In what many have dubbed black Friday for American Poker Players, on Friday April 15 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seized the domain names PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, UB.com, and AbsolutePoker.com. As a result PokerStars and FullTiltPoker have informed their U.S. players that they will not be allowed to play poker for real money at this moment. Unfortunately all affected players’ funds are still being held up. Along with that the heads of operations at each of those sites have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offences.
Right now Canadian poker players do not have anything to worry about, this does not currently affect us and the sites have indicated that our funds are safe (in fact all players funds are safe, Americans included). In fact this might be an opportune time to take advantage of some of the big tournaments going on this Sunday if all the guarantees stay firm and approximately 40% of the players now unavailable to play.
PokerStars Sunday Million – As of right now the guarantee is still set for $1.5 million.
Full Tilt FTOPS #1 – Right now it is still a multi entry $3 million guaranteed tournament
UB mini UBOC main event – Still going on with a $100k main event!
Bodog $100k – Pretty sure that most players on that site are Americans and Bodog has never dropped the guarantee on their flagship tournament.
Though US players can supposedly still play on UB, Absolute Poker, Bodog, Cake Poker and Merge gaming network sites, I doubt many players will be risking playing with all their funds in jeopardy.
This also leads into the important lesson that professional poker players should also have other revenue streams in case situations arise like this which are out of your control. Pro poker players can finish up school degrees, learn about investing (stocks, funds, real estate, forex, precious metals), or even hold a part time job in which you control your own destiny like a real estate agent. For those looking at investing, take a gander at a new company called Fifth Street Tradingwhich is providing Investing Training for Poker Players. The cost is $2500 per training program but there is a Free Trial option that you can take advantage of to see if this is right for you.