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Showing posts with label pokerstars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pokerstars. 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!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Online Poker to be Legalized by Tuesday! Obama Defies Gravity and Becomes Defacto Protector of Sector 2814

if there isn’t any real news we can make it up as good as everyone else!

barack-obama-green-lanternStill nothing much is actually NEW.  The excitement out on the street is that the bill co-sponsored by Texas representative Joe Barton could arrive as early as the end of this week, which the various news blogs and so on have morphed to “WILL ARRIVE THIS WEEK AND INSTANTLY REGULATE ONLINE POKER” which is not going to happen.  The fact of the matter is that the Nevada land casinos are already hard at work (don’t worry how I KNOW THAT land casinos, get back to it) on putting together the regulation infrastructure necessary for handle online poker.  If they work REALLY fast the soonest that’s going to happen is early 2012 so it really doesn’t matter much how fast the Federal legalization comes as long as it happens near the time Nevada casinos are ready to cash in on it.

Here’s the actual rundown so much as I know (and I’ve had my ear to many a door as of late):

Full Tilt Still Has Not Paid US Players: In fact, they haven’t even credited the accounts of most US players with the funds that they will eventually be paid.  An article on Subject: Poker on June 16th talks about a 60 million dollar shortfall they created by essentially giving players “loans” when the players deposited money on the site but Full Tilt didn’t have a payment processor to debit their accounts.  Since Black Friday this has sort of sealed the loss for Full Tilt and may be part of the accounting difficulties they are experiencing which of course are in addition that they just plain don’t have the money to pay US players.

The Joe Barton Poker Bill: He’s drafting it and they keep quoting him as saying online poker’s been legal but the bank funding has not, which is incorrect.  The DoJ clearly thinks that online poker is illegal (regardless of the truth) and the funding woes of all online poker sites trying to service the United States are due to the UIGEA which only applies if online poker is illegal.  So basically the DoJ is the bully which is saying they think it’s [online poker] illegal and if you’d like to try your luck funding it you might just disappear in a bleeping hole.  Obviously none of the other crimes like providing bank executive bonuses, funding player accounts with golf balls or providing hot oil massages to bank employees would be necessary at all if the banks weren’t 100% convinced by the DoJ that online poker is 100% illegal and therefore under the enforcement of the UIGEA in the first place.

Phew!  Having said that, online poker is actually legal, just no one wants to risk their life or freedom to prove that especially when state and federal bills which will effectively legalize the industry are so close.

UB.com and AbsolutePoker (Cereus Network) Payouts:  Honestly I think we’re all going to probably have to give up on this one.  The amount of business they are doing post Black Friday just isn’t going to be sufficient to generate money to pay back the US customers they owe.  Take a trip over to Poker Scout and check it out for yourself.  Maybe in the long run this is the best thing.  Cereus made some horrible decisions and they still refused to fix their infrastructure including customer support and fraud prevention.  I’m not saying they were actively cheating anyone in 2011, but they weren’t doing as much as they should have to be responsive to customers and to protecting their online interests.  Full Tilt Poker is also guilty of many of these issues especially with regard to poor customer service.  I sincerely hope that the next wave of online poker uses PokerStars as a model.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It’s Saturday So What the Heck Is Going On In the Poker World?

USA Catches Its Breath from DoJ Attacks

Justice Department DOJThe original DoJ indictments targeted four cardrooms: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. Of those cardrooms they have temporarily returned the .com domain names to PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for the purposes of paying US players.  They also have an agreement with UltimateBet/Absolute Poker that those cardrooms will be allowed and able to return US player funds however the DoJ did not return their domain names.  Players can access them now at ubpoker.eu and absolutepoker.eu.
As far as returning funds goes only PokerStars has stepped up and actually accomplished this task so far.  It seems as though Full Tilt, UltimateBet and Absolute Poker are short on cash and looking to raise it either from the rake or (rumor has it for Full Tilt) by selling off part of the company.  In any case paying the funds owed to US players is a top priority for all these sites because they will lose the players in the rest of the world if they show they do not honor their player obligations.  There are other rumors and predictions that at least the beginning of a Full Tilt payoff for US players will happen by the start of the 2011 WSOP (that’s in just a few days so we will see).full-tilt-poker
This situation has also brought to light that Full Tilt (and possibly other cardrooms) does not segregate player funds from their operating capitol.  In the future having funds segregated until the cardroom actually “earns” the money through rake will be a must and hopefully a regulatory requirement which will eliminate these player payment issues.

