Full Tilt Poker & UFC Deal is no more

The government’s action of the online poker industry has had its consequences & casualties. Attendance at the World Series of Poker may suffer just a bit, only time will tell in the coming months. Poker shows like Poker After Dark and The Big Game will be gone it appears. Media companies may scale back coverage of poker and its television shows. The new poker show that we are working on called Hoke’s House will not be effected.). Tens of thousands of Unites States poker players will have their money in online limbo over the next year; possible longer; for that we shall see in this. CNBC sports business reporter specialist Darren Rovell tweeted: “The UFC had a huge new sponsorship deal on the table with Full Tilt that will now go out the window with the feds bust.”

Station Casinos, owned by the Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, and Full Tilt Poker agreed to a partnership deal, in response to a similar arrangement between Wynn Resorts and PokerStars. The partnership relied on federal regulation of online poker. Naturally, a deal with Station Casinos opened up doors for Full Tilt to enter the Octagon once again.



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Jose Mendoza of MMA Payout comments on loss of Full Tilt Poker: “The other question that you have to ask here is that with the big sponsorship void left by Full Tilt Poker in MMA, what type of companies will step in and take their place?”  We also have to wonder what it says about MMA as a sport considering that one of its biggest sponsors was an illegal gambling company that had been operating and generating revenue through banking and legal loopholes. Big mainstream sponsors is something that the UFC and MMA has coveted for years, but luring them in hasn’t been as easy as once expected. The addition of new sponsors and TV networks could reveal a telling story about the ceiling of the sport in the next few years.

Focusing on the fighters, they have been taking bigger blows outside of the ring/cage than inside as of late. The removal of Full Tilt Poker as one of their bigger sponsors wasn’t the only blow dealt to them in the past year. When Authentic Brands Group purchased Sinister, TapOut and Silver Star (MMA apparel) and then decided to scale back their sponsorship money in MMA, it dealt an equal sized blow. One has to wonder with the lack of big MMA protions outside of Zuffa and with the recent trend of dying sponsors, how difficult it will be for fighters to make a living in the sport, which wasn’t an easy task before either.”

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Following developments on Friday 15th April, the Commission is aware of documentation issued by authorities in the USA which makes allegations against PokerStars and some of its personnel. While we are discussing the matter on an ongoing basis with PokerStars and watching developments, we can confirm that PokerStars’ licensing status in the Isle of Man remains unchanged.

We are aware that PokerStars have suspended the availability of cash-play games in the USA and we are currently endeavouring to ensure that any player who wishes to withdraw money from their account can do so.

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The federal government decided to make April 15th a double-whammy for millions of American poker players by handing down indictments against the owners of Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker (parent company of Ultimate Bet).  The government is pressing charges against eleven defendants charging them with bank fraud and illegal gambling.

The US Government is seeking 3 billion in money laundering and forfeiture penalties.  Of course, this does not include all of the funds they may have the ability to confiscate from all of the American players on the sites.  The potential windfall from this indictment for the federal government is staggering.  After just recently battling over a small $38 billion dollars in spending cuts, they may have potentially added another 15% of income to that total by the time this is all said and done.

As the indictments were made public, players from across the United States watched in horror as they were blocked from playing cash games and tournaments and the company’s websites were seized.  The scramble was on to try to retrieve their funds (including from yours truly) and many of us in the poker community realized that the federal had just given us our “good game” notice.  But did they?

As with the Prohibition movement, millions of Americans now feel that their civil liberties have been trampled.  To think that there will not be any fallout from this is ridiculous.  While this seems like a dark day for all of us who enjoy hitting the virtual tables, the government may have done all of us a favor.  There are quite a few unintended consequences that will come out of Friday’s “Pokergeddon” and benefit the poker community tremendously.

 

Creation of Federal and State Poker Sites
Rule #1 in politics is very simple.  Follow the money. If you think that the UIEGA and Friday’s actions were about virtue and justice, you need to pull your head out of the sand.  The bottom line was that the federal government saw a billion dollar industry they weren’t getting their piece of the pie from and stopped it.

