Vegas Man Fined In Illegal Online Poker Game

Monday, February 1st, 2016

lasvegas

Bryan Micon has accepted a plea agreement that will give him 2 years of probation and a fine of $25,000 dollars. What did Micon do to have this punishment dealt his way? He operated the online poker site ”Seals with Clubs”. Many of you have at least heard of this site before. While some of you may have even played a hand or two there. It was an online poker room that allowed players to deposit and play with bitcoin. What is bitcoin? It’s a form of digital currency that people use to buy goods and services on the internet. The currency is only available online and its totally digital. There are no paper or coin versions of bitcoin as it’s strictly for use on the internet.

Bitcoin has been seen by some as a means to accept online poker transaction. The reason for this is, credit card companies don’t want involved in providing billing for online poker rooms. They see it as risky and in most states it’s illegal. What happens when an entire industry doesn’t have access to the financial tools to make it viable? They turn to something like Bitcoin. That’s a problem and the poker community needs to see it for exactly what it is. It’s the canary in the coal mine that many people have been concerned about.

There are plenty of people using bitcoins online legally and lawfully without any problems. Bitcoin isn’t all that innocent though. It’s used to process funds for drugs, black market items, and even terrorists use it. Simply put, no online poker player should be forced to use bitcoins to play a few hands of cards. This is truly a back alley that no one wants to go down. Bitcoin is unregulated and many people are ripe to be taken advantage of due to that. The process of obtaining bitcoins isn’t exactly easy and it in itself leaves poker players exposed to potential fraud.

This is the road we go down when people want to make innocent things illegal. It’s only going to get worse from here if something isn’t done about it. It should be common sense to most people reading this that making online poker illegal isn’t the answer. All it does is bring in shady characters that will use every trick in the book to scam people. It’s a no brainer that the public loses when people turn to something like bitcoin to fund their poker accounts. It’s beyond time for the public and lawmakers to take action on this issue.

Let’s be clear about something right now. Bitcoin in itself isn’t bad and no one here is talking down about it. We believe online poker should be legal and regulated. If people want to use bitcoins, that’s their business. With that said, no player should be forced down a road where using bitcoins is their only option. The average internet user has no idea how to buy or safely store bitcoins. Leaving them ridiculously vulnerable to be taken advantage of. This is unexceptable and it’s a direct response to making online poker illegal for Americans.

Delaware Online Poker Suffering

Monday, January 25th, 2016

delaware

Delaware is just one of a few states to have legalized online poker. They’ve run into some unexpected shortfalls during their dance with legalization. The primary concern is that there isn’t enough players to make online poker profitable. Let’s keep in mind that the entire state of Delaware has a population of roughly 935,614 people. It shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone that a state with such few people would have a difficult time finding players to fill an online poker room.

The fact that Delaware has legalized online poker is a step in the right direction. It shows that both the public and lawmakers are on the right page. What it also exposes is the problem of individual states legalizing online poker. There aren’t enough poker players in each state to make a profitable online experience. This is the most difficult thing for both players and government officials to accept. Delaware has inked an agreement with Nevada to enable residents of each state to play poker with each other. It’s only going to have a marginal effect on the game play for people living in those two states.

States legalizing online poker is a great thing. It shows that people are finally taking this issue seriously. The problem is, it’s probably not going to work. There’s simply not enough people in most states to actually pull this sort of thing off. Not to mention it takes quite a bit of capital to start an online poker room. Most companies aren’t going to risk putting up such an investment if they aren’t sure there will be returns. The truth is, a return on their money in some cases may not be likely. This may especially be true in the infancy of online poker in a state. The first companies to attempt it may not be able to pull it offer.

CardsChat.com reported on https://www.cardschat.com/news/delaware-online-poker-hits-record-low-in-october-16708 the following:

And following a lowly revenue haul of less than $32,000, Delaware’s three online poker operators earned profits of just $24,523 in September, 2015.

Hoping for better in October, Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway, and Dover Downs, the state’s three iGaming operators, were left disappointed once again as their takings tumbled to a new all-time low.

From Bad to Worse

Although just a few hundred dollars less than September, October’s $24,030 result is a sign that, despite a liquidity sharing pact with Nevada, online poker in Delaware is struggling.

