Making The Best Of It
It’s now been a week since the U.S. government effectively pulled the plug on Full Tilt and PokerStars.
Has it been any different? I would say yes.
As regular readers (lol) of the blog know, my level of play tailed off significantly after the passage of the UIGEA. It simply wasn’t worth the hassle to figure out how to move money to bonus whore, the offers were fewer and far between and the games got somewhat tougher.
Over the last year my play has varied wildly. I played a lot early in 2010 when I finished a hot streak that saw my bankroll more than triple – followed by a downswing that wiped out all those wins and a bit more. I took a few months off and started playing a bit more in the fall. Most recently I had completed the Full Tilt “Take 2” promotion – playing 9 days in a row – right before the shutdown. I was even up about four buyins over that stretch.
During the past week I haven’t played any poker at all. Having kept track, there were two days where I would have played, including a couple hour stretch last night. I would have played Rush Poker on Full Tilt, which is very much my game of choice despite the largely unfavorable opposition.
Instead, I did nothing. I watched a repeat of ‘Wipeout’ on ABC (which was dumb), reread a chapter in a book I’ve read many times before and was generally bored. I’ve wasted a tremendous amount of time reading the message boards over the last week – I’m amused by the stupid – but was pretty well caught up on that. I was definitely conscious of the fact that I would have rather been online playing for cheeseburgers.
I felt little more than a mild annoyance that I wasn’t able to play poker, but I certainly feel for those for whom poker is a way of earning a living. Having your world turned upside down isn’t much fun.
I’m not going to analyze what’s happening. There are plenty of people doing that and well. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t see the future. I do think that U.S. player deposits will be refunded – I have a lot of confidence in Stars and Tilt, they to my mind have always treated players well and fairly. I think both sites will continue operations more or less as is, just without a chunk of their player base. More money and more prestige will attach to overseas tournaments – via sponsorships and by some U.S. pros heading offshore. Poker will continue, just without a lot of people who have lost convenient access.
I do hope this gets resolved in a way that fully restores the ability of U.S. players to play internet poker. I can’t say that I have any confidence in our elected officials to do the right thing, but the hope is always there. Until something happens, I will be trying to make the best of it … and spending more time on the golf course.