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Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Poker’s “Super Tuesday”? Are you kidding me PPA?

Yesterday, Tuesday July 31, 2012, it was formally announced that PokerStars was acquiring Full Tilt’s assets from the Department of Justice and that all players (both US and Non-US) would be paid back any money they were owed.

Granted this is good news, however…

Non-US Players will be paid back within 90 days by PokerStars and in full, but US Players will have to apply for re-payment to the US Department of Justice.

To the Poker Players Alliance, via this announcement released 2012-08-01, this is a cause for dancing in the streets:

Weekly Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations

Yesterday, PPA sent out a member-wide announcement with terrific news -- the Justice Department approved the deal for PokerStars to purchase Full Tilt Poker!
From the Department of Justice press release:

Under the terms of the settlement with PokerStars, the company agreed to forfeit $547 million to the U.S. and to reimburse the approximately $184 million owed by Full Tilt to foreign players, in order to fully resolve the allegations in the complaint. The settlement further provides that PokerStars will acquire the Forfeited Full Tilt Assets from the Government. Full Tilt’s U.S. fraud victims will be able to seek compensation for their losses from the Department of Justice from the $547 million forfeited by PokerStars.

In other words, PokerStars has provided funds to cover all player balances at Full Tilt Poker and the DoJ is establishing a process by which we U.S. players can request and receive our money. While PPA does not yet have the detailed information on the specific process to follow, we are calling for a streamlined process and repayment of 100% of player account balances.

To aid in all of this, PPA will gather the needed information on the reimbursement process in real time and post it to http://theppa.org/repayment. I will be using the PPA guide to apply for my reimbursement and am looking forward to trialling the process for all of us. We have all been in this together from the get go, so I am personally pleased that we will be in it together as we finally recover our funds and press on for victory in the fight for licensed and regulated online poker.

PPA's legal team will remain fully involved as the ‘voice of the player’ to ensure we are all heard throughout this process.

For more information:
Poker Players Alliance Press Release
Department of Justice Press Release
PokerStars Press Release
PokerStars’ FTP FAQ

On that last part, the fraud or Ponzi scheme allegations were all after Black Friday and have to do with Full Tilt not revealing their financial situation to people who continued to play and deposit money on the site or in other words Non-US players.  The fact that they didn’t segregate player funds was bad business and a bad idea but wasn’t fraud.

My outrage continues to fall squarely on the shoulders over the Department of Justice itself.  The logic train that allowed them to even go after the online poker rooms is amazing and frightening—does anyone think the DoJ was somehow protecting the US population from “bank fraud” and the like?  Because after Black Friday they then rescinded their stance on using the wire fraud act which was their main weapon to insist that online poker was, itself, illegal gambling and the “bank fraud” did not harm any banks!  How this continues to this date with people caving to what is essentially government level extortion amazes me.

Well Hurray!  Super Tuesday!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The PPA Sends Out a Notice to Support the Barton Bill for Online Poker

What’s in the bill?  Why should I support it?  Hey look over there it’s a shiny object!

moneyIn what has recently and especially since BLACK FRIDAY been typical PPA fashion, the PPA has released an email to members asking them to support the Joe Barton bill (H.R. 2366 The Online Poker Act of 2011) saying “The bill will restore your online poker rights by allowing licensed companies to offer Internet poker with real money play to U.S. residents”

  1. Really?  First, the idea that my rights will be “restored” implies I had some rights in the past, lost them, and now I have them again.  Did I used to have rights?  The DoJ says no.  Logic says yes.  If I did have rights before then they never went away did they?  No, they were just trampled on by villains…
  2. This bill does not NEED your help.  It is a pre-ordained second footfall from the legislation that has already passed in Nevada to let the huge US land casinos take control of the online poker industry in the US for the next 3 years which is 2 freaking years past the Mayan end of the world.