For Delaware Park, the news was slightlyless severe, although hardly impressive, as it managed to top the revenue rankings with a total poker haul worth $14,832. However, for Harrington Raceway, the news was less positive with online poker contributing just $3,583 to its $39,081 monthly profit.

While online poker continued to struggle in October, casino games and lottery wins showed some improvement.

In terms of overall revenue, the state’s operators earned just over $750,000 more in October than they did in September. When broken down into net earnings, this win equated to $182,969 in profit, which was around $26,000 more than September.

With November representing the two-year anniversary of iGaming in Delaware, the experts are now asking whether or not online poker can continue to survive with such poor participation rates.

Delaware Falling Behind

When Delaware’s results are held up to scrutiny against New Jersey’s online poker economy, an obvious problem becomes apparent.

Although the Garden State is far from a success story in terms of poker, the state’s collection of operators has still managed to eclipse Delaware’s efforts. New Jersey’s October results aren’t currently available for public consumption, but a look back at September’s figures shows online poker revenue hit $1.7 million.

While it’s true that New Jersey has a (much) larger population than Delaware, the wider problem seems to be a lack of cooperation between the states. As it stands, the three active regions have remained largely isolated from each other.

For casino gaming, this isn’t an issue; however, online poker relies on liquidity and if there are fewer players in the game, then there is less money to win. This equation, ultimately, results in a dying poker economy.

The solution to our poker playing dilemma is to legalize it on a federal level. This would ensure that people in all fifty states can legally play online poker. It would also mean that they would be able to play against people in other states. This is truly what’s needed to be able to pull off online poker. The ability to play people across state lines will be vital if online poker is to ever take off. It offers a greater pool of players that are capable of playing all hours of the day. There is no other way to make online poker both profitable and available to everyone at the same time.

It’s time that our lawmakers got with the times. The same internet technology that allows us to talk to people all over the country can be used to play poker. The task isn’t as difficult as it may sound. People all over the world are currently playing poker against each other. There is no logical reason why people in different cities in America can’t play against each other. The technology exists and so does the know how. It’s only a matter of convincing the lawmakers that this is a good thing. Until then, a handful of lucky poker players will be able to enjoy the ability to play online. Though, their experience may be less than ideal as states like Delaware have a shortage of players in their poker rooms.

A Tough Deal For Online Poker Nevada

Monday, January 18th, 2016

nevada

Online poker in Nevada has been dealt a serious blow with the closing of Ultimate poker. The governors of Nevada and Delaware have signed an agreement allowing residents in both states to play poker against each other. It should be noted that other states can join in the agreement as long as all parties agree. The overall future of online poker in Nevada has been in question since the Ultimate Poker went belly up. WSOP.com is owned by owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp and is the dominate online poker provider for Nevada. Without its name recognition, it probably too would be a thing of the past as well.

What’s the problem with Nevada’s online poker situation? The first thing is, Nevada is known as a gamblers paradise. There’s a poker game everywhere you look in the state. If you’re looking to lose your money, there’s a fine establishment that’s willing to help you. The second is, lawmakers in the state are dragging their feet in terms of online gambling in general. Harry Reid is seen as a roadblock, but soon he’s going to retire. It doesn’t seem that anyone in the state is all-in when it comes to making sure that everyone can legally gamble online.

The next question is one that everyone has on their mind. What can Nevada do to ensure that its residents can play online poker? The short answer to legalize online gambling entirely. The long answer is, online poker rooms generally can’t make it on their own. The operators need money from other forms of gambling to support their business. By not allowing full online gambling, it’s cutting down the amount of poker rooms that will be available. Everyone must realize that what we’re talking about at the end of the day is a business. For that business to stay afloat, they need revenues. The revenues alone from online poker simply isn’t enough to keep sites going. They need additional ways to make money or they’ll end up in the same situation as Ultimate Poker.

The future of online poker in Nevada has to change. The truth of the matter is, online poker has to change all over the United States. In fact, it needs to made legal country wide. This would give players the opportunity to play against each other. It’s great that a few states have allowed their citizens to play the game they love online. The problem is, there aren’t enough players to make it all happen. This will be especially true in the future when states with small populations legalize online poker. They aren’t going to have enough players to keep online poker rooms in business.

The only hope of online poker in America is to make sure everyone in every state can play. There’s simply no reason why people in one state can’t play against people in another. We’re living in the day and age when the click of a mouse can be transmitted with lightning fast speeds. A person in Los Angeles can play against someone in Boston just as easily as they can in Bakersfield. Limiting poker rooms to only allow residents of their state to play will in the end make it extremely difficult for their business to thrive.

