U.S. Online Poker Fight

Discussion in 'Other Games Events' started by sabrejack, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. sabrejack

    sabrejack New Member

    Hi All: I've not been on here for a while and some of my fondest online gaming memories are playing with many of you in UB elimination blackjack tournies.

    After I worked up a pretty decent bankroll solely with those EBJ tourneys by studying here and working hard, I turned that BR into mostly playing poker at UB and other sites.

    Then came Black Friday. Fortunately for me, I managed to branch out into some live play and other stuff that got a big chunk of my BR off of websites thankfully before that day, but I still have some stuck on some sites.

    Anyway, I wrote an article about the current state of affairs, which certainly affects lovers of online blackjack as well. I'd love any opinions you guys might have on it:


    Thanks all/Hope the tables are being kind to you--sabrejack
  2. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Hey sj, nice to hear from you again.

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I remain convinced that the entrenched US casino industry has a hand in this. It looks to me like they are clearing the table of competition before the US finally regulates and taxes online gambling.

    Do other conspiracy theorists ever hope they're right? I do. :D
  3. sabrejack

    sabrejack New Member

    Hey Ken--I agree with you. Here's a part of another article I wrote called "Players React To Black Friday" (I won't link it here because I don't want to spam but it's on my site):

  4. zweeky

    zweeky Member

    So how would the conspiracy like this to work... would "legal" sites have to be US based and accept only US players?

    If they do accept foreign players, how could they not allow offshore sites to accept US players if these offshore sites are willing to cooperate to report winnings from US players to the IRS?
  5. RKuczek

    RKuczek Member

    Banning foreign sites

    The USA has already been found in violation of international treaties for banning foreign based poker sites, and even fined for doing so. Not a problem, just ignore the treaties and laws and do what we want, the USA is very good at that, we follow treaties and agreements only when we choose too, and ignore them when we choose.

    Easy way to keep US poker players in the US, is to enact regulations that only USA based sites could reasonably meet. That would be easy to do, but we probably won't bother, easier to just go rogue, like we have done so often in the past.
  6. sabrejack

    sabrejack New Member

    Hey Guys--RK/Zweeky--Long time! Like I said, I'm still missing figuring out how much to secret bet you guys in EBJ!

    As to your comments, I don't want to speak for Ken but I know what I meant by "conspiracy" was just that it very well could be that U.S. brick and mortar casino interests helped along the events that led to Black Friday.

    They have lobbied that if online poker is made legal, American companies should operate it and benefit, as opposed to foreign operators.

    One could also suppose that they were aware of some of the underhanded payment processing that Stars, Tilt and UB were employing and maybe they tipped off federal agencies at any number of points along the way. After all, numerous of the indicted payment processor characters, such as Chad Elie and Ira Rubin for two examples, were no strangers to Vegas who rolled into town often to both play and do business.

    In Elie's case, in addition to a fraud case in which it is alleged he is involved in some type of Vegas scam, Elie also married a Playboy playmate there the day after being indicted. (I'm sure that's the first thing I'd do if I'm indicted...)

    After all, although there is absolutely no evidence that indicates that any U.S. brick and mortar casinos were involved in any way, what better way to clear out all your major competition than to help point out that they are in violation of numerous federal laws?

    It is strange, after all, that after this unpleasantness was over, Caesars Entertainment (previously known as Harrah's) CEO Loveman came out so strongly in favor of legalization. Some of his post-Black Friday quotes are here in this article: http://pokerplyr.com/2011/05/u-s-players-react-to-black-friday-news/)

    I also find it kind of strange that savvy poker business-types like Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke suddenly disassociated themselves with UB several months before Black Friday. It's almost as if they knew something was going to go down. Once again no evidence but it is a bit "hmmm"-inducing.

    I mean what better poker figure could WSOP owners Caesar's sign to its empire as it launches its new online presence than the guy with the most WSOP bracelets? But they can't do that so cleanly if he's just been dragged through the mud as the lead face of now-indicted UB after Black Friday.

    BTW, Zweeky, I do think that any American-regulated plan will permit players from outside the U.S., but only allow Americans to play on approved U.S.-based sites that meet regulatory requirements.

    The operators that will be deemed still-worthy will not be Stars, Tilt or UB, or any of the current "rogue" operators like DoylesRoom, Cake etc. But those who will jump in such as Caesar's and probably bwin.party (the former PartyPoker who have kept their noses clean by exiting the U.S. market dutifully when the UIGEA passed), have globally recognized brands and will want to ply their wares to all takers worldwide.

