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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Black Tuesday" for poker players

The term "Black Tuesday" is related to the wall street crash in 1929 but today may be remembered by poker players as the "Black Tuesday of Poker".

The day the UIGEA passed the congress wasn't a good day but it didn't hurt the poker industry as much as many people thought. Partygaming, 888com and others left the US market but PokerStars, FullTilt and others stayed and there was mainly a shift in the total customer base and a lot of discussion. The US elections created some hope by showing the "power of the poker community". Even Harrah's seemed not to expect a big impact of the UIGEA and is planning the 2007 WSOP main event for about 9,000 people.

But today two seperate news will put internet poker on the test again:

1. The arrest of two former NETELLER managers. Full story here. Hopefully NETELLER has the guts to stick to the market. If they decide to leave (at least the U.S. market) or disallow the use of deposited money for online gaming activities, the poker market will be hurt heavily. The WSOP will be hurt heavily and the boomimg poker market will be in trouble.

2. A court in Great Britain decided in the "Gutshot case" that, while there may be skill involved, there is still the element of luck too. Therefore Poker is a game of chance and not a game of (pure) skill under british law. Another court ruling that doesn't make sense in my opinion. They say it can't be a game of skill because it isn't pure skill but they say it is a game of chance even so it isn't a game of pure chance. This isn't logical at all and is just driven by political reasons.

So whats's the future of poker? Is it over now?

Hell, NO!!!

But it got more difficult and those lobbying for poker have to act fast and with one voice. And companies like Harrah's have to realize that they can't stay away. What's happening here will hurt them as well as the online poker industry.


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