Poker News Sites are Taking Advantage

I’ve seen several examples of poker news sites and blogs posting false news stories to make it look like their product is the one true cardroom and then blatantly post their affiliate link to this place at the end of their story.  Even news sites as large as www.cardplayer.com have been caught doing this with sites as lame as webcam poker or cardrooms on the Merge gaming network (which still serves US players).
I certainly understand the panic these places must feel in terms of paying their bills.  Right now almost 100% of all poker advertising income has ceased for the low limit poker sites that I own.  The big three cardrooms aren’t paying affiliates (yet) and once they do the player base won’t include US players which will reduce the amount of income for most US-based affiliates by anywhere from 75% to 95%.  I am  literally having trouble paying rent at the moment, but even so let’s have a little dignity and not mislead the very poker players we’ve always tried to help.  Ok?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Relentless Defense Writes “U.S. Attorney’s Office on Tilt”

us dept of justiceThe lawyers from the Relentless Defense website write an excellent article regarding the DoJ action against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UltimateBet on April 15, 2011 debunking many charges and clarifying the legal situation and parallel the thoughts of I. Nelson Rose, an expert on Gambling and the Law (read his articles on www.gamblingandthelaw.com).

United States v. Scheinberg, et. al.

It has long been axiomatic that criminal statutes should be written in such a manner that there remains no ambiguity regarding the prohibited conduct.[1] After all, a person has a right to know exactly what conduct he may engage in without running afoul of power hungry prosecutors. While it has never been quite enough, it is this maxim that has occasionally restrained Federal prosecutors from using the strong-arm tactics of a Mafia Don. But not today.

Relying primarily on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) (31 U.S.C. §5361, et. al.) on April 15, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Manhattan brazenly seized the websites of Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker and unsealed indictments against eleven individuals, including the founders of the poker sites and four bankers, charging them with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking at least $3 billion in “civil money laundering penalties and forfeiture” from the poker sites and the defendants. Before moving on the poker sites, the U.S. Attorney’s Office secured restraining orders against at least 75 bank accounts allegedly used by the poker sites to process their payments.

For those who operated the sites and for those who played poker at their online tables, April 15th was characterized as “Black Friday.”

A criminal indictment is no small matter. The power to indict is the power to destroy. Those targeted today by the Federal government are unable to access much of their funds, making it difficult if not impossible for them to meet their obligations.  They stagger from the blows to their reputations, watch helplessly as their friends recoil from them, and awaken every morning to the crippling fear of incarceration. In our Federal courts the presumption of innocence is meaningless, for without a single conviction, these ruthless prosecutors have taken all these men have and threaten to confiscate whatever morsel they have so far missed. Even if exonerated, the damage done to these men is severe and very likely irreversible. Given this awesome power, one would hope that these prosecutors would not arbitrarily ruin the lives of their fellow citizens unless they were sure these individuals had violated a criminal statute.  Not so.

Read the rest of the article

Friday, May 20, 2011

PPA Continues “Glue Sniffing” Approach to Protecting Poker Players Rights.

Today I received (as I’m sure most people reading this blog have) a new email message from the Poker Players Alliance.  In it they say:

ppa_logoWe are now more than one month past Black Friday and there are still many concerns among poker players. Chief among those is the return of player funds. As recently as this week the PPA has communicated with Full Tilt Poker and shared with them player concerns about payouts. [ed. Seriously?  You shared with them that poker players have concerns about not receiving money from them?  You think they didn’t KNOW that?]

As the organization representing the interest of the players, we have shared with Full Tilt Poker the frustration of the players and have urged Full Tilt Poker to fulfill their promises to allow U.S. players to cash out their account balances. We are very encouraged by our communications with them. It is clear that progress is being made and that Full Tilt Poker remains committed to playing players as soon as possible. This is a top priority and we are confident that they are working toward a solution to return player funds.  [ed. Besides “talking to them” what else are you doing?  What specifically have you said to them and what specifically have they replied?  Talking to them is 100% meaningless they already have huge pressure from the players themselves and the international community to pay the money to US players—Is your talking doing ANYTHING?  No!]