The specifics that I am interested in are the following:

  1. Will we be limited to play against only other US players or will these newly licensed cardrooms be opened to the rest of the world? (hint to US “rest of world” is the correct answer).
  2. Will there be limitations on the financial tracking the US can do for US players?  Yes there’s going to be some sort of tax component (although the majority of that should be a tax the CASINOS pay not just enforcement of US income tax.  For US income tax purposes the information the govt. gets should not be in detail form but some sort of summary annual number and hopefully a net number (total won-total lost for example) like they do on W2 forms for regular employees.

The things I’ve seen mentioned like the draft bill containing a clause that consumers couldn’t use credit cards to finance their accounts is silly.  First because you can easily bypass that regulation by getting a cash advance and shoving it in your checking account and second because it’s already very hard to finance gambling with a major credit card in the US because of the ruling that US citizens aren’t responsible for gambling debt to the card owners so they get a one time pass on any gambling they charge to the card (of course if you invoke the rule they ban you from credit cards forever).

So What Should You Do?

Nothing!  Just sit back and relax and watch the show.  Everything will be over very soon now…

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joe Barton Releases Poker Bill and PPA Instantly Applauds It!

Shouldn’t we read it first?

Well Today (June 24, 2011) Joe Barton’s bill was released earlier than at least Joe Barton imagined (as early as a couple days ago he was predicting probably 2-3 weeks even though many sites have reported it would be released this week).  Pocket Fives has the bill online and you can read it here.

My first browse of the bill makes it seem fairly decent.  There are going to be issues that will be talked about, like only US players being able to play against other US players and the financial tracking the US government will now be able to do one all your poker wagers, oh and the tax collection and distribution by the licensed online poker venue itself.  Any of those could become big issues, but the truth is nothing can stop this legislation at this time the same way nothing could stop the Patriot Act when it was introduced after September 11th.  Online poker players are hungry and afraid and they’ll sign up for anything that lets them start earning money again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yesterday’s PPA Protest in Washington D.C.

Yesterday (May 24, 2011) the Poker Player’s Alliance took Greg Raymer and dozens of other poker professionals to Washington to talk to senators, congressmen and really anyone who would listen about the issues on online poker and the recent crackdown by the Department of Justice on “Black Friday” April 15, 2011 against the three largest online poker rooms serving the United States.
The message of the PPA was one calling for regulation and taxation of online poker “now” and the message that many many Americans have been affected by the loss of either their income source or their hobby.
Did their trip have an impact?  None that is immediately apparent.  The machine that is going to license and regulate poker in the United States is already turning and at this point the PPA is like a child yelling at workers at an in-progress construction site to “keep building.”  “They will. They will.”
Forbes Blog Gets It Wrong RE: Doyle Brunson
Apparently Nathan Vardi wasn’t aware that Doyle has been distancing himself from Doyle’s Room since the April 15th action by the DoJ.  Some are saying he had inside knowledge there were going after targets closer to him but in any event he made it public he was severing ties with Doyle’s Room weeks ago.
Here’s the full Forbes Blog Entry

Monday, May 16, 2011

Full Tilt Poker Updates Status of US Player Withdrawals on Two Plus Two Forum

logo_fulltiltpokerThe short version is that they aren’t ready yet and there’s no set date for the next update. FTPDoug on the twoplustwo forum posted this update late Sunday May 15th (read the full version on twoplustwo here):

When are we getting our money back?

- Here's the official statement about where we currently stand on US withdrawals:

"Since April 15th and the days immediately following, Full Tilt Poker faced numerous challenges and hurdles to ensuring the smooth operation of its international business and the orderly return of US player funds. FTP has worked tirelessly to address these issues and has made significant progress on both fronts. 

FTP's international business operations are returning to normal while we focus on ensuring the safe and orderly return of US player deposits. We are absolutely committed to making sure that US players are refunded as soon as possible. We apologize for the delay and the fact that we underestimated the time it would take to work through these issues. We will update our US players when we have more specific information to provide."

And what's going to happen with our points?