As many states continue to legalize gambling and build casinos to generate revenue, the government shutdown of on-line poker leaves a huge windfall out there for the taking.  Many states have considered measures to create in-state poker sites and Washington D.C. just approved it in their recently passed budget.  So now the race begins.

Will the cash-strapped federal government now change roles from villain to hero and step in to take over the on-line poker industry?  How quickly will states now act to either enact or create legislation to shut the federal government out of the on-line poker industry and reap the benefits themselves?  I’m sure many legislators had no clue of the amount of revenue on-line poker generates but these indictments are bound to be an eye-opener.  No one is going to just ignore the fiscal possibilities in these difficult economic times.

 

Full Regulation and Transparency
The ongoing questions about sites such as Poker Stars, Full Tilt and Absolute was how safe are they?  Is their software set up to create action and eliminate players in tournaments to raise their rake?  If any shenanigans are taking place, what legal outlet does a player have?  We may never know the answers to these questions depending on how far-reaching the government’s investigation will be.

But when on-line poker returns, these questions will all be resolved.  When on-line sites are based in the United States and subject to state and federal laws, playing poker on-line will be a far better experience.  Want to whine and complain about “the rig”?  Fine – file a lawsuit and prove it.  Players who like to play on-line will now feel like they can make deposits without fear of having them taken away in the middle of the night.  Examinations of software will be able to take place.  This will be a win-win for everyone.

 

Election Day
Don’t think that upsetting millions of people and causing them to lose millions of dollars will not come without a price.  The current Department of Justice headed by Attorney General Eric Holder has made some incredibly questionable decisions as to which cases to pursue and ignore.  Holder answers to President Obama.  With so many informed Americans already up in arms with Holder’s supervising of the DOJ, many are going to question why would Holder and the Obama administration choose this issue to make a stand?

The answer is going to be at the ballot box.  As if there weren’t enough reasons to not vote for Obama in 2012, many poker players – especially younger ones who tend to be one-issue voters – could make up a huge block of voters that will turn against the President and in turn the Democratic party because of this move by the DOJ.  While the Republican Party hasn’t exactly been supportive of poker legislation, it could turn out to be a lynch-pin issue for a large number of voters.

And there is a very clear opportunity for both parties to make this move and become heroes to the vast poker community.  This could turn out to be an Election Day surprise.  Approving such a measure close to Election Day would be very helpful to congressional Democrats who are looking like an endangered species at this point.  Republicans who would push a regulatory measure – whether it passes or fails the Democratic Senate or falls victim to a presidential veto – could strike a chord with voters who already feel Democrats are taking away liberties and freedoms with some of the legislation the previous Congress passed.   Expect someone to make a move on this with enough time to cause a reaction for the 2012 elections.

 

Legalization of Poker
The Pandora’s Box this indictment opens is the legality of poker.  Once and for all, the decision could be made at a federal level if poker a game of chance or skill.  One of the cries from the poker community is that state and federal governments condone certain types of games which are pure chance but not poker which contains huge amounts of skill as a factor toward winning or losing.  Poker is legal in California because it was ruled a game of skill and not chance.  Anyone who plays regularly knows that a player could sit a cash game table all day with the worst hand every time and still win based on strategy decisions and reads.

One of the arguments that the eleven men who have been indicted will be using is that poker is not gambling.  Honestly, they won’t have a choice or they will lose that portion of the case.  Early comments made about the situation indicate this will be one of their lines of defense.  This should be a very welcome battle for all of the poker community who are tired of poker being lumped in unfairly with games of chance like craps and roulette.  The defendants will be questioning how games of pure chance like bingo and a lottery are government sanctioned but not poker.

The possibility of this argument being made at the federal level should excite all American poker players.  Should a successful case be made in federal court that poker is a game of skill, it then would exempt it from all gambling laws.  No more persecution of home games and having to protect yourself from police intervention when playing a private $20 game.  Quite possibly, this battle could create a nationwide situation like California where poker rooms could pop up all over the country and be done legally because of this potential legal precedent.