It is important to note that Full Tilt Poker has always paid out their players even in the face of similar legal obstacles or factors not in their control, such as payment processor defaults and prior actions by the US government to seize US players' funds. The PPA will continue to communicate with Full Tilt Poker until the matter is resolved. [ed. OBVIOUSLY this situation is FAR different than previous processor fund grabs from the DoJ both in scope and in them going after the founders of the big three online poker rooms directly.  Previous money grabs didn’t force them out of the US market but THIS ONE DID which is a HUGE AND ONGOING financial hit]

The  PPA similarly calls on Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet to fulfill their  promises to allow U.S. players to cash out their account balances.  The  PPA will initiate a dialogue with Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet to  convey to them the frustration of our membership. [ed. Again do you think they don’t know that poker players with Cereus balances are frustrated and/or worried?  A far bigger deal to both Full Tilt and Cereus is that if they default on their responsibility to pay US players then they will lose their international players because, after all, who is going to put their money in a cardroom that doesn’t pay?  Large scale welching will never be tolerated.]

Friday, May 13, 2011

“The Motley Fool” Argues for an End to Online Poker Shutdowns

motley_foolA few weeks ago, I questioned the FBI's decision to shut down a handful of online poker websites. The FBI correctly interpreted the law -- but that law didn't make any sense. Why ban online gambling when its negative effects are demonstrably less harmful than other perfectly legal evils such as obesity, smoking, or medical bills?

More importantly, this debate is about which businesses should and shouldn't be regulated. I believe that things need regulation when they can cause widespread collateral damage on innocent bystanders. Most courts have taken that test a step further, judging the legality of a game based on whether it relies on skill or luck. Skill is good. It's capitalism. Luck is bad. It ruins people -- or so the thought goes. The current ban on online poker rests largely on this skill-vs.-luck premise.

A new paper by Thomas Miles and Steven Levitt (the latter of Freakonomics fame) challenges it. The two economists used data from the 32,000 players who participated in last year's World Series of Poker to show, convincingly, that successful poker players are indeed skillful folks.

Read the rest of the story @ the Motley Fool

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Absolute Poker and UB.com Fire Pros in Wake of Black Friday Indictments

Joe Sebok, Prahlad Friedman, Scott Ian and Trishelle Cannatella have all had their ties with the cardrooms severed.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The parent company of online poker websites Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet said Monday it laid off 11 sponsored poker professionals in the United States as two of its executives face charges of tricking banks into processing illegal gambling payments.

Antigua-based Blanca Games said it has severed ties to players including Joe Sebok, Prahlad Friedman, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and "Real World" reality star Trishelle Cannatella.

"This was a difficult task for Blanca's management, and we are very disappointed that we have been compelled to sever ties with our sponsored pros," the company said. "We are truly saddened that circumstances have dictated this course of action."

The company said the indictments unsealed April 15 mean the company can't pay players to play poker. The legal actions in federal court in New York targeted 11 executives and alleged associates of Absolute, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, including Scott Tom and Brent Beckley of Absolute.

The indictment said Tom and Beckley were stepbrothers who were principal decision-makers for Absolute.

Sebok, a former Ultimate Bet-sponsored professional who has cashed 16 times at the World Series of Poker since 2005, told The Associated Press that he learned about the layoffs a week ago. Sebok said he has been talking with upper managers at Ultimate Bet since the indictments became public.

"It was obvious that, regardless of what direction things went, that sponsored players in the USA were going to be unnecessary, or certainly far less necessary," Sebok told the AP. "It was pretty obvious, at least in my mind, that we would be let go."

Sebok, popular among card fans with nearly 1.1 million Twitter followers, said he's less concerned about his situation than with American players getting back funds deposited on the sites. He said he hoped it could get done despite hurdles.

"Everyone's way of life has just been uprooted," Sebok said. "(Players) are going to have to rethink how they plan on living, moving forward."

Sebok, a founder of popular poker news site PokerRoad.com where he maintains a blog, said he hasn't yet decided what he will do next.

Blanca announced last week that it significantly reduced its staff as it fully moved away from its U.S. business.

Full Tilt and PokerStars have announced agreements with the Department of Justice to return money to players, and PokerStars says its process has begun. But Absolute has said that while paying players is its top priority, it's reviewing the legal actions with its lawyers before moving ahead to make payments.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Online Poker in Nevada in the near future? Scott Matusow says yep…