Traffic Rise For NJ Online Poker Sites

Monday, December 28th, 2015

nipoker-sites-traffic-up

New Jersey poker sites have noticed an increase in traffic. This has translated into more players enjoying cash games. Read the article for yourself and come back here for our commentary. This is the first step in a very important march towards progress. Make no mistake about it, this is exactly what progress looks like. That doesn’t mean it’s been all smooth sailing.

The truth of the matter is, it’s been anything but smooth. By no means is that an excuse for any state to not legalize online poker, it’s an incentive to do it now. That way the bumps can be ironed out now and people can play the game that they love.

The roll out of online poker has been slow in terms of players. Even now there are only a little over a hundred players. It’s a growing number and will continue over time. More online poker sites will come about and the number will no doubt grow.

New Jersey residents have only been able to play online poker for roughly two years. During that time there has been issues with credit card processing and software. It’s safe to say in the two years that online poker has been legal in New Jersey, it’s been an up hill battle.

Things take time and nothing happens overnight. It should be expected that there will be some hiccups along the way in New Jersey. The great thing is, other states will be able to learn from all this when they legalize poker. Each state will be able to model their own online poker roll out based on New Jersey and the other states.

It also means the companies dealing with online poker will have more experience. As we all know experience is invaluable and it’s currently teaching a lot of people quite a few lessons.

What’s in the cards for New Jersey’s online poker? Hopefully things will continue to get better and the amount of players will increase. It’s impossible to know and everything is still fairly new. There aren’t enough players at this time to sustain an online poker site for long. That’s the truth and no one seems to be willing to admit it.

The best thing that could happen is that more states legalize online gambling and they allow interstate play. Why not let someone in California play poker against someone in Michigan? They’re both Americans and should be able to play against each other if they so choose.

The wrinkles have yet to be ironed out. That’s the one thing that we can take away from all of this. Brick and mortar casinos have been around and know what they’re doing. The hope is always that a casino mogul will invest in online poker. They’re the ones that truly have the ability to revolutionize the industry.

They’ve got more than money, most have political clout that could go a long ways in legalizing online poker around the country. It’s a sure bet that the minute they feel there’s money in online poker, they’ll be investing in it.

Harry Reid Online Poker Bribery Allegations

Monday, December 21st, 2015

As stated in an article here, the allegation is that Harry Reid accepted a bribe. Anyone who was around during Black Friday is probably familiar with the name Jeremy Johnson. He was doing payment processing and some pretty shady stuff back in the day. You can read all about it by checking out the article.

We’re not going to get into all the allegations here. Who knows if Harry Reid actually did accept a bribe or not. Chances are he probably didn’t, but it brings up a much bigger issue.

Read the full length post by Haley Hintze on FlushDraw here. Below is a section from that original article:

“…. Johnson’s secret taping of an hour-long meeting with Swallow in an Orem, UT donut shop eventually became public amid Johnson’s own legal battles with the government over the alleged fraudulent operation of his iWorks e-marketing empire. Several other co-defendants in that 2010 FTC-brought, $275-million trial have reached plea deals, but Johnson’s battle rages on, and is now scheduled for a trial in February of 2016 barring further delays.

Yet Johnson could well be described as the non-indicted 12th defendant in the April, 2011 Black Friday online-poker case as well. The reason Johnson wasn’t charged in that matter along with his SunFirst bank and other payment-processing co-conspirators is that Johnson (allegedly) freely commingled the funds from his poker processing funds and companies with those providing similar services with his iWorks empire. Since the FTC already had a case pending against Johnson and four other co-defendants, that part of it was partitioned off, with the FTC remaining in charge of prosecuting Johnson’s alleged misdeeds.

However, the allegations regarding Johnson either bribing or serving as a conduit for bribes to US Senator Reid remains one of the story’s major loose ends. Last March, FlushDraw detailed the two separate bribe allegations made by Johnson involving Harry Reid, which included a best-to-date translation of the related sections of the recorded conversation between Johnson and Swallow.

Johnson himself admitted coordinating one bribe directed to Reid whose purpose was for investigators to go easy on him and his associates in the iWorks case, though it’s an open question as to whether any of that documented and self-admitted bribe money actually made it to Reid or his associates.”

