Poker News

The Twitterverse exploded this afternoon following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Justice had indicted the ownership behind such American-friendly online poker as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB.com, and Absolute Poker. The DoJ has issued arrest warrants against 11 owners of these sites for several transgressions, including money laundering, bank fraud, and violations of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

“Ummmm this can’t be good… GG online poker,” asserted Christian “charder30” Harder over his Twitter feed.

Poker super agent Brian Balsbaugh commented over Twitter, “Words I’m hearing: ‘Interpol,’ ‘Seizure,’ and ‘Disenfranchise.’” Poker’s Godfather, Doyle Brunson, observed, “The DOJ must not have anything much to do. They just indicted 11 people from Full Tilt, UB, and PokerStars.”

The World Poker Tour’s “Raw Deal” host Tony “Bond_18” Dunst stated, “Seems s**t is hitting the fan in the U.S., be interesting to see how this pans out.”

Following the release of the indictment against the four major U.S.-facing sites, players began to notice that they were being blocked from access to PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and UB.com. “PokerStars already blocking U.S. customers from real money games,” Jonathan “FatalError” Aguiar Tweeted on Friday afternoon. “The Mayans were only 18 months off predicting the end of the world, pretty impressive.”

Jeff “yellowsub86” Williams attempted to log in and play at PokerStars after the announcement of the DoJ action. Once he was unsuccessful in getting into a game, he Tweeted, “Can’t play MTTs/cash games or transfer funds on PokerStars anymore, will the other sites follow suit?”

“Every few months, people think the sky is falling in online poker,” Tweeted European Poker Tour champion Mike “Timex” McDonald. “For the first time ever, I’m one of them.” DonkDown Radio’s Bryan “The Icon” Micon seemed to sum up a majority of thoughts: “Holy s**t. In the back of my mind I always knew I might wake up to a s**tstorm like this.”

What may be particularly shocking about this afternoon’s actions is a somewhat cavalier attitude from many of the players who have been a part of the online poker community. Team UB’s Adam “Roothlus” Levy Tweeted, “I know I’m supposed to be mad about all this online poker hubbub, but I’m at Coachella bitches!”

The 2011 weekend of concerts in the desert of California seemed to be a popular destination, as Phillip “USCphildo” Collins (“Looks like online poker is going down. Glad I’m as far away from it as possible…on a bus heading to Coachella 2011”) and Peter Jetten (“Whoa crazy DoJ raid, no idea what is really happening just going to sort it out later and party at Coachella”) Tweeted their thoughts on Friday’s actions.

The actions by the U.S. government have left many in the poker community considering their options. Matt “All In At 420” Stout commented over Facebook, “Everyone else is freaking about online poker being shut down in the U.S….I’m just trying 2 decide between Vancouver and Amsterdam!” Aguiar had similar thoughts: “Move to Canada or become live poker grinder? That is the question.” Absolute Poker’s Trishelle Cannatella echoed, “Costa Rica is looking real nice right now.”

Two other pros took the DoJ announcement as a signal to head to the live poker arena. “Looks like it’s time to lace up those live poker shoes,” Victory Poker pro Jonathan “FieryJustice” Little Tweeted late Friday afternoon.

Jean-Robert Bellande issued a Tweet for those who are shut out of the online action: “Attn onliners! Perhaps its time to give live poker a try. Come play with me @ARIAPoker and ask about casino rate. I need to build my roll!”

On a final note, noted World Poker Tour live reporter B.J. Nemeth summed up the government’s actions on Friday by Tweeting, “For the record, today’s poker news has nothing to do with recent poker industry news or deals. This has been a long time coming.”

18 Comments

  1. Seems like the also shut down poker on fulltilt for danish players,webpage and pokersoftware dont work in denmark.

  2. MouseEars says:

    For us micro, low limit and freeroll players, this shut down of these popular sites is real tragedy. Where in a B&M casino can I play 10-20 cent limit games?

    Who ordered the hit on these sites? Meanwhile in the Wallstreet casino the action is still fast and loose!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The poker world as we knew it is gone.

  4. peter says:

    “Full Tilt Poker would like to assure all players that their funds remain safe and secure. Processing of both deposit and withdrawal requests is proceeding as normal and is still available to all of our players.” …ummm, thats not exactly the case unless they’re talking about play money fund. I can’t get my cash out. You have been warned, Europe, Canada, Australia etc.

