April 16, 2011
So, the US government have decided to come after Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet, by cracking down on their websites and barring them from US players entirely.
Many astute members of the poker community have warned about this day in the past, particularly at the end of last year when people discussed the possibility of a blackout in the US. I read some good posts about how the status quo wasn't as good as everyone made out to be and it being only a matter of time before the Department of Justice gather enough evidence to come after these sites for allowing US players to deposit.
However, I think it's fair to say that most people, even myself, didn't really see this coming. I mean, I'm sure people knew it was a possibility in the back of their minds, but hadn't really expected or planned for this.
So what now? At the moment, it seems like non-US players can carry on as normal, while anyone in the US has been completely shut off. This is subject to change though, but I am optimistic that the money I have online will be safe and it won't really prevent me from making money in the future (though it could decrease my potential earnings - I will talk about this and other wider consequences in more detail later.)
There isn't much to do but wait and see what happens. I was a bit worried earlier and even considered cashing a lot out, but I don't think there's that much reason to panic yet. We'll see what develops.