Cashing out of online poker sites still a problem.
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:
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:
“Players located within the United States will temporarily be restricted from withdrawing from Full Tilt Poker. We would like to assure you that your funds are safe and secure. Unused Tournament Tickets or Tournament Dollars (T$) can be converted to real money – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”
So, obviously I wasn’t getting my Full Tilt Poker money. I then went to their Full Tilt Poker Store to use some of my Full Tilt Points that I’ve accrued since playing there since 2009. I had enough to buy a poker table and some poker chip sets that I can use for the home game here at Pablosplace, and I splurged. I’ve never really used the points in the past because it impacted my rakeback checks so now that this isn’t an option, I decided to get something out of my play for the last couple of years on the site. The items were said to arrive between 6 and 8 weeks.
Once I was done with Full Tilt, I went over to Pokerstars and opened up the cashier there. I clicked on their “Cashout” option and it walked me through the process of wiring money to my bank. I put in my bank account routing number and account number and got an email in return for my transaction. Here’s the email from the PokerStars cashier at 10:10AM this morning:Cashout request time: 2011/04/20 10:10 PT
Cashout amount: USD xxxxxx
A wire transfer for USD (xxxxxx) will be submitted for processing to your bank account *********.
Credit transaction #*********
Please allow 72 hours for processing of Wire cashouts and another 3-5 business days for the funds to arrive in your bank account (there may be delays if bank details provided are inaccurate).
Fees: PokerStars covers all fees charged by the sending bank, but you may be charged a fee by your bank and by an intermediary bank (if applicable) for receiving a wire transfer. For more information on your bank’s policy concerning fees for receiving wire transfers, please contact your bank directly.
Your PokerStars Account Information:
Name: Paul Ellis
User ID: fleapid
xxxxxxxx (home address)
US xxxxx(Zip Code)
I blocked out the personal information, but you get the idea here. I was disappointed that it came to this, but happy that probably sometime next week I’d have my online poker balance safe and secure in my personal checking account at Wells Fargo. That was until
That was until 2:10 PM today when PokerStars Cashier sent me the following email:Hello fleapid,
This email is to notify you that the following cashout via Wire was rejected.
Cashout request time: 2011/04/20
Cashout amount: USD xxxxxx
Wire cashout transaction ID: xxxxxxxxx
The amount of USD xxxxx has been credited back to your PokerStars account balance. If you have any further questions regarding this transaction, please contact “PokerStarsCashier” <email@example.com>.
PokerStars Payments Team
I was stumped as to what had happened, and a few minutes later, I got this email from PokerStars:Dear fleapid,
We were very pleased to receive the news today that allows US players to cash out their real money balances.
In response to this update, the Cashout Option in the PokerStars Cashier will be temporarily closed to allow us to prepare the technical solutions and formulate the plan and processes required to allow you to cash out your balance.
In the interim, any pending cashouts have been returned to your account in order to ensure players have the opportunity to cash out orderly. Please be assured, US player balances are safe. We will notify all US players as soon as the cashier is available again.
Providing you with the facility to cash out is our top priority right now, and hopefully all US players will be able to cash out via the PokerStars Cashier in the near future. We apologize for the temporary delay, and sincerely appreciate your patience and cooperation, as we continue working towards providing you with a solution to cash out.
Regards,PokerStars Support So at the end of the day, I still haven’t been able to access my funds and I’m involved in the same waiting game that everyone else is, all the while wondering exactly how secure my funds REALLY are. I would imagine that they’re just sitting in an offshore account somewhere, and that Full Tilt and PokerStars are just waiting for the DOJ to give them a thumbs up to work with some U.S. bank to process the U.S. customers transactions. I’m not really sure. But either way, they’ve still got our money, and we still don’t know when we’ll get it back.