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POKERSTARS AFTER BLACK FRIDAY

The official name of the indictment raised on Black Friday was 'United States v. Scheinberg, 10 Cr. 336 (2011)'. Scheinberg refers to Isai Scheinberg who is the founder of PokerStars. In addition to Scheinberg, Paul Tate (PokerStars Payments Director) was also mentioned amongst the 11 names in the indictment.

Once their dot com domain was reopened on April 20th PokerStars made the following statement:

"Returning US players' funds is a top priority for PokerStars and the company can now start the process of returning money to its former US customers. All PokerStars player deposits are completely safe.

The Isle of Man's strict licensing laws (similar to other jurisdictions where PokerStars holds licenses) require all funds to be held in accounts that are segregated from company assets. PokerStars has always complied with this requirement and continues to do so. This money is readily available to meet withdrawal demands, indeed the company continues to comply with withdrawal requests from players based outside the US as normal. Outside the US, PokerStars continues to operate business as usual."

PokerStars was the world's largest online poker operator long before Black Friday and remains on top to this day (May 22nd 2012). The general opinion of the poker community is that PokerStars is the operator that handled the Black Friday situation in the best manner compared to their competitors, mainly because of their cooperation with the DOJ and the fact that they made it a priority to release player funds from the start. The essentially caved into their demands in order to preserve their sizeable and very profitable business outside the US. US players were of course unhappy to be locked out from real money games, but ultimately they did get their funds back.1

On May 22nd PokerStars is the online poker operator with the largest average of active real money players (a weekly average of 23600), followed by iPoker (3100) and PartyPoker (3000).2

 


1 Beatthefish.com
2 PokerScout.com May 22, 2012