Online Poker is just about gone for US based players

No surprise if you are an online poker player, but our options of playing online have effectively been taken away from us. The UIGEA law enacted in 2006 made it illegal for banks and financial institutions to transfer funds to and from online Poker sites.

On April 15, 2011, the DOJ used that law and stopped all online play by US players from occurring on two or three of the major US facing online poker sites. This event was named “Black Friday”. US players were no longer allowed to play for cash on either PokerStars or FullTiltPoker. These sites were charged with fraud and money laundering.

These charges are basically true because credit card companies and banks were restricting the transferring of money to and from poker sites. So the sites got creative and coded the transactions so that it appeared that the product or service being purchased was not “poker”. As in all creative accounting ventures, they eventually got caught. Well, actually the person who taught these companies how to process the money ended up as a government witness against them, or so the story goes.

The DOJ has made it hard and even next to impossible to withdraw our funds from these sites. It may take several weeks or even months before US players can even request their funds.

In all likelyhood, it will probably be two or more years before we will be able to play on an online poker site for cash legally.

Yes, I know that Carbon Poker, Cake Poker skins and others online are available., but we still have the same problem of legally depositing and/or withdrawing our funds. We know that the DOJ will be watching and going after the next largest violator of the law. In reality none of the offshore sites will be truly safe for US players until there is legalized online poker in the US, regulated by either the State or Federal government.

So in the meantime we need to contact our local and national government officials and let them know what we want to see happen to online poker in the US. This is not an easy task but we must all do our part. Bickering and complaining about won’t help. Even organizations like the Poker Players Alliance needs to step up their efforts and work for us in an effective manner. They should be thinking about more than just public relation efforts to support our cause.

I still have funds on Bodog, Carbon Poker, DoylesRoom, PokerHost and TruePoker. I will play on those sites and I will withdraw whenever I have $250 in profits. I may take a shot at playing larger tourneys or higher level cash games if the games look beatable. I will certainly start withdrawing any winnings on these sites before they are also locked out to us.  But I will certainly try to keep my risk of loss as low as possible in any case.

The next few years won’t be easy and they will not be as fun as they were prior to April 15, 2011.

I will not be making anymore deposits until online poker is legal in the US. This is getting easy because there are practically no deposit options left that I can use. There were online payment processing companies that allowed you to either deposit by credit card or bank transfers from your banks. Then you could transfer the money to the poker sites. Most of these companies have had their funds seized.  This was very similar to what happened with NetTeller a few years ago. But at least with NetTeller, I was able to get my money back after about a year wait. This time, I lost all that I had on account with the two payment processor that I was using.  One of them offered to wire transfer my money to me but were going to charge me a $50 processing fee which was more than I had on the account.

I will probably visit my local New Hampshire poker rooms three days a week or more.

What are your future poker plans since “Black Friday”?  Where do you go from here?

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Switching Gears!

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Today’s post is a bit off topic as I share with you some of the blogs that I like to read and that I think have value. I use Google Reader and subscribe to about 50 poker related blogs. Using Google Reader allows me to preview the current postings and then choose the ones I want to read in detail.

One of the blogs I read is the “Poker Bankroll Blog”, which uses guest writers. There is usually something there that I find educational or at least very entertaining.

This week I read Swyyft’s posterous blog and was entertained by the story he shared concerning the chat during a session with a high stakes online poker player.

The Mystical Jett is another blog site that contains very interesting and thoughtful posts and reviews.  Jett’s twitter account is @mysticaljett. I play poker online from time to time with him.

Paul Ellis writes on Pablos Place where he brings a lot of passion about poker, putting a “Bad Beat on Cancer”.  On twitter he is known as @coolwhipflea. We also run into each other on the online felt.

Bill Rini, a professional poker player is currently living in Thailand and always has something interesting, and very often, important to say about the state of online poker around the world at Bill’s Poker Blog.   Just visiting to see what pictures he has posted there is an adventure.  Follow Bill on twitter, @billrini.