  5. Glen Pearson says:

    Poker is not gambling.If poker is gambling then so is online stock trading or trading in general.Why do the same people keep ending up at final tables,time and time again?What are they the luckiest people in the world?NO!In the game of poker you measure the equity involved in any given situation based on all of the available information you have at your disposal and act accordingly.Just as investments in the stock market do not always yield the returns expected or not at all in many cases, poker to has this trait.Now, you may say, what about the people who do not know how to play and are blowing their money gambling.Well to you I say, ANYONE who invest in anything in life without calculating the risk to reward ratio properly and accounting for all the variables at their disposal is GAMBLING.In that sense poker is gambling and so is everything else you do.What about children who dream of becoming pro football players?Should we tell them that they are not aloud to gamble with their physical well being or for that matter what about the cost of playing football that is spent and more times then not wasted because of an injury down the line or lack of discipline and fading interest.Adults should be able to measure risk by themselves and they do not need the help of the government.Now if you are talking about slot machines then yes I agree get rid of them as they are BUILT to make the player lose or how about state lotteries?Poker is a game of 100% skill.If you invest in the correct situation you WILL make money playing against weaker opponents.This is no different than any other sport!I did not see any of you stepping in to save Buster Douglas from Mike Tyson when the odds were 50 to 1.NO!You didn’t because you believed it was the mans right to wager his body against the will of another man.I hope this has opened the eyes of some.Thank you for taking the time to read this, regardless of what your opinion is.Remember it is your duty to protect the freedoms of others as one day your number may be called and will I be there to stand for you if you will not for me?

  6. Ad says:

    Glen, u expressed my sentiments verbatim and then some. Now, how do we get these stupid, greedy, leeches of elected patriarchs to actually do our bidding? Only way I see is to pay them off… I hate the way of the world. It appears it will never change. Elect new people, same results. Insanity, I need my govt regulated and approved pills.

  7. Bets McGee says:

    i am totally sure the US have the best interest of their citizens at heart, control and isolation is central for every free and democratic society right?

  8. joe says:

    example 1) Central banking system recklessly gambles with the lives of millions of pensioners tricking them to investing their pensions into high risk investment in the process bankrubting themselves and wiping trillions off the world economy results in them receving billions in gov bailouts.
    example 2) a number of U.S citizens place money onto online poker sites under their own freewill to play a game they enjoy results in the pokersites being seized by the FBI and exiled from the U.S. seems like a kinda skewed sense of justice if you ask me

  9. anonymous says:

    I think that all this banning US poker players, is a bunch o chicken @#$%. Its just a government shake down. Uncle sam wants his cut at 3 billion to start not includings fees and fines. Its was the live casinos who bribed , high officials on capital hill , to pass this bill, awhile back. Then they bribed them again, to enforce it. The dam live casinos shouldnt have any say so in what each american can do or play sports without reprecusions, to each idividual likings. Poker is now considered ” A Sport ” thats why ESPN is covering all poker tourneys. It should not be illegal to play ur favorite “SPORT” , live , internet, or anywhere, as long as it is reputable. I guarantee ,that anyone or lawmaker, or any1 running for office ,WILL NOT GET MY VOTE, OR ANYONE ELSES VOTE , NOR THE VOTES OF FRIENDS, FAMILY , AND CONTACTS. This is supposed to be the land of the free. Its not , its the land of a controlled government , telling u what u can and cant do, even if its not threating to anything or anyone. SHAME ON THE US GOVERMENT. I can tell you how to fix the defecit, so u dont have to crackdown, on a US SPORT. Its simple, LEGALIZE MARIJUANA , and tax it .Jails wouldnt be over filled from crimes that have to do with weed. The money saved from lawyers , courts,and fines , could then be used to stimulate and buy things for the economy.The US could regualte how much THC is in each pack of (weed)cigs, so u could smoke a whole pack and feel very little, like .001 %. The tax from buying a pack would then bring down the deficit and ,leave jail spots open for the real criminals, stimulate economy growth, and leap foward a whole new medical field in that industry.Crime rates would also be at an alltime low… And thats how u can get your money government, an endless supply of money, every year. Instead of a one time shakedown, pissing off voters and americans alike. Also ,by closing the internet poker sites for US players, you have put peoples lives at risk . Alot of players depend on an income from playing a sport”poker”, to support their families, and by doing this , you just made the economy worse, and left atleast 5 million people, are now without a job and income to feed their family… SHAME ON THE US GOVERMENT, and SHAME ON THE LIVE CASINOS ,for doing this against americans , ALL JUST TO MAKE A BUCK!!!