A ruling of whether poker is a game of skill or chance is an unintended consequence that the prosecutors in their zeal probably never considered.  For the case against these people to succeed, they will be forced to prove poker is gambling.  And while the poker community will probably not rally behind the defendants, they will rally around that aspect of the case.  It is an opportunity that the poker community cannot and will not let pass by without a fight.  A victory means a whole new world of poker far beyond the scope of what the prosecuted companies could have ever dreamed.

In conclusion, while we’re all devastated by what has taken place we must realize that the indictment will now bring all of these issues to the forefront.  It can only benefit the poker community that this discussion can no longer be ignored or swept under the rug.  It is time for the rest of the country to learn what poker is really all about and address all these topics head-on with no pretenses.  Poker players will all suffer in the short term but in a time frame shorter than what some think, we will all benefit in the end.

Mark Hoke is the owner of Hoke’s HouseHoke’s House is a new poker TV show to be broadcast on WPMT Fox 43, MakePokerLegal.com and on his own site www.hokeshouse.com.  For more information about getting on the show, please visit the site or email Mark at hokeshouse@aol.com

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I was sent and email from a friend whom received a letter from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) After I read the letter that was sent I laughed so hard. The PPA is a joke; plain and simple. They are not for the poker players of the United States. They PPA is in it for the PPA only. When you read the below email that was sent from the PPA please make sure that you are not eating or drinking. If you are, then I am not responsible for the choking of your food or the spitting of your liquid all over your computer. Here is the email that was sent by the PPA:

The PPA is NOT for the poker players as they say they are.  They say that “April 15, 2011 will forever be a dark day for the online poker community.  Seemingly out of nowhere the U. S. Department of Justice (DoJ) took from us the ability to play online poker on many of the websites we have grown to trust.  While the target of DoJ’s action is on the Internet poker companies and not the player, the poker community is being adversely affected by this prosecution.”

That is further from the truth. These poker sites were knowingly operating Illegally within the United States. How can you trust something that is illegal? Is it trust worthy that if you feel that you have been cheated; there is no legal recourse that a player from the United States can take. You can’t take them to court. Why you may ask? Well you can’t because there is no jurisdiction that will accept a lawsuit because they are all offshore. A judge will simply toss it out of court.  The only truth in this section is the fact that the poker community is being adversely affected. On a quick side note the poker room at Make Poker Legal is not affected and nor ever will be. I play there and have won over a thousand dollars. My bank accepts all payments because they are based in the United States and operate legally and is UIGEA compliant.

Now on to the next section of this ridiculous email. It is said that “These recent developments should be viewed as nothing less than a declaration of war against poker and the people who play the game.  It is a clarion call to all poker players to take action.  We cannot sit idly by and wait for this issue to resolve itself.  We need to let U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder know we are disappointed with his decision to shut down trusted Internet poker sites in the United States and we need to again remind Congress and President Obama that now is the time to pass sensible legislation that licenses and regulates Internet poker in this country.”

This is absurd. A war against poker and the people who play the game? Maybe the correct thing would be a war on illegal poker, not the players. If it were against the players then players would be documented and crimes filed against them. Poker Players should take action. The action to get online poker PROPERLY regulated within the United States. The poker sites should be based in the USA, Incorporated in the United States, pay the proper taxes (remember the money that you deposit sit in an offshore account; which means its money that leaves the country) and be held liable & accountable for any wrong doings that may occur. They should also allow audits on the software and programs on a random basis and/or when requested to do so. In Las Vegas, the Gaming Control Board (GCB) upholds the laws that casinos must follow. The GCB would be a prime candidate in starting the foundation for properly regulated online poker. Not to mention the vast jobs that would be created, which would definitely assist in the economy.