From www.scottmatusow.com

Harrah’s/Ceasar’s will be the first to roll out interstate online poker. The UIGEA only covers ” funding thru a financial institution illegal gambling”.. Nevada has legal gambling, and regulates it. It will be up to each individual state as to whether or not to allow online poker in their state. As it stands now, only a handful of states did not allow FTP/PS and others to serve them, and specifically have laws forbidding it. See, PS, by trying to team up with The Wynn Hotel, was trying to get into Nevada, and around The UIGEA. They were prepared to put in a ton of money to get into the “interstate online poker game”.. My contacts tell me that this triggered Harry Reid and Ceasar’s to use their contacts to give the “go ahead” for The DOJ to essentially muscle out the offshore giants, PS, FTP, AND UB/AP, opening up the market for Caesar’s first, then others will follow. In time, PS will return to the USA Market, once Interstate Poker is flowing, and most states allow it. This will trigger Federal regulation to allow PS/FTP and others to enter back into The USA Market, eventually. However, they will have to be legally incorporated in The USA, accepting corporate liability along with all other corporate law, and abide by any and all regulation at the time they enter back in. Basically, what has happened here is Caesar’s/Harrah’s saw a big offshore site, Pokerstars, try to move into their market in Nevada, and basically used/paid off their “people” to ensure that would just not happen.

Read the rest of the story here.

Shutdown of Internet Poker Hurts Players

Las Vegas Journal Review

It's a standard recession-era tale of woe: A company closes and workers lose their income.

But there's little else conventional about what has happened to North Las Vegan Mike Ziethlow.

Ziethlow earns a living through Internet poker, playing for cash on websites such as PokerStars and FullTilt and selling poker-training software.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Current Status of PokerStars Frequent Player Points


This is from PokerStars Support:

Thank you for contacting PokerStars.

In light of recent developments, PokerStars is no longer offering real money play to US residents, or residents of US territories.

The PokerStars Cashier is now available for you to cash out the funds in your real money account balance, which was the number one priority for PokerStars.

PokerStars is currently working with the US government to achieve an agreement on what can be done with FPPs. PokerStars would prefer that players be allowed to use their FPPs in the VIP Store as normal, however no final decision has been agreed.

Rest assured, should you choose to await any decision prior to cashing out, your real money balance is completely safe.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Best regards,

Will D

PokerStars Support Team

PokerStars Starts Taking US Cash Outs, but Hey What About My VIP Player Points?

On Tuesday, April 26th PokerStars Starts Accepting US Player Cash Out Requests

True to its reputation they are the first online poker room to provide player cash outs.  I was able to sign into my account and cash out via Echeck (since I’ve used my checking account information before) with only a couple of clicks.  The big question now is what about the VIP points?  These can be worth a significant amount of money and I even know one player that has almost $20,000.00 worth of player points in their account.  We have a question into PokerStars and will report as soon as we have a reply on this issue.

No news so far from Full Tilt Poker on when they will allow US cash outs.  In fact I haven’t heard any official word from any of the poker pro’s from Full Tilt (beyond a couple of tweets berating UltimateBet from Tom Dwan and Daniel Negreanu), but that’s almost a daily par for the course DoJ poker raid or not.  I personally had a $600 cash out in progress at the time of the raid and Full Tilt still hasn’t even returned that money to my account.  That’s 3rd place performance out of 3 since UltimateBet and PokerStars both returned money at least to my player account.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday April 20th, 2011: PPA Claims Victory Over Evildoers! (But was really just sitting there eating a pizza)


Today the following email went out from the PPA:

4-20-2011 1-42-37 PM

The PPA here somehow want us to believe that the outcry of email and letters from us has caused the Department of Justice to change its mind and let US players get money out of their accounts.  Uh, no.  Clearly that was their plan the entire time.

What apparently is happening is the DoJ is setting things up so that there will be no legal opportunity to decide the legality of online poker (they say it is illegal, most legal experts say it is not) because in order to do so the poker rooms would have to risk one or more of their founders and the stakes for them are quite high.

Basically get the hell out of the US, never come back, and we promise your old US customers can get the money you owe them and we promise not to interfere with your future international (non-US) poker business.  It’s a tough deal to pass up when the alternative is the possibility of half your life in prison.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Professor I. Nelson Rose Talks About Current Black Friday DOJ Attacks on Online Poker

Federal Poker Indictments: Revisiting Prohibition

The timing is suspicious.

March saw Nevada regulators approving a partnership between Caesars and 888, and Wynn announcing a joint venture with PokerStars.  Now comes the indictments, three-billion-dollar civil suit and seizures of domain names by the feds.  Wynn immediately cancelled his plans.  Players were panicked.

Which was, of course, the goal.

If the allegations are true, the operators brought this on themselves, by lying and bribing bank officials. Of course, the prosecutors have the problem of convincing a jury that there is bank fraud when the "victims" are tricked into making millions of dollars.

And will this be the end of Internet poker?  Did Prohibition end drinking?

