Online Poker

A Day of Ups and Downs

by Omar

These days it seems that the only thing that is certain about the online poker world is the constant uncertainty that surrounds it. The events of the past 24 hours is the classic case of taking one step forward while taking two steps back.
First the good news. Although Full Tilt Poker is still not quite ready to join their biggest rivals, PokerStars, to become the only Black Friday impacted sites to grant cashouts to locked out American customers, they did take an important step in that direction. It has been revealed that Full Tilt has placed rakeback amounts earned by it’s into their player accounts. This is being seen as a necessary first step in what has been a seemingly never-ending payout process that has left hundreds if not thousands of players unable to get their own money, funds that they could be using to meet their most basic living needs.
This development is significant because the rakeback dollars are not a exactly chump change. The Full Tilt rakeback program offered players a whopping 27% refund of both their cash game rake and tournament entry fees that would be placed into players’ accounts every week. Since Black Friday, no such funds had been awarded to eligible players leaving many to wonder if they would ever see any of this money that they had rightfully earned.

Meanwhile, Full Tilt has also been working to convert different player rewards into case and then placing the cash into players’ accounts. Any and all tournament tickets, tournament dollars, and cash game tickets purchased on or before April 15th would be converted into real money on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Additionally, Iron Man medals are being converted into Full Tilt Points for 50 points per medal while Academy credits are being redeemed as well. In the past Full Tilt Poker representatives have indicated that they expect to someday reopen the Full Tilt Poker points store to allow US customers to make purchases.

Although buying T-Shirts and caps would be nice, players would much rather get their money back.
Meanwhile, online poker took another major hit today as more government indictments and domain name seizures were announced. Though today’s announcement was on a much smaller scale than the events of Black Friday, the bigger picture shows that the Department of Justice wasn’t done. The most notable domain name seizure was that of Doylesroom.com. The legendary poker player who lent his name to the site, announced just last week that he was leaving the company.

This go around saw the following site operators get indicted on charges:
• Darren Wright
• David Parchomchuk
• Ann Marie Puig

The seized domain names are as follows:
• Bookmaker.com
• 2Betsdi.com
• Funtimebingo.com
• Goldenarchcasino.com
• Betmaker.com
• Betgrandesports.com
• Betehorse.com
• Doylesroom.com
• BetEd.com
• TruePoker.com

By and large, most of the sites involved in today’s announcement have illegal sportsbetting capabilities and the charges against the operators were worded as such. So it appears the storm is not quite over yet, good thing Doyle got out in time…

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