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Co-Founder Paul Behrman Talks About New Online Poker Site


In the wake of Black Friday, Paul Behrman and his team developed, a poker site dedicated to enhancing the skill element of the game.

Here, Behrman discusses the site and explains why it stands out from the rest of the pack.

Card Player: For those who are unaware, what makes SkillBet different from all of the other poker sites operating today?

Paul Behrman: There are a lot of differences. First of all, SkillBet is clearly legal in the 28 states in which we operate. You can easily deposit with any credit card or directly from your bank account using Dwolla and withdrawals are processed in 24 hours. We are located in the United States. And, of course, our version of no-limit Texas Hold’em is a more skill-based format, allowing for us to meet the “skill” requirements of 28 states, making it perfectly legal and safe for online poker players.

In SkillBet poker, you and I both sit at two identical tables. We are both dealt the same cards. We both play against the same five computer players. If you win $30 from the computer players with your Ace-Queen, but I only win $20 with my Ace-Queen then you’ve outplayed me to the tune of $10 and I owe you $10 for that hand. One nice feature is that you never fold and just wait for others to play. If both players are dealt bad hands they quickly fold and move to the next hand. If I play a hand but you fold it, then you can watch me play that hand in real time, hoping I lose – because if I lose then you win.

CP: Some saw Black Friday as a negative, but you and your company looked at it as an opportunity. Can you explain why?

PB: When Black Friday occurred, we were ready to launch some poker training software based on artificial intelligence that we had developed. So initially Black Friday had a negative impact on us too. But then we had a breakthrough. Games of skill are legal in most US states. Maybe we can make Texas Hold’em more skill-based and “legal” within the realm of skill-gaming in the US. So that weekend we came up with the idea for, worked around the clock, and filed a provisional patent application the following Monday. We haven’t looked back since.

CP: Can you explain the difference between the two game formats you offer, SkillBet Challenge and SkillBet Live?

PB: SkillBet Live is the game I described earlier. We both play our hands live, like a cash game. If you fold, you have the option to watch your opponent play his/her hand by selecting “auto view opponent.” Live matches last for 30 hands and then players have the option to continue playing “hand for hand” until one player leaves the table. SkillBet Challenges are 30-hand, winner-take-all competitions. You play 30 hands without seeing your opponent play their hands live. At the end of the challenge we pair you randomly with an opponent. You find out if you won or lost immediately after the game or as soon as your opponent finishes (by email).

CP: Post Black Friday, many players are concerned about the legality of playing poker online. They are also concerned about the safety of their deposited funds. How does SkillBet ensure that the players are protected?

PB: We do several things to protect players. Player funds are held in a US bank account separate from company funds. Payment processing for US customers occurs in the US. And, player withdrawals are processed within 24 hours. If our customers want their money, we give it to them! This seems like simple straight forward business, but our customers are pleasantly surprised to have withdrawals processed so quickly.

CP: In which states can I compete on

PB: SkillBet is available in following states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

CP: What do I need to do to get started and how quickly can I be competing at SkillBet?

PB: You can be playing in 60 seconds for real money! Just go to, click on the button that says “Win $12”. Confirm your location and age; then you’ll then see a poker table and you’ll be dealt a hand! Lacey Jones our beautiful poker pro / spokesperson will explain how to play. Then you’ll play 20 hands against her (actually a computer representing her). If you tie, you’ll get $6, and you can win up to $12. Shhh… even if you lose the whole $6, you still get $3!

Then if you like the game, you can get a 200% deposit bonus match up to $1,000.