After yesterday’s indictment of its owners, PokerStars, formerly making its home on the URL PokerStars.com, will now move to PokerStars.eu according to a post from a site representative on TwoPlusTwo. The new domain loads normally from all parts of the world and boasts that nearly 150,000 players are logged in at the time of writing.
PokerStars cut off real money play from the United States on Friday afternoon after the U.S. Department of Justice issued indictments against 11 men, including PokerStars founders Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate. PokerStars.eu went live shortly thereafter and a PokerStars representative posted about it on TwoPlusTwo around Midnight ET.
“PokerStars Steve” explained, “The PokerStars website has been moved to www.pokerstars.eu, and the PokerStars Support email address is now [email protected] PokerStars apologizes to all players for any inconvenience caused by this disruption.” He cautioned, however, “Please be aware that PokerStars Support is currently experiencing a very high volume of emails, so response times are delayed. Player emails will be answered as quickly as possible.”
A scan of the PokerStars.eu website found no mention of the Justice Department’s crackdown. In fact, the sponsored team from the United States – which includes Chris Moneymaker, Joe Cada, and recent North American Poker Tour Mohegan Sun back-to-back Main Event winner Vanessa Selbst – was still listed.
Visiting PokerStars.com this morning yields the same FBI warning that reads in part, “This domain name has been seized by the FBI pursuant to an arrest warrant in rem obtained by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York… Conducting, financing, managing, supervising, directing, or owning all or part of an illegal gambling business is a Federal crime.”
Among those ramping up their live poker games last night was PokerStars front man Daniel Negreanu, whose likeness graces the front page of PokerStars.eu. Negreanu Tweeted his plans for the evening: “Going to Aria to play $400-$800 Mix just like I did over 10 years ago when I was a professional poker player. Save me a seat boys.”
On Saturday, poker agent Brian Balsbaugh told the world via Twitter that a flood of comments from poker pros might not be coming: “Advised all my clients who are sponsored by @PokerStars & @FullTiltpoker to not comment today.” He added, “I’m told U.S. traffic on @PokerStars & @FullTiltPoker is approx 35%. My educated guess: their international biz continues to thrive.”
According to PokerScout.com, which keeps tabs on online poker room traffic, Full Tilt Poker cash game traffic was down 21% week over week, the CEREUS Network was down 19% over the same time period, while PartyPoker, which doesn’t accept USA players, was up 2%. It appears that the CEREUS Network sites UB.com and Absolute Poker continue to serve the market despite the indictment of their owners on Friday.
Also gearing up for his run on the live scene was 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, who weighed in on Saturday, “Now maybe we will see if these online ‘superstars’ can play real poker. Ante up suckers!” Brunson’s site, DoylesRoom, was not affected by the Department of Justice’s indictments. Also appearing to operate as normal were Cake Poker and Bodog.
We’ll keep funneling you the latest information as it develops right here on Poker News Daily.