Monday, October 02, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First, the good.  I did play on Friday night, and even after losing a $400 pot with AK vs QJ vs JT I finished in the good for almost a buy-in.  Amusingly, everyone was asking me where G-Rob was.  I told them it was his wife’s birthday and they spent the evening together.  Nobody believed me.  Multiple people said, “I bet he’s just tired of losing all his winnings to you.”  Interesting table image I have there.

Speaking of which, a few new faces were there Friday, including a young 20-something Furman University student who had recently taken down a Party Poker $162 MTT for over $20k.  I managed to bluff him off of pocket K’s on a board of Q742.  Yes, at the Spring Hotel someone laid down an overpair to me, claiming I flopped a set of 4’s.  I mucked and told him he made a very impressive laydown, one that I couldn’t make.  Table image rules.


Second, the bad.

Anything happen this weekend with respect to online poker?  All I have to say to one Mr. Frist is “-radio edit-.“  Kid Rock fans know what I mean.

The implications are huge.  From my perspective, there are four financial transactions that impact US-based players.  Bank to middle man, middle man to Poker Site, and the reverse.

For winning players, the cash-out path is the most concerning.  Just this morning, logging onto Neteller provoked a new “terms of use” agreement pop-up.  It says I cannot use the service for any illegal activities, blah, blah, blah.  So it would appear that my ability to make timely cashouts might be adversely affected.  I’m not sure which part of the transaction will be monitored, poker site to Neteller or Neteller to my bank.  I would imagine Neteller would find it easy to block a transaction from Pokerstars to my account simply by knowing I’m a US-based player.  It appears however, that the physical check option is still viable based on statements by Lee Jones on 2+2.  I would hope my bank would still honor a check from a foreign bank.

For losing players, the process of depositing may have just become enough of a hassle such that they simply don’t do it.  And that’s not good for the winning players.


The ugly.

I am certainly pretty bummed.  I’ve got live poker to fall back on, but the convenience of its online counterpart was impossible to ignore.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve made some progress as a player and was really looking forward to continuing to do so.  Granted, the progress was slow, but it was steady.  I’ve become a steady winning player at the $200NL games and online, the growth path is nearly limitless.  Offline?  Not so much, even in the hotbed of G-Vegas.

Right now, nobody can say what will happen.  In fact, it’s not so much what the law says, but how the companies we deal with react to the law.  I’ve seen reports that Party Poker will no longer let US-based players play at its real money site once the bill is signed into law.  If other major sites follow suit, it makes the language of the law irrelevant.  We are at their mercy.


Long live the Spring Hotel.

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