Monday, January 22, 2007

GG Ring Games, IGHN. Some Observations...

It didn't take long. It appears all of the non hold 'em ring games have become awful rocky. (Please read that again before flaming me, I said "NON HOLD 'EM ring games"). IMHO, a juicy hi/lo or horse game would have 50% seeing flop/4th street. Try finding that for a full ring now.

I would guess that the loosest hi/lo left would be the PLO8 on Bodog. But it sounds like their paper checks aren't being accepted so none of my money will go in their direction.

This also takes many of the bonus & rakeback whores out of the game. Without being able to transfer rolls quickly between sites, those players will dry up. Bloggers are somewhat in the same boat. Like myself, many bloggers receive a "stipend" from poker or rakeback sites. It is difficult to transfer or cash out these amounts right now.

My original goal was to climb the Stars VIP program, but anything beyond gold star would be a dream given the current situation. I really liked their program because it was independent of any third party.

With ring games gone (for me anyway) the only logical option is to run SNG's and donkaments. If I happen to take down a decent MTT score I can always request a cash out right away. I would like to involve more live tournaments into my goals, bankroll permitting.

It appears from this 2+2 thread that player traffic is down 10-20% in the first week since the neteller pullout. Don't expect this number to get better anytime soon.

Speculation part of the post.

What now? It doesn't look good for USA players.

If I were PokerStars, I would pull out of the USA. It just seems logical. No new payment processor required. Already established relationship with EPT. Let the USA players deal with the hassle of workarounds (if any). Send a bunch of Eurasians to the WSOP with "dot net" shirts on.

No legal fights necessary. Sit back and make (smaller) profits without adding any expense.

As for new processing, it appears some prepaid Visa gift cards are working well for deposits. Great, but for how long? Same goes for epassporte.

The only true workaround for processing I can think of involves circumventing banking entirely. Stars and Tilt would have to offer a retail merchandise store online and offer gift cards to purchase at a B&M retailer. Just like Amazon, once you enter your gift card PIN online, it's a credit on the site and can't be transferred to another user or refunded. On the site you could buy merchandise OR a credit to FTP or Stars poker site. FTP has already offered gift certificates this past holiday season. This would just be a variation of that - or the phone card version Party used to offer.

But again, I wonder if it is worth the financial and legal risk for the extra profit? Some say yes, but I say no.

By far, the funniest thing I've read since all the shit went down is this gem from RGP:

New Full Tilt tv commercial

"Full Tilt House 1am. The doorbell rings. Mike Matusow
answers door. A US player says I want to cash out. Mike says "Get the Fuck
outta here". and slams door. Full Tilt Poker it's where the pros play."

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