Online Poker used to be an enterprise where everyone came out a winner. Now, only the U.S. Government stands to gain.
Online poker in the U.S. is basically gone. That’s a fact.
It’s taken me a little more than a week now (8 days to be exact) to really come to acceptance with what’s taken place in the online poker industry and come to grips with the realities that are smacking online poker players in the face. There are two basic facts that I’ve had to accept in the last week. The first fact is that it’s become abundantly clear that the U.S. Government hates American poker players and is telling us to just go screw ourselves. The second fact is that it’s going to be a long time before we’re playing poker online again, if we ever get to do it again on a reputable site, and that the only real winner in this whole fiasco is the ego of the U.S. Government and the anti-poker playing crowds.
It bothers me a great deal that there are no victims in the last five years of activities by online poker sites and the banks. While the claims of Bank Fraud, Money Laundering, and shady practices of funneling money are disturbing, it’s obvious that they’re also not hurting anyone. They’re simply going about their business in the only way that they could because of a stupid piece of legislation that got added onto the Port Security Act at the last hour in 2006. It was completely bone-headed law. There is just no other way around it. It couldn’t stand on its own, so they tacked on the bill to a “must pass” piece of legislation and it slipped through under the noses of politicians en route to creating a huge mess of the poker industry. But now that it’s finally being enforced (some 5 years later), the enforcement affects tens of thousands of U.S. poker players (those that make their living off of it, and those that play it recreationally), banks that lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in fees which the Government was getting tax money from, and the end of countless other opportunities for U.S. players and poker players and advocates. Read more…
Full Tilt Poker still opens with a message about how U.S. Players can't play "real money" but they're also not letting withdrawals proceed either.
Today the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York announced that they’d reached an agreement with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to effectively give access back to their .com websites so that they could process transactions for U.S. customers to withdraw their funds. Every site had a lot of quotes. Rather than quote them, I’m just going to link them:
Here is the Department of Justice Press Release
Article on PokerNews by Chad Holloway with Full Tilt and PokerStars releases
After a little debate with myself over the fact that I can’t play real money on either Full Tilt or PokerStars in the foreseeable future (unless I move to Canada or Mexico or something…and THATS not happening), I decided to withdraw my funds. First I went to Full Tilt Poker. I opened the cashier and clicked on “Withdrawal” and this message popped up: Read more…
The PPA is supposed to be representing poker players best interests, but from my vantage point, they've been doing a really crumby job of late.
Maybe it’s just me, but my level of comfort in the abilities of those at the head of the Poker Player’s Alliance is waning considerably. The PPA is a non-profit membership organization comprised of online and live poker players that have joined together in the United States to lobby for the game of poker. The idea behind the PPA was to create an organization that assists in educating lawmakers about the “good things” in poker, and to keep it legal in every State, all the while looking out for the best interests of the poker players.
Every big name poker pro that I can think of has voiced their support of the PPA, and for a long time now, I’ve bought into their message that they’ve been sending which has been “We’re fighting the good fight to keep online poker legal and working to protect the rights of poker players as a whole.” I don’t know the real ins and outs of what they’re doing on a daily basis, but their website has made it very simple to email, call, and tweet my members of congress, city officials, and establish a line of communication to the White House concerning legal matters in the poker industry. I’ve deferred to them on more than one occasion on issues with respect to the “best courses of action” for the game, and taken them at their word that they’re making the best decisions for furthering the game to the benefit of the players, and passing laws that are the most beneficial to those of us that love the game. Read more…
The U.S. is finally going after the online poker money.
That’s what they’re calling it. I think that the name sucks personally. Not that I have a replacement for it mind-you, but when I hear “Black Friday” I immediately think the day after Thanksgiving when all the sales go up. This is NOT a sale. This is….well….I don’t know exactly what this is…but I do know that it sucks something awful.
On Friday, the Southern District of New York unsealed indictments against 6 heads of major online poker sites (2 each from PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/UB), and 5 online payment processors. The charges include 11 separate counts of criminal charges such as violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act, Bank Fraud, and Money Laundering. As part of the process, the FBI swooped in to shutdown the online poker sites for U.S. Players, seized their bank accounts to freeze their funds, and made a couple of arrests. Basically, they scared the stuffing out of the day after Poker Thanksgiving (yeah…I went there, lame…I know).
What it means for us U.S. poker Read more…
Kelly Kim and I tangled in a pot last night during the TPTCS
Last night was the second Twitter Poker Tour Championship Series event on Full Tilt Poker, and I fared much better in this one. The first event was a $10 Pot Limit Omaha Hi event, and for whatever reason, I just suck at that game. I finished somewhere in the middle of the field, though I can’t remember exactly where and don’t really care to look. I had KKxx fail for me three times, and AAxx fail for me once. It just wasn’t meant to be.
But last night, I said something in the chat box that apparently just turned things around for me. I’d been running poorly for weeks, and down about $500 in small stakes tournament play over about a month now, and when the rebuy period was over, I decided that I wasn’t done gambling. Kelly Kim was moved to my table and I said something to the degree of “Hey KK, what’s Erik Seidel’s number? I want to call him to turn off my doom switch,” referencing the Holiday Episode from The Micros, and hoping to ignite a little run good. It must have worked. Soon after the comment, I got my money in bad with nothing but a Q high straight and flush draw against two Kings on the turn, and I hit my flush on the river. The double up gave me a bunch of chips when this hand happened: Read more…