…. continues…

Johnson: I’ll tell you this. We had a meeting with Reid, where he said—this was a private meeting—it was Reid, it was me, it was, you remember John Pappas? Remember him? Poker Players Alliance guy?

Swallow: Oh, yeah.

Johnson: John Pappas [PPA Executive Director], and Ray Bitar, owner of Full Tilt Poker.

Swallow: Yeah.

Johnson: Owner of Full Tilt Poker. [] And Senator Reid—this was when it was a tight election with this lady down there, real tight…

Swallow: Yeah.

Johnson: Real tight.

Swallow: Yeah. Sharron Angle.

Johnson: And he said, “Look, I’ve polled my constituents and they don’t like online poker, bottom line. It’s bad for …”

Swallow: Yeah.

Johnson: “It’s bad for jobs here in Las Vegas. But I’m going to back what you guys are doing here, I’m going to introduce a bill for you.” And that was basically it, right? Well, I kid you not. A week later … oh, no, no. Right after that. So Reid leaves with his little entourage. Ray Bitar’s buddy that flew over here with him from Ireland, I said, “How in the hell did you guys get him to do that?” And he says, “Let’s just say he got a little something in his retirement fund.” And I was like, “Okay, that’s how it is.” Well, I’m not kidding you. A week later they have me, and they’re specific, “We want a bank check drawn on the bank’s general account.”

Swallow: Wow.

Johnson: For a million dollars to some company, some media thing or something. A cashier’s check. “This money had better not get traced back to our account under any circumstances.” So what do I do? Of course, go into the bank, tell them I need to pull this out of the bank’s general reserve which is held in their account. I don’t tell the bank what I’m doing. And I didn’t know what I was doing. I was like I don’t know, you know. I mean, I suspected obviously. So I, I believe … this is my belief. I believe Reid genuinely is on the take. I believe he’s getting money for deals all over hell because he’s got so damn much influence, and I believe they’re onto him. And I think in the grand scheme of things you’re a little nugget or a little piece in the puzzle, but…

Swallow: I hope so. I hope so. I hope I’m not the big fish or anything.

Johnson: I mean, that’s the only thing I can think. Why would [] Washington, DC have some person to investigate you. It seems to me like it would be an internal thing for the State of Utah to do it. If there was really some concern.

Swallow: Yeah. Well, I’ll check with Richard [Rawle] and see.”

The reason these things happen is because online poker isn’t regulated. If it were regulated, there wouldn’t be as much questionable stuff going on. Let’s be honest and say there’s a bit of dishonesty in every business. Gambling is no different and its just a simple part of life. The bigger picture is what we must keep our eyes on here. The fact is, this is what happens when there aren’t regulations in place.

At some point we need to legitimize online gambling and have restrictions. Regulations aren’t a bad thing and they keep both players and businesses safe. It’s something that both sides want and desperately need. Every poker player has the right to play on the internet wherever they choose.

This is exactly what happens when you have unregulated businesses without any oversight at all. Bad people come in and fill in the voids where they see fit. It ensures that corruption will not only exist, but thrive in the absence of authority. It opens the door for countless innocent people to get hurt. That’s what’s at stake here and it’s far more than just people gambling and losing their money. It’s only when elected officials and the public realize this, something will change.

dice-harry-reid

Simply put, the government can no longer drag their feet regarding this issue. It must be addressed and people will continue to be hurt until it is. That’s the most important thing that anyone should take away from this. Online poker is here to stay and people are going to find a way to play. The question must be what will the government do to protect players?

Corporations that operate in the shadows do so for a reason. It should come as no surprise to anyone that those corporations may do bad things. Transparency is vital when it comes to the flow of money. The last thing anyone should want is large transactions of money to be done on the internet in an unregulated manner.

Beyond that, there is the concern of fairness in the games as well. Every player has the right to know if the poker room they play at is trustworthy or not. At this time no one has the ability to know if the site they’re playing at is honest and fair.

It’s time for all of this to change. It can only happen when like minded people get together and work towards a sustainable solution. It’ll otherwise be left to shady characters that more often than not, have their best interests in mind. This is what happens in an unregulated market and it’s exactly what everyone should expect. To expect anything else is foolish and borderlines on pure insanity.

The Pennsylvania Online Poker Bill – update!