  10. jwjw2 says:

    does anyone have any ideo if this will be a temp thing or is it for re4al, and how do you get your money back if it is real ??????

  11. Anonymous says:

    I doubt 5 million us citizens make their living online. If that is solely how they get their money then they are allready “technically” among the unemployed as far as statistics go. And most people actually agree with the government and think long term this may be a positive thing. Until the dust is settled, maybe we will see an increase in bank robberies/McDonalds hiree’s, but eventually this whole dispute will be settled and we will be back playing. Not on Pokerstars or FullTilt with our old bankrolls, but starting from the begginning at USPOKER.GOV . That is how it needs to be. And the weed theory is boderline retarded (“Pack of Weed cigs, .001:” ???? WTF ANONYMOUS???)

  12. granpabassmike says:

    For those with an attitude, I’m one of the people responsible for the seizures and shut down of Ultimate Bet, Full Tilt and Poker Stars. I proved with physical evidence that they cheated at table games and tournaments. I proved that hand play was rigged and hands were predetermined. Winners were picked before hands were dealt. I gave info on bank, bank accounts and those responsible. If they hadn’t cheated me, I wouldn’t have helped by so instrumental in their seizure. Cheat and get busted! They deserve what has happened. They ripped me off simply because my play was far above average and I excelled at getting a winning bank account, not a loss. It is true revenge and justice. I relish it. Don’t like it? Email me at my name and add @hm.com losers and whiners. Never rip off an honest man who deserves his winnings punks.

  13. granpabassmike says:

    My previous post 4/18/2011 at 8:36 pm – failed to mention my user names. Remember me scabs. OzarkMichael for Ultimate bet and Full Tilt. CodyBoy1951 for Poker Stars. SHOULD HAVE PAID ME SCABS! Guess who has the last laugh now?!?!

  14. anonymous says:

    I just wish someone would come out and say it out loud
    We do want to play poker, but why does it seem every time certain people are destine to lose even when they play well?
    yay hundreds of my dollars, for what predetermined winners
    just sad, plain sad

  15. anonymous says:

    The UIGEA was basically the work of one man, then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-TN). Thinking he was helping his planned (but then quickly abandoned) campaign for President, Frist rammed through the UIGEA by attaching it at the last minute to the SAFE Ports Act. Forget about hearings or written comments. Frist refused to let Democrats like Sen. Lautenberg of New Jersey even read the proposed law. If Lautenberg didn’t like it, he could vote in favor of Islamist terrorism. The result is a statute that looks like it was not even proofread.

  16. for those that think online poker is rigged,yeah, there might be a little poker gnome there close to you that seem to predict all that ‘just happened’, have fun with your conscence…but the amount of hands you can play online, probability dictates you are going to see all kinds of beats, so go ahead and cuss your luck or remember the good hand more,don’t blame the software.

  17. looks like they squeeled like pigs and ran, couldn’t take the pokin’, gotten too fat off the rake, didn’t play enough of what they serve to defend themselves, getting their exercise to make leaner bacon, blah, blah..

  18. anonymous says:

    Ive playes on line for 8 years, all the poker rooms, I have no doubt that the poker rooms themselves ripped the players bank rools from them methodically. They were not satisfied with the rakes making them millions. I am positive these leeches had accounts set up to milk money from every day players. Sure some were lucky enough to win a tournament, but I never met a player who won any money playing regularly, never one player, I even asked players at my tables if any of them were ahead in their bankrolls, not one ever said he was. I found it very common in ring games, after making a deposit you could maybe double your money after a week or two, but amazingly you would lose it in a day or two of astoungingly bad luck. I found this happening absolutely regulary over many years. Ime convinced it was a total ripoff, thank you usa for getting me off the never winning tables. I am a very good poker player, I win regularly in live games . I hope the usa allows and regulates honest poker games in the future.All you players out there, be honest with yourselves, youve never won a dime on line, where did all of this money go, not to other players, but to the crooked online casino style computerized, manipulated , programmed to methodically rip you off poker parlors.

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