    For the U.S. government's part, they will certainly want to maximize tax revenue if they do legalize. The only way to do that is to go international.

    Anyway, an interesting story that is obviously very much still unfolding. We shall see where it goes...
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
    zweeky and Monkeysystem like this.
  7. zweeky

    zweeky Member

    Thanks. I miss online EBJ too. I was playing steadily since September 2006.
  8. noman

    noman Top Member

    Two interesting developments

    Full Tilt was forced to shut down all operations. Even non US.

    The District of Columbia passed legislation to allow internet gambling beginning Sept. 1 in the District. The operations would be under the control of the District's Lottery Authority.

    Presumably one would have to go to a designated Lottery location.

    The passage of the legislation in the District has it's irony. A council member tacked the resolution on to a spending bill at the last minute, late at night.
  9. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, you just can't make this stuff up. Incredible.
  10. bronco60

    bronco60 Member

    Speaking of EBJ

    Speaking of EBJ, what kind of ROI was possible for those online games?
  11. RKuczek

    RKuczek Member

    Ebj roi

    Can't say about others, but at one time I tracked my play over close to 600 SnGs, $5 to $30 buy-ins, and had a 35% ROI on them; that's using buy-in plus entry fee as the base - so a $10 SnG was an $11 investment, and produced a $14.85 return, for a $3.85 profit, on average. But, a lot of variability. I know I had periods where I didn't do that well, even lost money for a fair period of time, as well as periods when I did much better over long periods. ROI on multi-table tournaments was certainly significantly higher over the long run.

    I started playing on UB in fall 2006, and since then my tracking shows I had five months where I lost money, but remaining months ranged from a very small profit to fairly substantial profit. Note: I did not track play on a month to month basis for the first nine months of play, but doubt that I had a losing month, certainly not more than one, in that period. Losing months were small losses, not major set backs. Key to UB I think was the volume of games you could get in, easy to play a lot of SnGs and Tournaments each month, so that helped smooth out the variance. Also, once you got used to the software and games, could play 2,3 or 4 tables at once; I usually played 2 at once, but would sometimes find myself playing 3 or even 4 games at the same time.

    Problem with UB in the last year or so, was the reduction of tournaments to worthlessness, no guarantees, no sizable prize pools, little activity, turned it into an SnG only site, which was bad for anyone trying to make money on it, as tournaments were much more profitable. In the last few months, we also saw the higher buy-in SnGs disappear, almost never a $30 or even $20, sometimes no $10 even. You really can't grind $5 SnGs and make any money.

    Positive side effect of the decline in games, is that over the past year, as I didn't need to keep as large a bankroll on the site, as the buy-ins of the available games were so much smaller, I drew down my account, taking out profit plus some of the bank roll each month, so that I had only a small amount on the site when it shut down to Americans.

    But UB was a supplemental income stream for me, and I am missing that.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  12. bronco60

    bronco60 Member

    Thanks for the detailed response. Fully agree with your comments about how we ignore treaties when it doesn't suit whichever interest group (political, economic or social) has sufficient juice to call the shots, freedom be damned.
  13. noman

    noman Top Member

    Sufficient Juice

    I'd like to post this at bji as well, but can't seem to remember my screen name or password there. Just as well for the response I get there.

    But here are pertinent points to the DC action.

    One would not have to be a DC resident. Only register, be identified for tax, vig or rake "deductions" at an official playing site. The DC internet address would allow access to remaining operating "gambling" sites. PartyPoker and the lesser brands. The District will get it's cut.

    Call this a limited experiment.

    Barney Frank and I forget the other US legislator attempting to revise, rescind or alter the UIGEA are attempting it on the national level.

    However the success or lack thereof of the DC tack will pave the way for the major US gambling operations (Cesear's/HAHAHarrahs, MGM-Resorts to do the same.

    That is, as a brick and mortar operation to register, ID players with an internet access based out of their land operation, which can be tracked, taxed, vigged and raked.

    Once a player is "registered" under a regulated official site the player could then play from home after accessing the official web site where the player is identified and assessed the appropriate "fees"

    Under such favored status, it wouldn't matter whether the player chose to play with the house accounts(the major gambling establishments) or internationally. The site the player is registered with does all the tracking and "tax" collecting.

    And wool-ah the vig just went from 3 to 5 percent to 10 to 20 percent. For the privilege of gambling at home in your underwear.

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