Why would the PPA say that we can not sit idly by and wait? Who are them to tell us what to do when in fact they have not done clearly enough for us the poker players. Since the inception of the PPA one would think that they would have made  more progress than what they have done thus far. They have over 1 million members. So with a $20 (non tax deductible) price tag, on a low end that is 20 million dollar per year revenue that the PPA receives. After the Board of Directors (Alfonse D’Amato, John Pappas, Chris Ferguson, Linda Johnson, Howard Lederer, Rich Muny, Patrick Fleming & Greg Raymer (who left Pokerstars or to the fact rumors that he was asked to leave because the PPA caught wind that the online poker sites were going to be seized and/or shutdown to US players, but there is no confirmation about that.) percentage and the overhead costs that they have to pay, how much of that truly goes to “help the online poker players and community”? I have made several calls over the time span of a year to get a “no comment” answer and never got a email back. What are they hiding?

I am proud to say that I am not a member nor a supporter of the PPA for well over 3 years. If the PPA has done so much for poker then why isn’t it properly regulated here in the United States? That is alot of money that they collect each year. They also have a “donation” section where one can donate $500, $250, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5 & Other. Those donations are not tax deductible as well. I suggest that we send a message to the PPA and that we will not stand for the PPA BS stance on the game that millions love. You have to pay a membership fee to get information. Well here is a news flash: the guys here at makepokerlegal.com offer the same information and more for free (With the permission of the founder of the site, Ty Warren I was allowed to include this information in my article.) Granted they have an optional offer to accept donations that are non tax deductable; the donations assist in offsetting the costs of the website and those donations never go into the pocket of makepokerlegal.com, just to help offset the costs of giving everyone the information to make a difference in the poker industry. It is also a fact that the PPA pays a company called capwiz %5,000 a month to maintain certain information. That is $5,000 worth of “memberships” and “donations” paying for information you can get at makepokerlegal.com. Now, lets get back to more if this email and breaking it down.

The PPA wants the poker player to “let U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder know we are disappointed with his decision to shut down trusted Internet poker sites in the United States and we need to again remind Congress and President Obama that now is the time to pass sensible legislation that licenses and regulates Internet poker in this country.” Why would the PPA be disappointed with the decision of the stoppage of illegal poker sites? Is the PPA liable for urging poker players to play on something that is illegal to? Is the PPA doing anything illegal? As of today we will never know because they have no comment. Something fishy is going on if you ask me. These sites that are on the indictment should NEVER be allowed back in the United States because they simply violated the law.

Another section of the email states “Today is no day to be a passive poker player.  Your right to your personal property has been trampled on and your recreation, and in some cases livelihoods has been jeopardized.  We need to fight and seize back what is rightfully ours. The PPA wants you and every poker player to take action this week.  Please go to this specially created PPA Action Page to learn what you should do.  If every person who loves poker takes a few minutes to take these actions we will make a huge impact.  Your support of PPA in these efforts ultimately supports your right to play!” Really? The right to your personal property has been trampled on? What is the personal property? Is the illegal poker accounts that were out there? After all they were operating ILLEGALLY. Livelihoods has been jeopardized? No way anyone in the United States livelihoods were legally jeopardized. Chances are that the PPA meant the individuals  who worked for these illegal sites livelihoods were jeopardized. Granted I do not like hearing anyone having these kinds of troubles, but at the same time it boils down to one word, illegal.

Poker players are urged to support Make Poker Legal over the PPA. They are 100% truly for your rights to play poker that is regulated properly. Here they offer the same info and more compared to the PPA. They offer online poker that is legal, the PPA doesnt offer that nor will do. I suggest dropping your renewal membership with the PPA and support the guys here. Feel free to donate to them (I have donated several times). They also have android poker odds poker app and poker sunglasses. I wear them and they are hands down the best poker glasses in the world. I am proud to say that I will always support this website. I tip my hat to Ty Warren, the founder. He had a great vision and I look forward to what is in store in the coming weeks. It will be ground breaking to say the least. On a side note, my opinions are that of mine. I was never compensated (nor want to be) for the promotions of items that Make Poker Legal offers. I fully support everything that they do and am proud of what they stand for. Below are some quick links to some of the items they have for you. Until next time….