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

poker lady luck

Pennsylvania is well on their way of becoming the fourth state to legalize online poker. It’s a mixed reaction as most can imagine from the brick and mortar casinos. It should come as no surprise that they probably don’t like added competition.

It’s a sign of the times and they’ve got to change. People no longer want to have to drive to a casino to play the card game they love. Not considering the fact that the internet gives them all day instant access to poker.

The interesting thing is that Pennsylvania is $2 billion dollars in debt. It’s estimated that online poker could eventually raise $300 million dollars. This certainly isn’t chump change and it would make a dent in the budget deficit.

It’s not a silver bullet and it won’t cure every ailment that the budget seems to have. After all, a state can’t operate at a loss forever. At some point they’ve got to get their act together and pay off those debts. Online poker seems to be a great first step in the state’s ability to do just that.

Many states are running deficits or are seeking new sources of revenue for all sorts of programs. Gambling isn’t a cure all for everything and it should never be seen as such. With that said, it does give states the ability to pay for things.

It’s a source of revenue that they otherwise wouldn’t have. There are many reasons why online poker should be legalized in all fifty states. This is just one of those reasons and it’s time society understands the benefits of it. That’s because online poker can benefit each and every person in society and not just players themselves.

Added revenues for state budgets are just another bonus of legalizing online poker. Every community can benefit from legalized gambling online. The money can be used to pay off debts or for social programs that make society as a whole better.

Here is an excerpt from the original story on CardPlayer.com:

Lawmakers voted 18-8 in favor of the legislation, according to the Poker Players Alliance, a D.C.-based lobbying group for the card game.

The bill moves to a potential full House vote. If successful there, it will go to the Senate for consideration. If the Senate approves it, Gov. Tom Wolf will have it on his desk to veto or sign into law.

The legislation, HB 649, could still become part of a larger bill aimed to help resolve the 2016 budget gridlock in the Keystone State. Other gambling reform ideas on the table in Harrisburg include slots at airports, online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports regulation.

“With the passage of HB 649, the House Gaming Oversight Committee has proven their commitment to providing Pennsylvania residents with a safe and regulated place to play online poker within their own borders,” PPA executive director John Pappas said in a statement. “The PPA thanks Chairman John Payne and the Committee for their leadership. Now this bill needs to become law. The safety of consumers and the fiscal health of Pennsylvania will be vastly improved when Internet gaming is appropriately licensed, regulated and taxed. It is our hope that the legislation will be enacted on its own or as part of the state’s 2016 budget by the end of this year.”

By taking online poker out of the shadows, it enables us to strengthen our society. While at the same time it gives players the comfort of knowing the games they play are being regulated in a way that ensures fairness. Both the public and players come out winners when this is done across the board.

Pennsylvania is leading the way and no doubt other states will follow. It’s only a matter of time before lawmakers see the budget possibilities that online poker presents. People aren’t going to stop playing because it isn’t regulated. Not regulating online poker doesn’t deter people from playing. All it does is ensure that local and state governments lose out on their share of the revenues.

When both the public and lawmakers realize this, they’ll be one the same page. Until then, society as a whole will continue to suffer. The game isn’t going to go away and it’s always going to be available online. It’s hard to believe that few have seemed to grasp this concept yet. But, it seems like the good folks in Pennsylvania and three other states already have. Which is why those states already have or are inching their way towards legal online poker.

 

Traffic Update For Online Poker Playing

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

traffic-poker

Most people that have been playing online poker know that the sport itself is somewhat fluid.  There are peaks and valleys like anything else online.  Here we’re going to talk about the latest traffic statistics for some of the poker sites you may play at.  There is an overall general trend of sites losing poker players and not gaining them.

What does this mean to the average poker player reading this?

Truthfully, not much overall.  The only thing that really matters is there are enough players when you go online.  If a site has that, then you’re all set to shuffle up and deal.

Overall player traffic fell 2.2% at ring games on the top ten most popular poker sites.

  • Bovada gained 100 users in the past month and averages 1,800 users at any given time.
  • Both iPoker Network and PartyPoker gained 50 players each.
  • Pokerstars saw a 3.2% decline at the cash tables.  This number is a little misleading due to more people are now playing their instant games.
  • 888poker and PokerStars.it both lost players in the past month.
  • PokerStars.es and Full Tilt also saw a decline in their player numbers.

