Since April 15th, known as Black Friday in the online poker world, it has been common place to slam the Department of Justice’s indictments that cause Poker Stars, Full Tilt, and Absolute/UB to leave the US online poker market.
Comments regarding the DOJ and Black Friday often evolve around, “they took our jobs!” and “fck the DOJ” etc.
Well, on Black Friday, if anyone said to me that Full Tilt Poker would not be able to pay back US players and then it would be shut down completely, taking all players bank rolls with it, I would have laughed. FWIW, if anyone said, “Absolute/UB will just disappear w/everyone’s money.” I would have said, “yeah that’s sounds likely.”
I am a serial optimist and have been through this entire fiasco.
Before I continue I will say it is sad I cannot give my business to Poker Stars, as they are obviously the ones who shine in this story. PokerStars was returning US players funds to by the end of April and came through with flying colors.
But now, its pretty clear that the number you had in your Absolute/UB and Full Tilt bankroll balance was completely fictitious. Just a clicked number, video game points, a smoke show, a mirror game, complete and utter bull shit. There is really no other way to describe it.
Why did this happen?
There is no regulation. First and foremost. There are no rules, no universal governing body, nothing in place to protect the US players. None. In fact it seems like no one is likely even going to be held accountable, sadly.
So now, more than ever a case for reglating online poker can be made. (for a great read on this, check out DeucesCracked coach, Vanessa Selbst, who is finishing up at Yale Law, post here: Case for Regulation of Online Poker (2009 law school paper.)
And for this reason I would like to thank the DOJ.
Sooner or later there will be online poker, in fact, there will be online everything once the old guard dies off. (see my rant “Death first, then freedom.“)
After this black market period, I say black market as there are still some sites that are US facing. (view them, Click HERE.) We will eventually have a regulated form of online poker. Will this be optimal for the former US online poker players? Probably not. But it’s quite obvious it is 10 fold from where we were, especially in the light of how Full Tilt has fallen on the face of the Earth. And hopefully the natural order of business competition will make things more and more optimal.
So the next time you think, ‘the DOJ took our money….they took our jobs.’
The money was never there and the job had no security system backing it.
Thank you DOJ.