Let's look at all of the negative things that gone down in the world of online poker over the last year or so.
First off, the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was snuck into the SAFE Port Act and passed.
Then, a large number of online poker rooms, most notably Party Poker, decided that they were going to immediately shut down to US players. American sharks everywhere sighed in despair as they would no longer have access to the largest school of fish on the Internet.
Then, online poker players in the US held their breath as Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, to name a few, held top-level discussions as to whether or not they too should pull the cord and exit the US. Thankfully these two giants decided to stay the course and remain open to American players.
Then, the situation with Neteller happened, and many players had substantial amounts of money frozen in Neteller for months and months. The worst part of this situation was the constant false hope that was given to people who had money frozen. Thankfully, everything ended up working out and people got their money back.
Then, you had continuing allegations of multi-accounting on some of the biggest poker rooms online, and some prominent players paid the price for their indiscretions.
Then, you had the Full Tilt Poker bot situation. Full Tilt busted two high limit Heads-up Limit players and redistributed their ill-gotten gains to their victims. This was a black-eye for the game, and just reinforced many people's suspicions that bots are operating in large numbers online.
Then you had the winner of the biggest event online, the main event of the WCOOP on Pokerstars, disqualified. The story goes that Mark Teltscher's "sister" won the event as "TheV0id", somehow besting one of the best fields ever in an online poker event even though she "hadn't played much poker before." Pokerstars investigated for a couple of weeks and eventually disqualified "TheV0id", ascertaining that she wasn't the person who was actually playing on the account.
Then you had the entire situation with Absolute Poker, which cast a very negative light on online poker as a whole when it hit the mainstream. Recreational players everywhere could be heard saying "I knew it was rigged, and now I have proof." The thievery that took place at Absolute Poker did more to undermine the game of online poker than anything else in this list, and it will be a while before the game was its image restored. Recreational fish are the lifeblood of the industry, and if they start thinking that online poker is rigged and start avoiding playing online, we are all in a lot of trouble.
Here's the thing though: online poker has taken it on the chin in the past year, and it's still very much alive. Pretty much everything bad that could have happened has happened in the past year, and the game has bounced back everytime. You would have to think that the time has come for some major good news in the industry. Rumors of a return to the US market for Party Poker? More payment options? Positive news on the UIGEA front? I think that the time is right for some good news, but no matter what happens, online poker will survive one way or another.
Filed Under: Online Poker Scandals
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