Prohibition created modern organized crime, by outlawing alcoholic beverages.  When people want something and it is illegal, organizations will arise to fill the demand.  How much more so when the activity, online poker, is not even clearly illegal?

Every action by the U.S. federal government makes it more difficult for it to go after the next operator.  The UIGEA, rammed through by the failed politician Bill Frist (R.-TN), can be seen as an anti-consumer-protection law, because it scared all of the publicly traded gaming companies out of the U.S. market.  Then prosecutors went after payment processors, making it more difficult for players to find legitimate ways to send their money to betting sites.

Now the feds have seized .com domain names and charged operators with bank fraud.  So, gaming sites are switching to .eu and .uk, and cutting off all physical contact with the U.S.  Even the present American operators can’t be extradited, so what hope is there for the DoJ to bring future foreign operators here to stand trial?

The Grand Jury has been meeting for at least a year.  The criminal indictment against PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute and their founders, was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney for New York on April 15, but bore a date-stamp of March 10.  So why now?

Besides the Caesars-888 and Wynn-PokerStars agreements, the Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill to regulate online poker.  And the District of Columbia actually made it legal.

The DoJ has been waging a war of intimidation against Internet gambling for years, successfully scaring players, operators, payment processors and affiliates into abandoning the American market.  Lacking the two essentials to any prosecution – a statute that clearly makes the activity illegal and a defendant physically present in the U.S. – the feds have announced showy legal action against easy targets about every other year.

Online poker is not an easy target, since a federal Court of Appeal ruled the Wire Act is limited to bets on sports events.  And tricking financial institutions into processing poker payments seems a technicality, especially since the banks made millions without paying a penny in fines.

But getting a bank to agree to process gambling transactions in return for a $10 million investment is an easier case, if true.  I can understand approaching a small bank – so small that the officer and part-owner who allegedly arranged the deal, asked for, and received, only $20,000 for his “bonus.”  But why would you do this in Utah, of all states?

There are lots of interesting nuggets in the legal papers.  The DoJ claims that one-third of the billions of dollars players deposited went to the operators through the rake.  That number seems high, but if true, it explains why everyone wants to operate an online poker room, with few expenses and no chance of losing to a lucky gambler.

Most of the activities cited occurred after the passage of the UIGEA.  This is a subtle acknowledgment that operators who left the U.S. in 2006 have nothing to fear.

Even if there was a bribe, the feds are still going to have to prove that the poker was illegal.  Since the Wire Act won’t work, prosecutors used 18 U.S.C. 1955, which makes it a federal felony if five or more people do more than $2,000 in business a day in violation of state gambling laws.  The indictment relies on "New York Penal Law 225 and 225.05 and the laws of other states." There is a “thank you” to the Washington State Gambling Commission, indicating that the DoJ is probably going to piggyback on that state’s 2006 law outlawing all Internet gambling, as well.

The Washington statute was upheld by the State Supreme Court.  Still, there are problems.  State laws are presumed not to reach beyond their borders.  And even if Internet poker is illegal in that state, it is quite a leap to seize domain names for the entire country and threaten bank accounts in places like Panama.

The only state with a law better than Washington’s is Nevada.  But basing this attack on Internet poker on Nevada law would look like it was motivated by the landbased casinos.  After all, who are the big winners here?

We will probably see the first attacks on the indictments from the two defendants who were arrested, the Utah banker and the Nevada payment processor who allegedly bribed him, when they fight extradition to New York.  And the poker operators will undoubtedly fight to get their .com names back for the rest of the world.

The operators will never stand trial.  The only U.S. extradition treaty I have found that covers illegal gambling is with Hong Kong.  Calling it bank fraud won’t work, since the defendants can show their local courts that it is based on gambling.  And it is fundamental to all extraditions that the activity be illegal in both countries.  No nation will extradite an individual to be tried for the very activity that that nation licenses.

There may not even be a settlement.  The DoJ accepted $405 million from PartyGaming and one of its founders and $100 million from Neteller and its founders.  But those companies had already left the U.S. gaming markets.  The DoJ will insist on a guilty plea to something, which might kill the operators’ chances of getting licensed when American laws change.  And no amount of money will buy them the right to open up again without a change in the law.  So what would these operators get from a settlement, other than not having to be worried about getting arrested changing planes?

It will be interesting to watch the fallout.  There are a lot of famous American poker players and others who are associated with the indicted operators.  They should be getting their affairs in order.

Meanwhile, like a raid by Elliot Ness on breweries and speakeasies during Prohibition, there are now wonderful opportunities for new operators to fill the vacuum.  Unless, of course, Americans are actually going to stop playing poker on the Internet.

