πŸ”₯ Black Friday: How the Feds Shut Down Online Poker - LA Weekly

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Black Friday isn't the only thing that changed though. The poker boom started with a combination of hole cams, internet poker, and a big boost to the US.


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So what exactly happened on the poker world's Black Friday – and what impact is it still having? by Card Player News Team | Published: Jun 15, Print-.


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United States v. Scheinberg, No. cr (), is a United States federal criminal case PokerStars and Full Tilt admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which the law did not define or alter the definition of unlawful gambling, which under John Campos and Chad Elie were arrested on Black Friday.


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On April 15, , the poker world was rocked by Black Friday. evening both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker issued statements explaining that.


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United States v. Scheinberg, No. cr (), is a United States federal criminal case PokerStars and Full Tilt admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which the law did not define or alter the definition of unlawful gambling, which under John Campos and Chad Elie were arrested on Black Friday.


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United States v. Scheinberg, No. cr (), is a United States federal criminal case PokerStars and Full Tilt admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which the law did not define or alter the definition of unlawful gambling, which under John Campos and Chad Elie were arrested on Black Friday.


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Chris Ferguson APOLOGIZES for Role in Black Friday \u0026 Poker Community Responds! #WSOP

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They also quashed Full Tilt's attempts to make similar arrangements with two Illinois banks. Five to 10 times more. Black Friday nearly finished him.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} It was easier than playing head-to-head in cash games, since the competition was generally worse. Why should he? Wright became engrossed. When the first opportunity came for his wife to take the bar, they didn't have the money to pay for the test. It had to pay better than minimum wage. Party Poker, the world's largest site, decided to cash in its chips. He'd just finished his first year at Princeton, where he was studying to become a math teacher. Perhaps it's delusion. Wright's life began to change in , when he followed his then-girlfriend from New Orleans to Virginia, where she was beginning law school at Washington and Lee University. Two years after pulling himself off unemployment by his wits, he's back to searching for a job. But while that measure was winding through the House, the U. So it is for Walter Wright, who now finds himself in Costa Rica. But the feds killed that deal a year later. The feds blew up an entire industry. Only a few thousand dollars in his PokerStars account was frozen by the feds. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}When you've turned nothing into something once already, you tend to believe you can do it again. Fritz had played poker online casually with friends back in high school. By , an audit of Absolute Poker revealed that almost one-third of its revenue went to disguising the money trail. He'd managed to turn a few hundred dollars in profit, and that planted the seed for next summer's job. Wright would support them by playing online. It's been draining emotionally. But as a volume player, he also received rewards points redeemable for things like Amazon gift certificates, which he used to buy food in bulk. PokerStars and Full Tilt, also-rans at the time, were quite willing to step into the breach, despite the legal risks. Barney Frank, D-Mass. That's when he discovered multitable tournaments online. Then came the stealth attack by Frist and Kyl in Sites began closing and paring costs, hurling little guys like Minkoff to the side of the road. The Syracuse, N. He could always make more. The feds' squeeze was working. He was among the fortunate few to recover quickly. If he and his girlfriend hadn't bought a house, LaTour might have gone to Canada. He was becoming a classic workaholic, and he didn't enjoy the soul-sapping casino atmosphere. The bill didn't actually outlaw online play. A fellow player provided a reference that allowed him to move from one kind of gambling to another: Wall Street. His Las Vegas company also did freelance video production. In , it filed charges against Allied Systems and Account Services for processing poker money. The sites reimbursed their customers and rolled on. Wright found himself retreating more and more into the casinos, especially when he and his wife would fight. Wright started with low-stakes Texas Hold 'em with table limits of just 25 and 50 cents. Moralists and casinos, who were trying to protect their turf, had been pushing it for years, with no luck. Going after individual players would have created a huge backlash. Instead, he has taken the Syracuse police officer exam, but the academy doesn't offer the required classes until April, and there is a huge waiting list. That's when senators Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Wright's strategy was to play dozens of tournaments a night, primarily on PokerStars, moving conservatively through the early rounds as the lesser players fell away, then amping his aggressiveness as the field was whittled down. Players weren't the only ones thrown out of work. For Michael LaTour, the game was a way out of unemployment. It took time, but he began to see more money than he'd ever made as a waiter in New Orleans. But as the feds squeezed banks and credit card companies, it became increasingly difficult for the poker sites to find payment processors to handle their money. Many didn't even know it contained an anti-gambling measure. Wright dabbled in casino poker, where the stakes are higher. Department of Justice shut down and seized the assets of the three biggest companies serving the American market β€” PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker which also operated Ultimate Bet β€” charging them with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. Make some money and pay a bill. Most of their bank account was consumed by the move, but he had few worries. He wasn't ready. Then Black Friday hit. If you know the odds, bet wisely and seek out tables with lesser players, within a year or two you can be making a grand or more a week. Kyl and Frist preferred their attack on the American pastime to remain surreptitious. Why not? In the online poker world, April 15 is known as Black Friday. Their financial troubles accelerated. But now he was stuck in North Carolina, out of a job, living with his in-laws, with no way to provide for a family of four. They were, like, 'Well, we need to hire more poker players. It was a modest affair, employing three people and a passel of part-time help. That's the day the U. Others saw tens of thousands confiscated in the raids. That's when Wright noticed his chess buddies were becoming increasingly dedicated to online poker and raving about the returns. In true Washington fashion, most legislators never read the final bill. But he'd spent his teens pulling World of Warcraft all-nighters. Four summers ago , Maxwell Fritz was making minimum wage serving cotton candy and curly fries at a Portland, Ore. That left the world's most lucrative market up for grabs. I'll make more. Full Tilt's problems were multiplying. Four years ago, when his wife got a job in the Las Vegas public defender's office, the Wrights shipped out to Nevada. They're like Sit-n-Gos but feature as many as , participants in a single tourney β€” and much bigger pots. It was still a grinding way to make a living, sometimes requiring Wright to stare at a computer for 24 hours straight. Instead, the bill targeted the financial institutions that handled the sites' money, making it illegal to deal in gambling proceeds. Some in Congress tried to fight back, realizing that playing a few hands of poker after work wasn't exactly the height of fiendishness. Last year he convinced his wife to move to Asheville, N. The beauty of playing online is that he could work eight tables at once. Wright was luckier than most. He was equally worried about the effect of Las Vegas on their kids. But it also required a bigger bankroll and presented wider swings of fortune. It wasn't the best of money; PokerStars. But the money was coming a bit too easily. In , Michael Minkoff started a business that handled the shipping of poker books and videos sold on websites. As he honed his feel for the odds and what his opponents were holding, he moved up to Sit-n-Go games, which are essentially small-scale tournaments that can be finished in an hour. He'd played strategy and role-playing video games as a kid in Houston, and later began to obsess over chess. The plan was for her to take the year off, care for their newborn daughter and study for the North Carolina bar. There's faith your luck will turn. He left his wife and two children behind to redeem their failing finances and faltering marriage by doing something that's now illegal in the United States β€” playing poker online. But for a professional poker player, self-confidence is essential. But a year later, spectacularly inept bets by American's parent company, AIG, put him back on his ass. But when the feds began seizing its payment processors' funds, the company had no war chest with which to cover the losses. But in one secretive stroke, the two senators had declared war on poker. PokerStars and Full Tilt discovered that SunFirst, a struggling Utah bank, was willing to handle the payments in exchange for fees and an investment.