The day just keeps getting worse for online poker players in the United States. Full Tilt Poker announced via a press release obtained by Poker News Daily that it will no longer accept real money action from U.S. players.
The statement from Full Tilt read in part, “Unfortunately, as a result of this action, Full Tilt Poker has decided that it must suspend real money play in the United States until this case is resolved. However, Full Tilt Poker will continue to provide peer-to-peer online poker services outside of the United States.”
This afternoon’s indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice names Ray Bitar and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker, with the former commenting in the site’s press statement, “I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration.”
According to the charges levied by the U.S. Government, Bitar, Burtnick, and nine other defendants “arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls. Of the billions of dollars in payment transactions that the Poker Companies tricked U.S. banks into processing, approximately one-third or more of the funds went directly to the Poker Companies as revenue through the rake charged to players on almost every poker hand played online.”
In an article posted on PocketFives.com, players were irate at the news that the two largest online poker sites in the industry – PokerStars and Full Tilt – had vacated the real money market in the United States. One member wrote, “Man I’m pissed and I only play for some fun and a little extra income, I feel for you guys (and girls) who grind for a living and don’t know wtf is happening and trying to figure what you’re going to do next.”
One of the only Full Tilt Poker pros speaking out on Friday was Tom “durrrr” Dwan, who tried to put readers’ minds at ease if they were concerned about cashing out from either of the two former USA giants. Dwan posted on Twitter, “I wouldn’t be worried about getting paid. Might take a little time. Good luck if ur not on FTP/PS.”
To that end, a statement posted on Full Tilt’s website assured customers that cashouts were proceeding as normal: “All players who were affected by the current situation have had their funds returned to their accounts and all new withdrawal requests are processing normally. We assure all players on Full Tilt Poker that your online playing experience will not change and that you will be able to both deposit and withdraw funds as needed. Your money remains safe, secure, and accessible at all times.”
We’ll keep you updated with what is being dubbed “Black Friday” right here on Poker News Daily.