In a whirlwind week that saw the 2011 World Series of Poker head towards its Main Event and FullTilt Poker get should down by their governing body, PokerStars has quietly stayed out of the news. Earlier this week players began having trouble logging onto FullTilt in what was called by the company a “standard site maintenance” period. However, just hours after the servers went down a press release from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission stated that had shut down FullTilt’s operations and removed their gaming licenses. While the world’s second largest online poker site remains mired in controversy, things could not be better for their main competition, PokerStars. The world’s biggest internet card room was quick to shut down rumors they were next in line to lose their gaming licenses. Before FullTilt could even release a statement to their players, PokerStars (along with the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission) released their own statement.
The statement put player’s minds at ease by declaring PokerStars completely fine to continue their operations:
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission wishes to make it clear that the licensing status of PokerStars in the Isle of Man remains unchanged following today’s statement from the Gambling Control Commission in Alderney. Alderney is a separate jurisdiction from the Isle of Man and the operation in question is separate from PokerStars.
PokerStars continues to demonstrate compliance with its licence conditions in the Isle of Man. PokerStars continues to offer withdrawals to any players who wish to withdraw their funds, including players in the USA to whom PokerStars does not currently offer real-money gaming.
It seems while FullTilt broke rules laid out by their licensing organization but PokerStars did not. The major difference here might have been PokerStars ability to continue to process payouts in a timely manner since Black Friday back in April. This stems from PokerStars keeping player deposits separate from their operational expenses while FullTilt clearly was unable to do so. This resulted in PokerStars being able to refund American player accounts within two weeks of being shut down by the US Department of Justice. To this day FullTilt still has not paid back a single dollar to US players.
To celebrate this good news (and perhaps to entice new players) PokerStars decided to offer a $100 reload bonus. The bonus is available in many different currencies (at an equivalent amount) including Canadian Dollars, Euros, and Pounds. All players have to do is deposit using the code PS100 between today and midnight ET July 15th and they will automatically receive 20% up to $100. The bonus is cleared by earning VIP Player Points; these points can be accumulated by playing in real money cash games, tournaments, and SNGs. Players who deposit enough money to receive the maximum bonus will receive $100, C$100, €70, or £60. It will take 20 VPPs to clear one Dollar, 29 to clear one Euro, and 32 to clear one Pound. The bonus is paid out in increments of 10 no matter the currency you chose. Players will only have 20 days to clear VPPs to earn as much of the bonus as they possibly can. If players who received a $100 bonus clear 1,200 VPPs over the 20 day period they will have earned $60 during that time. If you fail to clear the entire bonus you still get to keep the amount you earned throughout the process.
This is a solid reload bonus and will not only help boost your bankroll but should bring more players back to PokerStars. With an even larger player base tournament prize pools will go up, cash game selection will become easier, and SNGs will continue to run around the clock. PokerStars has completely put Black Friday in their rear-view mirror and cemented their place as the #1 online poker room in the world.