Make Poker Legal Poker RoomRoom Poker SunglassesAndroid Poker Odds Calculator App

2011 WSOP Travel PackagesRewards Club

The Silent Spade

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Brad Franzen is being accused of scamming banks into handling illegal gambling winnings. He put up $200,000 and posted bail bond earlier this morning. He also is pleading not guilty to money laundering as well as other charges. Franzen is said to have disguised the cash payments for purchases of various items such as jewelry and golf items. Franzen and other accomplices allegedly created fake corporations and web sites to conduct the fraud. According to authorities, Franzen is said to have assisted in $3 billion in profits for the offshore betting operators.

Franzen, a resident of Illinois is said to be by prosecutors to have been compensated for is alleged criminal activity. Franzen needed a co signer for his bond. His parents were the co-signers and they (his parents) put up their home this morning after Franzen surrendered to federal authorities. Sam Schmidt, a defense lawyer stated that he and his client (Brad Franzen) are reviewing the nine counts against him in the indictment in a Manhattan Federal Court. Franzen is part of the federal crackdown that took part when online poker sites Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker. The founders of those online poker sites are included in the indictment and are said to at large and are currently overseas.

IJ International (Franzen is the president of this company in Chicago) which is served as an agent to First Data Corp based in Atlanta Georgia and is a processor of the e-commerce payments. A spokeswoman for First Data is said to need more time to respond regarding Franzen’s arraignment. Henry Kravis is the director of First Data and a billionaire buyout specialist. Below is Brad Franzen’s LinkedIn page

Brad Franzen
President, IJ International
Greater Chicago Area | Business Supplies and Equipment

 

Current
  • Agent at First Data Independent Sales
  • Agent at First Data Corporation
  • President at IJ International
Past
  • Agent at Cardservice International
  • ISA at Bancard Systems
Education
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Millikin University
Recommendations
9 people have recommended Brad 

Connections
188 connections 

Websites
  • Company Website

Brad Franzen’s Summary

Applied merchant acquiring specialist. Providing top self service for businesses of all types and sizes. Utilizing custom and industry ready technology in innovative solutions for situational deployment.

Specialties

Contract negotiation, software development, payment systems creation and implementation, payment industry consulting

Brad Franzen’s Experience

Agent

First Data Independent Sales

Business Supplies and Equipment industry

2008Present (3 years)

Formerly Cardservice International, First Data Independent Sales is the leader in transactions processing solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Agent

First Data Corporation

Business Supplies and Equipment industry

2003Present (8 years)

President

IJ International

Business Supplies and Equipment industry

October 1998Present (12 years 7 months)

Applied payments solutions for businesses

Agent

Cardservice International

Business Supplies and Equipment industry

19982008 (10 years)

ISA

Bancard Systems

Business Supplies and Equipment industry

19931998 (5 years)

Brad Franzen’s Education

Thunderbird School of Global Management

MIM, International Management

19921993

 

Thunderbird School of Global Management

MIM, International Business

19921993

 

Millikin University

19981992

 

 

We will keep you updated on further news regarding this topic and other news about the indictments.

 

 

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players. This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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Full Tilt Poker.net™ Supports Poker Players And Its Chief Executive

Dublin Ireland (April 15, 2011) – Full Tilt Poker.net is saddened by today’s charges against its CEO Raymond Bitar and offers its full support to Mr. Bitar and Nelson Burtnick.

Online poker is a game of skill enjoyed by tens of millions of people in the United States and across the world. And, Full Tilt Poker.net remains as committed as ever to preserving the rights of those players to play the game they love online.

Mr. Bitar and Full Tilt Poker.net believe online poker is legal – a position also taken by some of the best legal minds in the United States. Full Tilt Poker.net is, and has always been committed to preserving the integrity of the game and abiding by the law.

“I am surprised and disappointed by the government’s decision to bring these charges. I look forward to Mr. Burtnick’s and my exoneration”, said Mr. Bitar.