© Copyright 2011, I. Nelson Rose, Encino, California.  All rights reserved worldwide.  Gambling and the Law® is a registered trademark of Professor I. Nelson Rose, www.GamblingAndTheLaw.com.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The morning after the US Department of Justice launched its weapons of mass destruction at online poker.

Where we are, where we’re likely to be going and what’s it all mean.

Right now the sites affected include PokerStars, UltimateBet renamed recently to UB.com, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.  As of this moment all of these domains are coming up with this DOJ web page:
4-15-2011 3-17-31 PM
PokerStars has blocked all US customers from playing on their site and Full Tilt Poker has reported that it will make a similar block sometime in the very near future.  There has been no comment from UltimateBet/Absolute Poker. 
It seems as though this insta-blocking of US customers is an attempt to dissuade the DOJ from going after all the poker rooms assets and using Interpol(!) to arrest the lead people from all four sites.  Obviously if this occurs it will mean a giant shakeup in the online poker industry not just for US players but for people worldwide.  Online poker will survive of course but the landscape may look very different in six months then it does now.
Obviously this affects a lot of people not the least of which is MellowYellow (the PokerStars player this blog tracked through most of last year and who finally achieved SuperNova elite status though hardcore 24-table poker playing). They are now unable to play in the US and may in fact lose all the value from their efforts last year.
We are recommending that if you disagree with this DOJ action you immediately contact your congressman and senators.

Friday, April 15, 2011

US Federal Government Lowers the HAMMER on Top 3 Online Poker Rooms


Full Tilt, Pokerstars and Absolute Poker up on charges

The United States Department of Justice created an indictment against the top 3 USA online poker rooms accusing them of fraud, money laundering and more.  This could effectively and immediately shut down the still thriving US online poker scene and rattle a nest of hornets that the DOJ may wish they hadn’t touched.

The full text of the indictments are here:


Friday, December 31, 2010

Supernova Elite Pursuit 2010—December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

I've never gone and setup Camtasia Sad i was planning on making a 24 tabling vid AGES ago and just never did.

Hell maybe i should try and stop when i'm only about 5 vpps away and we can play on the same table? 

Only problem is, it wouldn't be that dramatic as it wont change from Red to black stars on the table SadI'd have to leave and come back.  So hmm might be a bit anti climatic.

Anyway I am closing in on being under 10,000 to go!  probably another 20 minutes or so.  It's getting awful close now.  I just switched back to 100nl from 200nl tho.  I've been running REALLY well in terms of EV at 200 but really terrible in terms of cards, I keep running into AA or KK when I have Queens and AK and a lot of the times when i keep going after the fish they will river some gutshot or something and get it allin, so my ev is like below 500 today but I'm actually UP about 500 at 200nl today, So after just having a big up and downswing of $400 in about 10 minutes coupled with the fact that I'm only getting .32 vpps/hand at 200nl today (WTF!) I decided to move back to 100.

Why risk double the money vs. better opponents for only 20% more vpps?

This last week or 2 has gone pretty well.. I think with today I will be running good through the past 10 days but even before today despite running a bit below ev most days I had been turning an average of about $200 or so profit per day with a few small losing days mixed in (though Poker Table Ratings doesn't agree for some reason).

I tried to make a worst case estimation of what my BR would be like once I ended the year about 2 weeks ago.  I figured at worst I might lose another 2k, i figured even with this once i got my SNE bonus packages and all I'd still have an ok amount to start grinding next year on my own without having to get any backing (or more accurately a loan with guaranteed payback, since Im not going to get staked when Im already SNE) but so far I've actually profited close to 1k and Im now only 2 full days away, so unless I have the 2 consecutive worst days of 100nl I should be well ahead of my projection and feeling pretty safe starting out the year with my BR.

I hope I can at least break even the next 2 days, it would be nice to have one of my 'worst case' scenarios not come true since they usually nearly have been lately Smile

December 24, 2010

NO!!!!  Epic Fail.   I had .94 to go,

I went to a .5/.10 table HU and the first hand I flopped the nut flush and the guy bet into me, I figured about .33 rake would be all i needed, the damn guy jammed on me on the river and I called and it jumped from .13 rake to .39 or so and pushed me over !!! arrrgh LOL i was trying to get to 999,999.99
Damn that donk, what the hell lol


The black stars Very Happy

MellowYellow @ Low Limit Poker Forum

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Supernova Elite Pursuit 2010—December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

Ive never gone and setup Camtasia Sad i was planning on making a 24 tabling vid AGES ago and just never did.

