Almost as soon as Pius Heinz won the 2011 World Series of Poker speculation began as to what was next for the world's greatest poker tournament. In late January via twitter details on the 2012 Series were released ... including the bombshell announcement that the delay of the final table to November (the so-called "November Nine") would not return. With the continuing advances in poker broadcasting including nearly live streaming with commentary offered the past couple of years the writing was on the wall for the demise of the November Nine, a gimmick that kinda worked or just plain stunk depending on your point of view.
Picking the right online poker site
For poker players for whom the World Series of Poker may only be a dream, internet poker is alive and well in many jurisdictions. If you know the game, you might be asking "where do I play?" For the latest information on the best places to play you will want to consult a site that's constantly looking at and reviewing top online poker rooms. With the universe of poker companies constantly changing and the huge variety of different incentives available information really does equal money for the smart internet player.
Stand alone poker operations or integrated online gaming destinations?
When Party Poker exited the U.S. market in 2006, it was assumed by many that they did so entirely because of U.S. government pressure. In fact, there were likely other elements that factored into the decision, including Party Gaming's status as a publicly traded company and of course the wildly popular Party Casino internet gambling sites.
Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars continued to operate in the United States because they did not have attached casino sites like Party and many other operators and networks that rapidly exited the U.S. market. Now, of course, Full Tilt is defunct and Stars has also exited. PokerStars is still a robust entity and isn't going anywhere - it just isn't serving American players.
In other parts of the world, both poker-only sites and fully integrated gaming companies seem to be flourishing. The top online poker casinos continue to offer not only poker but many also casino games including roulette, blackjack and slots to players. There are profits to be made - not only by the companies but also by smart (or lucky) players who know about the many bonuses offered.
Fewer options for U.S. players
Everleaf Gaming became the latest internet poker option shut off to players in the United States. Everleaf exited the market abruptly earlier this month, also cutting off French players at the same time. The network has released a statement saying that a key payment processor had been shut down by U.S. government authorities and, in essence, they didn't have much choice.
Neither this blog nor the author are providing any advice as to whether internet poker or other online gaming is legal in any particular jurisdiction. It is entirely the reader's responsibility to make that determination in their own location before engaging in any online gaming activity.