Unfortunately, as a result of this action, Full Tilt Poker.net has decided that it must suspend “real money” play in the United States until this case is resolved. However, Full Tilt Poker.net will continue to provide peer-to-peer online poker services outside of the United States.

For more information, please call +442032877138

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Steve Wynn & PokerStars agreement ended abruptly today following the federal indictment of Isai Scheinberg, CEO of PokerStars. Wynn Resorts entered into an agreement with PokerStars on March 25. The agreement, reported by Forbes, may have hastened the action by the United States. In the original story, Wynn was quoted regarding the United States’ lack of control of online gambling. Wynn said in a statement on March 25 upon signing the agreement, “We are convinced that the lack of regulation of Internet gaming within the United States must change. We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it.”

The statement may have signaled the impending doom of the three largest Internet companies. Two other Internet gaming companies were named in the $3 billion indictment. Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker have also been named for violating the 2006 H.R. 4411: Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. Wynn Resorts issued a release that was carried by Forbes website: “Wynn Resorts, Limited announced April 15 that it terminated its alliance with PokerStars, the online poker company. The decision was reached as a result of the indictment unsealed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”

Caesars Entertainment also entered into an agreement with an Internet gaming company, 888 Holdings, at the same time, but the United Kingdom-based 888 Holdings has stayed out of the United States Internet gaming market. Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts sought approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission before entering into their agreements. Fertitta Interactive, co-owned by Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Tom Breitling and Tim Poster, associated with Stations Casinos, also released a statement in regards to their relationship with FullTilt Poker.

The statement carried by the Las Vegas Review Journal detailed their severance with FullTilt Poker: “The deal between FullTilt Poker and Fertitta Interactive was contingent upon the passage of federal legislation legalizing Internet poker, our own internal due diligence, and a finding of suitability for gaming licensure.” How will this affect the Nevada Gaming Commission’s recent activity related to legalizing Internet gaming in Nevada? It may actually help the cause of Nevada-based casino companies that have patiently waited on the sidelines to see what will happen to these Internet gaming giants. Two members of PokerStars have already been arrested.


This news comes as the Nevada legislature is debating AB 258, a law to legalize online gaming in Nevada. The law is supported by PokerStars. There are lobbyists for PokerStars on the ground in Nevada at the moment working to pass AB 258. Nevada could take advantage of this opening once the millions of irate online poker players make their voices heard. Establishing online poker companies in the continental United States will keep United States money within the countries’ borders. It is estimated that many of these online gaming companies are making in excess of one billion dollars a year, per company. The internet gaming business is believed to be grossing more than $26 billion dollars a year as an industry.

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players. This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players. This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

Save 15% off Royal Eyewear Poker Sunglasses
Get the best poker sunglasses in the world. Enter the promo code MAKEPOKER at checkout to save 15% and get free shipping. These glasses have been worn by Phil Hellmuth, Devilfish and have been featured on ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports and many other TV Channels, worn by Pros and Semi Pros all over the world on major tournaments and TV shows such as WSOP, WSOP Europe, Poker After Dark, Poker Million...the list goes on. 30 day money back guarantee.
Expires: 05/31/2011
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Daniel Tzvetkoff may be the engine behind today’s online poker site seizures and Federal indictment. Daniel Tzvetkoff was arrested about year ago in Las Vegas. He was eventually released on bail in September. Tzvetkoff’s business was consisted of payments for repayments on short term loans, funds that were transferred to prepaid debit cards & purchases via e-commerce instead of online poker transactions. In 2009 it was made public that Tzvetkoff’s company called Intabill supposedly owed a whopping amount of $25 million Pokerstars & Full Tilt Poker. He also allegedly owed $3 million to Absolute Poker & $2 million to Golden Palace.

There was a lawsuit filed in June 2009 against Intabill by BT Projects & Kolyma Corporation AVV in the amount of $52 million. It was reported that Tzvetkoff was making a little over $150,000 each day. In Intabill’s prime, they had well over 5,000 customers. That is alot of money when you do the math. A little over a year ago, April 2010 Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas. He was charged with the same crimes as the founders of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker on April 15, 2011. Those crimes include money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud. You can view the indictment http://makepokerlegal.com/blog/2011/04/16/complete-doj-indictment-on-full-tilt-pokerstars-and-absolute-poker-released

Daniel Tzvetkoff was considered as a flight risk due to the fact that he was wealthy as well as a citizen of Australia. It was reported that Daniel Tzvetkoff had a meeting with prosecutors that was kept a secret and was released on bail. It is a “coincidence” that the founders of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker are facing the same crimes and extensive jail time. It is also reported that Full Tilt Poker & Pokerstars gave information about Tzvetkoff location in Las Vegas which lead to his arrest. Maybe Tzvetkoff is getting his revenge. It is no secret that you can get off charges if you cooperate and give information for the justice system to “get the bigger fish” (no pun intended).  Stay tuned to MakePokerLegal.com for the latest news regarding this turn in events.

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players. This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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Get the best poker sunglasses in the world. Enter the promo code MAKEPOKER at checkout to save 15% and get free shipping. These glasses have been worn by Phil Hellmuth, Devilfish and have been featured on ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports and many other TV Channels, worn by Pros and Semi Pros all over the world on major tournaments and TV shows such as WSOP, WSOP Europe, Poker After Dark, Poker Million...the list goes on. 30 day money back guarantee.
Expires: 05/31/2011
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UPDATES are posted at the bottom of this blog

Federal prosecutors today unsealed a sweeping indictment against Isai Scheinberg and Raymond Bitar, founders of the world’s biggest online poker companies, and moved to try to shut down their businesses. The indictment filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, charges Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and Bitar, the founder of Full Tilt Poker, as well as nine other individuals, accusing them of operating illegal gambling businesses. Federal prosecutors also filed a civil lawsuit seeking $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties, alleging the online poker companies disguised money they received from U.S. poker players as payments to online merchants selling jewelry and golf balls.

The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan moved to try to shut down the online poker business in America by seizing five Internet domain names, including pokerstars.com and fulltiltpoker.com, used by the three main companies facilitating online poker games in the U.S. In addition, a federal judge issued a restraining order against 76 bank accounts in 14 countries utilized by those online poker firms. The indictment sets up a complicated global legal battle between the Department of Justice and the online poker entrepreneurs who have long argued that their operations in the U.S. do not violate U.S. law. Indeed, in recent days, one of the nation’s most prominent casino billionaires, Steve Wynn, announced a strategic relationship with PokerStars and said “in the United States of America the Justice Department has an opinion but several states have ruled and courts have agreed that poker is a game of skill, it’s not gambling. PokerStars rests their argument on that.”

But in a 51-page indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan, federal prosecutors allege that PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, “used fraudulent methods to avoid restrictions and to receive billions of dollars from United States residents who gambled.” The indictment largely focuses on financial transactions, claiming the online poker companies violated a 2006 law that Congress passed to cut off the flow of cash to online gambling companies, saying the firms “deceived or directed others to deceive United States banks and financial institutions into processing billions of dollars in payments.”

Here is the complete Department of Justice Indictment regarding the seizure of Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker & Absolute Poker Domains and the blocking of these domains for poker players in the USA.

UPDATE

- Full Tilt’s Onyx Cup has been cancelled at least temporarily but most likely forever. Full Tilt Poker has not yet released any official statement regarding the Onyx Cup

- ESPN has removed the PokerStars sponsored “Inside Dea”l from the ESPN.com website. Nothing official has came from the network yet. The ESPN Poker Club which was powered by PokerStars is no longer available.

There is good news for poker players in the Unites States. Our poker room remains open for all players.  This is one of very few online poker sites that can still be played & will always be legal to play for US players. All banks will accept payments from the poker room. It easy and takes a couple of minutes to register. For full details simply go to Make Poker Legal Poker Room

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