- We will be opening up the FTP Store to US players again. All of the details haven't been worked out yet, but this is how you will be able to use your points. It's expected that everything in the store will be available for purchase except for bonuses and tickets. We will be sure to keep everyone updated when we know more, including when the store will re-open.

Where we're at in terms of reconciling US player accounts:

  • All promos have been paid out. That includes Take 2, Tournament Leaderboards, Cash Back, and the FTOPS Satellite Challenge payments.
  • T$ and Ticket conversion has started, but is a slower process and will continue through next week.
  • Pending rakeback payments should also happen next week, but only after all of the store purchases that need to be refunded have been refunded.
  • Iron Man medals have been distributed for April's play. Iron Man freeroll tickets will be converted to medals before all medals are converted to FTPs.
Other answers for US players:

1. what bout my cashout on April 15th that obviously hasn't come AND has not been put back into my account?!

- All cashouts that were never received (or checks that were received but couldn't be deposited) should be placed back into your Full Tilt account this coming week.

2. Can there be an "opt-out" for the medals/points conversions? Since it looks like there won't be a forced cash-out for relocating players, can we just keep our accounts intact?

- There is no opt-out for the medals conversion, but we won't be forcing anyone to use their points if they'd prefer waiting until they can play again to use them.

3. what about FTP store purchases made prior to April 15th, but weren't sent out yet and put on hold. Are we going to get FTPs back for those or are you going to start sending those out soon?

- We are going to cancel and give the FTPs (or medals) back for any store purchases that have not yet shipped.

4. you tell us we'll get our pending rakeback, but what about reimbursement for rakeback hits for store items that haven't and won't come?

- We will make sure any MGR hit is reversed on any store shipments that have to be cancelled. This is one of the reasons the final rakeback payments were delayed.

5. if we final tabled a FTOPS or MiniFTOPS event in the last series, will people in the United States still receive the jacket that they are supposed to get?

- Yes, these will still be sent out.

6. Posting to make sure you don't forget about PMI Doug. Also an update on that would be nice as last week you said people were still working on it.

- We have confirmed that the recurring charge will not happen again. As far as we can tell it didn't happen in April, so that's a good sign. There is still an ongoing investigation into exactly what happened and how.

7. just noticed the "my promotions" page doesn't work either. not sure how they can get the academy, iron man stuff right without these pages functioning.

- I'm looking into this.

Answers for non-US players:

8. Moneybookers?

- Moneybookers has been turned back on for some countries. Once it's confirmed everything is flowing smoothly more countries will be added.

9. CAN YOU PLEASE INCREASE THE MAX BUYIN FOR RUSH.

- There are no plans for this at the moment, sorry.

10. I think the tournament time shifts are definitely a good idea. However, you need to shift more than just a few of the majors. By shifting just these few tournaments it actually makes the tourney schedule considerably more inconvenient.

- What "normal" tournaments do you feel are missing from earlier times? Most US prime time tournaments have a Euro prime time equivalent already, so we didn't think shifting the entire schedule was necessary. If there are particular tournaments you think the Euro friendlier schedule is still missing, though, let us know and we can shift the later version or just add a new version of it at an earlier time.

11. Will this effect Iron Man freerolls as well

- Yeah, Iron Man freerolls will start a few hours earlier than they used to.

12. What’s going to happen to the Cash Back Bonus for those people who are planning to be in the US for the whole of the WSOP? Are FTP going to make a 1-time exception so we don't lose it?

- We'll figure something out to make sure you don't lose it.

13. I see the 150 seats to the WSOP has been removed. Are you planning on doing something like a 50 or 75 Gtd?

- No plans for that, no. The entire WSOP promotion has been scaled back, and that larger qualifier was one of the casualties.

14. Not sure if this has already been posted; but if you select this option [Auto-Close SNGs] & play a matrix, when 1 table closes the whole tourney shuts down?

- One of the small updates last week was to address this bug. It should work fine now, sorry about that.

15. Can you please give back some incentives for table starters

- I'll look into it again for sure.