the web site was erased and replaced with a simple cash-out form on the the main page. In addition, one of the site's "pros" completely wiped his Twitter account. What had happened? Had the Feds conducted a raid? Had the site's owners gotten cold feet about the venture? Was the site hit by some sort of massive security breach? Did the site's owners run off with the Bitcoins?
The initial story was that the site had been hit by some sort of "hardware failure". After that, the story became that the site had been crippled by a massive security breach but that the Bitcoins were all safe.
A few days later, Micon re-appeared on Twitter and stated that he was working to bring the site back up. Around this time, rumors were running rampant that Micon and his family had re-located to Antigua.
On February 20th, a long statement was posted on SealsWithClubs.eu that stated that the site would be shutting down immediately and that players should withdraw all of their funds. The statement said that "several events had occurred on February 11th" that were related to "operational security". The statement went on to say that Micon, who was "settling in Antigua", would be carrying forward the business with his own team, and that the "majority ownership" of the site would not be associated with the new venture and would not guarantee its "future security, solvency and integrity". In short, the former owners of the site (minus Micon) were washing their hands of the venture and handing the site's assets off to Bryan Micon. The new site, according to Micon, will be hosted at Swcpoker.eu.
By choosing to relocate and continuing to offer Bitcoin poker to all of the world's residents (including those located in the United States), Micon is essentially confining himself to Antigua for the rest of his life. It seems unlikely that some sort of an arrest warrant will not be issued for Micon after his computers were seized, which means that he will not be able to return to the United States unless he wants to be arrested.
Here is Micon's accounts of the events of February 11th:
Note: the Nevada Gaming Commission has not commented on the alleged raid as of yet
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms