The game of poker has been around for hundreds of years, and one of the main ingredients in playing good poker is knowing when to call a bluff. For poker players in the US, the toughest part of the past six months has been to try and decipher what exact cards the US government are holding.
The Department of Justice issued indictments on what now is being referred to as Black Friday. The indictments came down against three of the biggest online poker sites in the world, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker. All three of the sites were accepting US customers at the time of the indictments.
Now, it has been several months, and thousands of US poker players are still waiting for a resolution involving their online accounts. PokerStars has been granted their domain name back from the government in order to start paying customers back, but that process has been slow, causing some players concern.
Full Tilt has not yet even begun to pay players their balances. Poker pro-Phil Ivey, who represented Full Tilt at the tables the past several years, boycotted the World Series of Poker because of the company’s lack of interest in paying back customers. Ivey even went as far as to sue Full Tilt.
With the major sites out of the US market, analysts are predicting that the WSOP will suffer. After Black Friday, several analysts predicted that attendance would be down upwards of fifty percent this year. That prediction did not come to fruition, as attendance was booming this year.
The WSOP the past couple of years has been fueled by online players that made their fortunes online and then used their winnings to try their hand at live tournaments at the WSOP. Until the laws change in the US, players will be unable to rebuild their bankrolls this upcoming year, leading many to believe that next year is when the WSOP will suffer.
Ivey, meanwhile, has agreed to drop his lawsuit against Full Tilt if the pending sale of the company is completed with European investors. That sale, according to several sources, is imminent and will infuse cash into Full Tilt that will be used to pay US players.