The incidents of Black Friday came as a shock to many poker players. But the actions of both PokerStars and Full Tilt to return funds to US players helped to alleviate the fear that money would be tied up for a lengthy period of time similar to the issue with Neteller so many years ago.
PokerStars had already begun processing cashouts, and Full Tilt had made an announcement that this was coming soon. The company behind Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, however, had been relatively silent.
A number of years back AP and UB were involved in the superuser cheating scandal, where a number of people with inside access to the company were cheating in high stakes games with superuser accounts that enabled them to view their opponents holecards.
High stakes online poker players became suspicious when their bluffs were being called by opponents holding Ten-high, when Ten-high was good. Both sites in recent years had tried to shake off the demons of the past and move on, having worked towards returning money to players who had been cheated and through rebranding efforts and new sponsored pros on their rosters.
However many in the online poker community did not trust them and refused to use their site. This did not stop them from maintaining one of the top spots for player traffic.
A recent article on MSNBC states that Blanca Gaming has "no cash on hand and no prospects for any cash flow for the foreseeable future" and would be filing for bankruptcy. To those who distrusted these sites for years, it comes as no surprise. But to the large number of players with existing balances, there must be significant shock that two of the most heavily trafficked online poker rooms are crying poverty.
Whether players will receive their money back, a fraction of it or perhaps nothing is still in limbo. But hopefully this situation will prompt better regulation and protections for players.
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