Hell maybe i should try and stop when I'm only about 5 vpps away and we can play on the same table?  Only problem is, it wouldn't be that dramatic as it wont change from Red to black stars on the table SadI'd have to leave and come back.  So hmm might be a bit anti climatic.

Anyway I am closing in on being under 10,000 to go!  probably another 20 minutes or so.  It's getting awful close now.  I just switched back to 100nl from 200nl tho.  I've been running REALLY well in terms of EV at 200 but really terrible in terms of cards, I keep running into AA or KK when I have Queens and AK and a lot of the times when i keep going after the fish they will river some gutshot or something and get it all-in, so my ev is like below 500 today but I'm actually UP about 500 at 200nl today, So after just having a big up and downswing of $400 in about 10 minutes coupled with the fact that I'm only getting .32 vpps/hand at 200nl today (WTF!) I decided to move back to 100.

Why risk double the money vs. better opponents for only 20% more vpps?

This last week or 2 has gone pretty well.. I think with today I will be running good through the past 10 days but even before today despite running a bit below ev most days I had been turning an average of about $200 or so profit per day with a few small losing days mixed in (though Poker Table Ratings doesnt agree for some reason).

I tried to make a worst case estimation of what my BR would be like once I ended the year about 2 weeks ago.  I figured at worst I might lose another 2k, i figured even with this once i got my SNE bonus packages and all I'd still have an ok amount to start grinding next year on my own without having to get any backing (or more accurately a loan with guaranteed payback, since Im not going to get staked when Im already SNE) but so far I've actually profited close to 1k and Im now only 2 full days away, so unless I have the 2 consecutive worst days of 100nl I should be well ahead of my projection and feeling pretty safe starting out the year with my BR.

I hope I can at least break even the next 2 days, it would be nice to have one of my 'worst case' scenarios not come true since they usually nearly have been lately Smile

MellowYellow @ Low Limit Poker Forum

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Supernova Elite Pursuit 2010—December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

Yeah fpp pro is some site that breaks down being an fpp pro on PokerStars I guess. I've only just gone there once or twice, but it keeps a running total of what 'on pace' is for the day based on getting 1 million by years end.  So it breaks down to a little under 3k/day and it figures it out.  I finally caught up to pace again.

I've got a few more days under my belt, played some more 6max and again had bad results.  I just cant seem to keep it going good for more than an hour or 2.  The last session I played of it I was running just over BE maybe a buyin or 2, then suddenly through either coincidence, lack of focus or just overriding skill over coming variance I started to tank again.  Finished the session down almost 400, and decided that I just can't let myself play it anymore this year unless i want to use it for a final push to hurry up and get this thing, but not in my daily grinds anymore.  I was up quite a bit at 100nl before and then after that tho so it ended up being an ok day.

Then unfortunately, yesterday was football, so of course I ended up getting drunk and not playing much Smile and I stayed the night at my sister in laws house so I didn't get home to start playing til like 4pm or something like that.  I've been grinding almost nonstop though since I got here and was playing some 200nl FR with actually some really good results, I ran good AND had good ev, after today I decided to look back over my results for the last week, and even with the tanks at 200nl 6max I'm actually ahead this week for the first time in a LONG time (probably since doing this damn 14 hour day stuff)  So since I played a lot of 200nl I actually am looking like I'm going to be pretty close to getting my 5k for the day, I'll probably start tomorrow with 979k (4 days left)

Though I'm thinking about trying to play a lot more the next few days and see if I can get done early.  If I can handle 200nl I will probably try to get done in 3 days, but if I end up getting smoked like before then I will just drop back to 100 and finish in 4, either way... it's getting SUPER close Yo!

Yeah if anything I'm taking a few days extra off next year, I'm still not sure when I'm going to be flying back home, but i THINK before new years, in which case i plan on spending a few days at my mom and dad's house, both in WA state so obv no poker.  If I get a little bit of a late start I'm not that worried about it I'm planning on getting about 26k/week or so which is only 5k/day 5 days a week.  In the beginning when the weather still sucks I probably wont have a lot to do in Jan and Feb anyway so if I get a bit of a slow start I will probably be able to catch up anyway since I will probably still play 6 days a week when I'm just sitting around bored.

