Monday, April 18, 2011

Pokerstars and FT Closed for US Players

Well, I'm sure you have all read the bad news. I've put in several hours of reading on 2+2 as well as some other news sites. Right now there's a lot of questions, a lot of speculation and no real answers.

1. Will US players ever be able to cash out their accounts?
The experts are advising patience. The legal issues seem directed toward the sites more than the players. The sites probably won't touch player accounts until the dust from the legal battle has settled, and that may take some time. Also, it isn't possible to "Transfer Funds" from a US player account to a non-US player even when logging on from an IP address outside the US. (Reg: In retrospect, doing this type of transfer would probably be viewed as a pretty clear case of laundering money! I'm glad I didn't try to do that - LOL)

2. Are there any viable online poker options left for US players?
Some US players have said they were able to play on Bodog and CakePoker. If you are Jonesing to play you might give it a try. However, I wouldn't deposit very much money. The future of all sites open to US players is very shaky right now. Get a live home game going instead. Let us know if you find a place to play Seabreeze. You can read more about it here:

3. Can and should European players cash out their Stars and FT accounts while they still have a chance?
Some players have said they were able to cash out while others said their request has been put on hold. I don't know. It doesn't hurt to try if you are uncomfortable with the current situation though. Furthermore, many of the cashout options take a bit of time and effort the first time you use them. It might be smart to make a small withdrawal now so that your means of cashing out are set up. This way, if you need to withdraw your entire bankroll in a hurry, everything is in place. However, this seems to be a US issue for the time being. I don't have a big enough bankroll to worry too much. So, I'm leaving mine where it is for now. What about you?

4. What do the cards hold for the US online poker legislation as well as the sites involved in the case?
These are two separate issues and I have no idea what the future holds for either of them. Perhaps benkogambit can chime in here.

As I said in the beginning, plenty of questions but no answers.

Roland GTX

PS: Pokerstars lowered the guaranteed prize money in their Sunday lineup. So, no big overlay for the Europeans still playing.


  1. Good post Roland! Like you my roll at Stars isn't large enough to bother. On the other hand, my roll at FT is decent, but due to the new restrictions on depositing with debit cards last year, I removed this option on FT, thus I can only withdraw through an alternative in which I already deposited from. That means I need to make a small deposit through Moneybookers or go with the check option (need photo id, etc.). I'm not too stressed though.

  2. I spoke with Seabreeze during Easter. He received an e-mail from Pokerstars Support stating that he would be able to transfer/withdraw his account balance, but that it might take a few weeks before he is able to do this.

    This is good news for the US players. Furthermore, waiting "a few weeks" is better than I had expected. I was afraid people might be waiting a few years. How banks are going to handle these cashouts still seems to be up in the air though.

  3. Thanks for the update, Roland. A "few weeks" is indeed a good sign, I guess. I'll try to check out whether it's possible to enter PS from my non US laptop when I'm in Vegas :-)

  4. Vegas MrE? nice!

    If it doesn't work you probably can "hide-your-ip" while there.......

  5. Yup, conference for one week. Guess I have to try some live poker as well, lol. I doubt that I get time to play online as well, though....

  6. When I are heading to Vegas? Are you thinking tourney or cash tables??? Good Luck at any rate :)

  7. Leaving May 7th. Cash table and I aren't compatible, I'm afraid, so I hope to find some small tourney, guess that shouldn't be too difficult, lol.

  8. Watch out for all the unemployed former online pros lurking around... :)

  9. Hmmh, that's also something to think about :D