It should be noted that there has been a small uptick in players to the legal online poker rooms geared towards Americans.  BorgataPoker.com and Partypoker NJ picked up a few players while WSOP.com and 888poker NJ saw a small decrease.  This should be expected as it has been a rocky start for all legal online poker rooms in America.

Whether or not things grow is something that’s yet to be determined

It all boils down to the poker sites themselves and their ability to attract new customers.  At this point they’ve done a fairly poor job at this and maybe things will pick up after awhile.  Legal online poker is still new and there are many hurdles that need to be jumped before it can truly take off.

What do these numbers prove?

They prove that online poker is in a slight decline at the current moment.  This could be nothing more than a simple trend that will get corrected over time.  There have been reports of bots and collusion at some poker rooms.  We’re not going to include these rumors because there’s no way to tell if they’re true or not.

The overall state of online poker remains strong and will continue to be in the near future.  The problem with lack of credibility is something that has yet to be addressed in any meaningful way.  Players are basically left to wonder about the integrity of any site they play at.

It’s clear that the heyday of online poker may have passed.  The days of fish flooding the sites waiting to be caught are long gone.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of money to be made.  Each and every day there are players from all over the world cashing out.

You too can be one of those players.  It’s all a matter of finding the right poker room and practicing.  There’s nothing that will turn you into an instant pro and only hard work will inch you closer to your poker goals.

Who Wins More – Daily Fantasy Or Online Poker?

Friday, November 27th, 2015

fantasysports

Fantasy sports is being advertised everywhere on television.  Many online poker players are wondering if they could earn even more money playing it.  That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about here.  Many people unfamiliar with fantasy sports think it’s like betting on the big game.

It’s far more complicated than that and most people consider it to be a game of skill.  We’ll get into why that is in just a bit.  There’s one that’s for certain, fantasy sports has created a lot of buzz.  It’s on the lips of everyone and chances are you know someone that’s playing it.

What Is Fantasy Sports?

Fantasy sports is different from sports betting because you’re not trying to guess the outcome of a game.  You build a team out of existing players and they play against other teams.  This is where the skill comes in.  You need to know the players well enough to be able to pick a good team.

It’s then played tournament style and the winner can win cash prizes.  This is an extremely abbreviated version of how fantasy sports operates.  But, it’s essentially the basics for those that have no idea.

Many people wonder how fantasy sports can be legal while online poker isn’t.  Certainly online poker takes quite a bit of skill to play.  It’s an argument that many poker players are making, but it’s falling on deaf ears when it comes to the general public.  The reason for that is, they don’t know what fantasy sports is.  Most have never played it and only have heard about it in television commercials.  What it boils down to is people are splitting hairs when it comes to the law.

How can fantasy sports not be gambling while playing poker is?

Poker is not a scratch off instant lottery ticket like some would believe.  The people who believe that, have never played the game.  They really have no idea whatsoever what they’re talking about.  That’s the truth and sadly these people aren’t able to see that.

The Future?

It would not be too surprising if fantasy sports became illegal one day like how online poker did.  Most would agree at the very least that they’re operating in a gray area of the law.  Who wins when people play fantasy sports?  Surprisingly, it’s the professionals that win.  Much like poker, there are professionals playing fantasy sports.

Without getting into a bunch of mumbo jumbo how the prize pools work, let’s just say it like this.  Most professionals build many different teams full of players.  They’ll pay an entry fee for each of those teams and hope for the best.  Their risk is spread out because they’ve got so many teams playing for them.  The average fantasy sports bettor may have just one team.  They may also not be very good at picking the best players for their team.

Should fantasy sports be illegal?

It wouldn’t be a good idea to make it illegal.  All it would do is create a black market for something that already exists.  We’ve seen what happened to online poker and it’s not been good for the players.  People have a right to gamble at home if they choose to do so.

Calling it by different names doesn’t change anything at all.  Fantasy sports and online poker should be legal and regulated just like any business out there.  Legitimacy is what players crave and they should get it.  Settling for anything less is cheapens the experience and puts players at risk.

The Biggest Winners And Losers Of 2015

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

winnersandlosers

Who has been online poker’s biggest winners and losers for 2015?

The names might surprise some, but probably not many of you. The top players in the world are always throwing their money in the pot. Don’t be surprised if their roles are reversed in the following years.