It is pretty surprising how many people procrastinate to the end like this.  I would have been done ages ago if I didn't decide to move down to 100nl, but some of these other guys just really surprise me.  My backer made it on about Dec 30th or so last year even after getting the 100k vpp bonus for playing in the WSOP from stars, and he is again going to be finishing on about Dec 27th or so and that's with him playing 200 - 600nl every day right now for 6k/month he entered Dec with about 860 or so vpps.  Then another guy on 2+2 megafossil is a mass multitabling DoN player, he entered this month needing over 200k vpps and he is now getting over 10k/day playing tons of DoNs for 13 hours a day, when I see that he is capable of getting this many vpps/hour and /day I wonder how he could get himself so far behind.  It's pretty amazing to me how strong the human will to procrastinate is.

December 22, 2010

Finishing up right now and going to have 15k remaining.  I had a super tough time sleeping last night, didn't go to bed til 5:15 or so and woke up a lot starting at about 8:30 or so, I was having those weird kind of cracked out dreams where you keep waking up but not really, really unrestful sleep. Anyway I think I dreamt about 6 different times that I had made SNE. I think it was the first time it sank in that I really should get this.

I think in the back of my mind I keep thinking something weird will happen that will stop me from making it, and until having some strange dreams that I was already SNE I don't think I ever really had gotten excited before.  I'm pretty excited to see those black stars!  Almost there fellas!

MellowYellow @ Low Limit Poker Forum

Monday, December 27, 2010

Supernova Elite Pursuit 2010—December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010

I wrote a fairly lengthy update 2 days ago on a plane but somehow it didn't update, maybe I closed the computer right after hitting post and didn't give it time.

Anyway I finally broke 900,000 about 2 hours into my session this morning.  Definitely a few days behind where I was hoping for.

It was crazy how bad my luck was while in Indiana for thanksgiving.  I stayed between 3 places:

My Step son's house, with the normal Comcast high-speed cable internet

My sister in laws house (the one featured on MTV cribs I think i posted about) that has super fast internet.

My Mother in laws house with an AT&T cable speed internet

I got some really short sessions in before Thanksgiving which was a bit of a bonus since I wasn't really planning on that, then we stayed 3 days at my Sister in laws.  Despite them having something superior than cable and her having played on PokerStars a ton and me having played on PokerStars from her house before several months ago, for some reason, whenever I connected to PokerStars it would only work for about 1 - 2 minutes than lag for about 10, it was insane and the worst lag I had ever seen, and this was whether i was on wireless OR directly plugged in.  And while it was getting zero connection i could browse at super fast speeds etc, it just made no sense.  So i lost 3 days there.

Then we stayed at my mother in laws house again for the 2nd time, and once again it worked fine, unfortunately we weren't there that long so I got another shorter session in.

Then the last day we were off to my step son's house..  I slept in pretty late before we went so I was FINALLY well rested ( i was having trouble sleeping the whole trip) and was all ready to stay up late and play the last day.  We get there, I'm watching my son play x-box for a few minutes when suddenly he gets disconnected from Xbox live, I go down stairs and his dad and grandpa are watching TV when it goes out... it was at that time we realized their Comcast TV AND internet was down, and they called and determined they had to get a technician out TOMORROW to fix it... And low and behold I couldn't sleep til after 6am with NO way to play... Sad

So I came back with a lot less logged than I had hoped for.  Stayed a day or so in Seattle and now I'm back home.  The only thing is my sister in law offered us(me and Poe) a side job we couldn't refuse but it will take about 3 weeks.  So now on Sunday she is flying us BACK to Indy where we'll be staying til almost new years.

So I have today and 2 more days to grind Vpps, I was hoping to just play ALL 3 days from start to finish as I knew it would be hell but I would be glad to have gotten it done, I'm still doing it, but was hoping to get about 7k vpps/day.  However todays vpp rate has been bad so it looks like only 6k again Sad

Oh well at least at this point I figure the absolute WORST I could go to Indy with even if I get a bit lazy is 915,000 and then that will leave me 17 days at 5k or less if I can get more vpps, so hopefully still on pace to get done before xmas.  We shall see, it's been slow going, if I hadn't gone to Indy for thanksgiving I probably would have about 940,000 or so by now, but it happens, at least I am STILL on pace to be able to make it only playing 100nl FR (yes I went back to FR even though I was really enjoying 6max and felt i was playing good, I kept having terrible sessions and running into what I felt was the top of my opponents ranges over and over and getting smoked so Im more or less just staying at 100 until the end of the year, or maybe til I get real close and just want to get it over with.

but... anyway whining aside, 900k and beyond, next milestone... is IT... SNE!

GL all.

MellowYellow @ Low Limit Poker Forum