Goeff Manning, aka @cprpoker on Twitter, has at least three great blogs. Complete Poker Rules contains recent stories regarding poker as well as sections about the rules of various poker games.  The Twitter Poker Tour site is both a forum and a resource for those of us who play on the #TPT tourneys. You will find the leader board, schedules and lots lots more. His latest site, Worth Cause Poker is dedicated to getting out information about fund raising poker events for charity. If you know of any local or national events, please let him know so that he can include it in his blog.

These are just a few of the many blogs that I check daily. Do you have any favorite blogs that you go for poker news or entertainment? Do you have some that you would recommend to me or others?

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A reminder about putting a "Bad beat on Cancer"!

Bad Beat on Cancer Pin
Image by larrykang via Flickr

Even though I have already posted about this topic, I think it is important enough to repeat. I have lost relatives, friends and co-workers to cancer and I am sure you know someone who has as well. Anything we can do to bring awareness to this cause will help.

The following paragraph is from my friends at the “Twitter Poker Tour”. They are joining scores of other poker related sites to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer and support research. Please take the time to read this and do what you can. If you can not play in the tourney, please consider contributing to the fight against cancer. Even if you are unable to play, consider registering anyway. Your contribution will go to a good cause. Thank you.

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On November 15th, the Twitter Poker Tour will be conducting its Second Charity Tournament to benefit Bad Beat on Cancer. The tournament will again be hosted online at Full Tilt Poker. This time around the tournament will again headline Full Tilt Poker Professional Andy Bloch, and for the first time, Full Tilt Poker Co-Creator and Bad Beat on Cancer Co-Founder, Phil Gordon. Many other Professional poker players and celebrities are expected to also join the event. Read more

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Charity Tournament to benefit "Bad Beat on Cancer"

Bad Beat on Cancer Pin
Image by larrykang via Flickr

The following paragraph is from my friends at the “Twitter Poker Tour”. They are joining scores of other poker related sites to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer and support research. Please take the time to read this and do what you can. If you can not play in the tourney, please consider contributing to the fight against cancer. Thank you.

———-

On November 15th, the Twitter Poker Tour will be conducting its Second Charity Tournament to benefit Bad Beat on Cancer. The tournament will again be hosted online at Full Tilt Poker. This time around the tournament will again headline Full Tilt Poker Professional Andy Bloch, and for the first time, Full Tilt Poker Co-Creator and Bad Beat on Cancer Co-Founder, Phil Gordon. Many other Professional poker players and celebrities are expected to also join the event. Read more

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A good weekend online

Bad Beat on Cancer Pin
Image by larrykang via Flickr

There was a lot of poker this weekend and I was pleased with the results overall. I played in eight tourneys and Sit and Go’s and cashed in five of them. The only cash game I played in was a disaster for me. I played exactly the opposite of how I should have. Loss of focus and money.

Perhaps the most interesting of the events was the Twitter Poker Tour – Bad Beat on Cancer charity poker event that was held on FullTiltPoker Sunday at 6pm.  There were 103 entrants to the event.  I  was involved in 70 hands before finishing in 65th place. While I did not finish as well I would have liked I found it a learning experience.

On my drawing hands I was made to feel very uncomfortable by a player who always raised about six times the value of the big blind. Once when this happened I had a hand that I was comfortable in re-raising with and I did and he folded. But most of the time I was forced to fold my drawing hands that I did not feel were strong enough. It was definitely annoying having to deal with an opponent like that. And that is what I took away from the tournament. I need to adapt my style to combat that type of opponent if I want to succeed as a tournament player. He finished in 10th place so it worked for him. At one point, with twelve remaining, he was the chip leader, so maybe it did not work that well?

Do you learn and grow from your experiences? Do you take something from both your losses and your wins?  Would you have dome some things differently if you had the chance?

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