Players like these aren’t afraid to throw around big money. It goes to show that all the excitement in the world of poker isn’t always what’s on television. It’s also online and every person reading this can get a piece of the action.

Phil Ivey is a name that every poker player knows

philivey

He’s one of the best players to ever hit the felt. He’s also this year’s big loser. So far he’s lost almost three million dollars. That’s nothing to sneeze at and every online poker player knows that. It must be nice to have that much money to lose. That in itself would be an accomplishment for most people.

Phil Ivey is certainly one player that has the ability to win it all back. He’s no doubt working at chipping away at it as you read this.

Jens Kyllönen is up for the year winning $1,055,941. The next closest is Viktor Blom and he won $1,045,366. Neither of those amounts are chump change. For the average person those would be life changing amounts of money.

It’s every day business for poker professionals that have dedicated everything they have to the sport. It’s evidence that it really does pay off for some people. Hopefully after the rest of the year closes out, there’ll also be more big winners to report about.

Ike Haxton and Viktor Blom were involved in one of the biggest hands of the year. It all went down at an Omaha table. It was well into the six figures before it was all said and done. The pot was worth $206,499.10 and Viktor Blom won it. It goes to show that you should practice your Omaha game.

You never know when you’re going to be playing against some players with deep pockets. Those pockets can very well mean more profits for you in the long run. It also proves that these guys aren’t playing with scared money. They’re more than willing to put their money into the pot with what these players feel is the best hand.

These numbers prove that it’s not just people playing for pennies online. There are plenty of people playing for some mind shattering pots. It should give hope to every aspiring poker playing seeking to build their bankroll. These players prove that it’s entirely possible to do so. Who knows, you may be next year’s biggest winner. That’s the beauty of online poker.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You have the ability to live out your dreams if you’re willing to put in the time. Poker is a game that’s easy to learn, but difficult to master. That’s why it takes years of hard work and dedication to take your game to where it needs to be. These players are proof that all that hard work will pay off if given the chance.

The Man Who Brought Down Online Poker

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

danieltzvetkoffPoker players that remember Black Friday may be familiar with the name Daniel Tzvetkoff. For those who don’t know Black Friday happened on April of 2011. Hundreds of thousands of American players all of a sudden noticed they couldn’t access their favorite poker rooms. It wasn’t until later on that day that everyone what happened.

It was going to be something that would change the way Americans play online poker forever. Your ability or inability to play online poker today is directly linked to Black Friday. It changed the online poker world for many Americans and continues to do so to this day.

Daniel Tzvetkoff is the reason why all of this happened!

Basically, he was busted for money laundering and bank fraud. Tzvetkoff was running a company called Intabill which at the time was doing billing for several big poker sites.

It was also said that he stole 100 million dollars. It hasn’t been proven to this day if or how much he had stolen. The general consensus is that Tzvetkoff did in fact steal some money. The exact dollar amount is one’s guess.

Most criminals don’t like to do jail time if they don’t have to. Daniel Tzvetkoff is no different in this regard. Tzvetkoff knew he had some information that the government would quite interested in. Amazingly, he amassed 90,000 incriminating documents about three online poker sites. Those sites were PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. All of which were involved in the infamous Black Friday shut down. It seems that Tzvetkoff was able to avoid prison time by squealing on the activities of those three poker sites.

What is Daniel Tzvetkoff up to these days?

He’s back to Australia and involved in a business of some sort. Who knows if he’s actually stealing money again or anything like that. It’s safe to say that people who work around this guy should walk a straight and narrow path. After all, you never know when he could rat out a person. People like him can’t be trusted and he’s merely out for himself. That’s been evident since the very first second after he was arrested.

What was the impact of Black Friday on the world of poker? It pretty much signaled the beginning of the end for Americans playing poker online. It basically wiped out their ability to play the game they love. This was something that happened like flipping a light switch on.

There were no rumors that something like this was going to go down. Every player woke up to find out they didn’t have the ability to play poker. That would continue for quite some time. It wouldn’t be until some brave sites came out of the woodwork to allow Americans once again to play the game they love.

Hopefully this negative will be turned into a positive. It’s clear that Americans want to play online poker. That in itself should be enough motivation for governments and businesses to come together to find a solution. It’s not going to be easy and they won’t do it without pressure. It’s why every online poker player needs to be active and vocal when it comes to promoting the sport they love to play.