Friday the 15th of April 2011 will go down in history remembered as the ‘Black Friday’ of the online poker industry. Millions of players have had their favourite sites taken away from them and now forced to play at other sites while many poker professionals careers have been turned on their heads and left them seeking ‘real jobs’. In the past two days there have been thousands of articles published online about the seizure of the poker sites and even 2+2 (the worlds largest poker forum) has crashed due to the vast number of people visiting (even setting a new record for having 12,000 people online, their largest count ever). Below we are going to take a look at recent developments since the seizure of the domains by the F.B.I and arrests of the poker site owners on Friday. There are new reports coming out all the time so remember to check back here at PokerNewsReport.com for the latest headlines!
Poker Sites Change Domains
Now that the domains PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, UB.com and AbsolutePoker.com domains have been seized by the F.B.I, the online poker sites have had to ‘make home’ on other domains. PokerStars has now moved their website to the domain PokerStars.eu, Full Tilt can now be accessed via FullTiltPoker.co.uk, UB can be accessed via UBPoker.eu, and Absolute Poker can now be accessed via AbsolutePoker.eu. No new US poker players will be accepted at the poker sites, however existing players at UB have been able to continue playing for real-money but can’t deposit or withdraw, leaving the future of the site uncertain until a statement is made. There has also been lots of worry regarding withdrawals from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker however players have been reassured that their funds are safe. Full Tilt Pro Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan has even offered to buy players bankrolls for $0.93 per every $1 to show how strongly he believes that players funds are safe.
Daniel Tzvetkoff’s Involvement
Many are putting the blame for having the online poker sites shut down on Australian entrepreneur Daniel Tzvetkoff. He is the owner of a payment processing company which PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker used to process gambling transactions. It is being rumoured that he was making as much as $150,000 per day for himself, while making the online poker sites millions however he became greedy and took more of their money, leading to the sites suing him accusing Tzvetkoff of taking over $100 million of their money. In April 2010 Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with money laundering, bank fraud, and wire fraud. He was refused bail however after a ‘secret meeting’ he was freed on bail, which now leads people to think he threw the poker companies ‘under the bus’ to save himself from jail. The ironic thing about this story is that it was Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars who notified the FBI that he would be travelling to the United States.