Less than 48 hours after PokerStars announced they would be processing American players’ withdrawal requests there have already been reports of successful cashouts. This comes less than two weeks after Black Friday, April 15th, shocked the poker world with indictments against major owners of PokerStars, FullTilt, and CEREUS as well as payment processors. PokerStars is making United States based players withdrawal their entire balances at once over a variety of options including instant eChecks, bank wires, and paper checks. Withdrawals were supposed to take up to 72 hours just to process but some players have reported the money already being in the bank account with in 24 hours of requesting a cashout. According to the cashier, requests can take up to 72 hours to process and depending on your cashout method can take anywhere from 3-15 business days to hit your account. Checks will come through snail mail so be prepared to wait a week or two before receiving your funds if you choose this method.
The other major sites indicted by the FBI and Department of Justice were FullTilt, Absolute, and Ultimate Bet. At this time there have not been any breaking news although the Poker Players Alliance reported yesterday there is good news for FullTilt on the horizon. Still, it appears PokerStars was much more prepared to handle this situation despite having an enormous US player base. As always, if there is any breaking news the FlopTurnRiver team will be on it quickly. Check back here periodically for any updates on FullTilt, Absolute, or Ultimate Bet.
There are still some options for Americans wanting to play online poker. The Merge Network is currently the largest company allowing Americans on their sites, but this will soon be changing for two of their skins. As of May 1st, PlayersOnly and Sportsbook.com will no longer be accepting players from the USA, but if you sign up before hand you can still play there after the 1st. This seems like a loophole, but if you want to play online poker at a site with 10,000+ players online then Merge is your best bet. There are a few popular skins including Carbon, LockPoker, PlayAces, and Sportsbooks.com. These four sites all have nice sign up bonuses and decent software. While it might take some time to get used to for those moving from Stars or Tilt it is certainly better than not playing at all. Other rooms still open to Americans include the longtime sportsbook and casino Bodog. While their software is much different, allowing players to only four-table at once, they do have a decent amount of players and games. Finally, Cake Poker with skins such as Cake and Victory Poker, is open as well.