Archive Of US Poker News From 2011 and 2012, 2013, 2014... now with 2015:
25th November 2015: America's Cardroom will kick off their latest tournament event, the 'Online Super Series' on the 27th November. This runs through to the 6th of December, and has $2,6 million in guaranteed prizes. Satellite qualifiers are running now.
21st October 2015: All very quiet on the poker news front at the moment. The bigger news is coming from the Daily Fantasy Sports world. Nevada now requires gambling licenses for this, and other States + Federal authorities are looking into it. For me the stats on how badly recreational players do in these contests are scary... it is like starting every poker game with a -50% ROI expectation and then seeing if variance can get you a win. More in this article (on a popular finance blog with other links to sources) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2015/10/fantasy-sports/
2nd October 2015: PokerStars and Full Tilt have been approved to open sites in New Jersey, we should see them live next year... while the PokerStars software remains one of the best, the real reason this site is a success is the huge volume of games. With a limited player pool it will be interesting to see whether things work out on a smaller scale.
27th August 2015: BetOnline have an interesting promo to mark the start of the NFL season, this is a leaderboard challenge, with 4 separate weekly tiers each giving away $2500. Traffic is growing nicely at BetOnline - you can check out the details at www.betonline.ag
6th August 2015: 5x $1 Million Gtd Tournaments in a row have been announced by America's Cardroom. These start with one on the 13th of September, and continue with one each Sunday in October. There are qualifiers running right now.
8th July 2015: Quick reminder - the next $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament is on the 2nd of August, qualifiers are running now at America's Cardroom (I know, 2 posts in a row on ACR... not much action at the other sites I'm afraid).
1st July 2015: Lottery Sit n Goes now at America's Cardroom. 3 handed games with randomly determined prize pools of between 2x and 2500x your buy-in... add a short stack and turbo structure and you have an entertaining game. These are already established at global sites including iPoker and Stars - and are now available at America's Cardroom too. They are called 'Jackpots' and have their own tab in the client. See www.americascardroom.eu
3rd June 2015: Just a quick shout to say that you are not too late for WSOP qualifiers. One well known site has Vegas trip satellites, and BetOnline have a unique way to gamble yourself to a big tournament entry.
2nd May 2015: COPs starts tomorrow. This is the tournament event over at Carbon Poker. The guaranteed prizes now total $2.3 million, and there are plenty of qualifier games to get you into the bigger buy-in events. This event ends with a bang, with 3 'Main Events' on Sunday the 17th May. At a different site, B***** has just introduced 'Vegas Prize Draw' tickets, just in time for the WSOP 2015.
21st March 2015: WSOP Qualifying time is here again. Just an early warning for now, America's Cardroom are running satellites which give away 50 seats in the Main Event ($12,500 packages). Check back soon for a detailed World Series satellites guide for both US and International readers.
23rd Feb 2015: I have now started coverage of BetOnline Poker here at SNG Planet. This is part of the Chico Network, who recently pipped the Winning Network to become the 3rd largest pool of players for those in the US. You can find two pieces so far, with more coverage in the different articles to follow: BetOnline Detailed Review, BetOnline Sit n Goes Review
3rd Feb 2015: The World Series of Poker schedule has been announced. This contains a notable and (in my opinion at least!) excellent addition. There will be an online WSOP event this year, which will award a gold bracelet to the winner. This will be held at the regulared WSOP site which is available within Nevada. The publicity will no doubt give a welcome boost to the site too.
13th Jan 2015: America's Cardroom have added Bitcoin as a deposit option. While there are several BTC only poker sites, this is welcome news as Bitcoins can be used to play the regular games (your balance will be held in USD).BTC itself has experienced a drop since the start of the year, with the rate under $200 at the time of writing. Of course, this can change very quickly in either direction.
8th Jan 2015: Annoucement - Exclusive offer at Carbon Poker for SNG Planet readers. I'm happy to announce $10 in Sit N Go tokens on top of the already generous 100% welcome bonus has been granted for readers. This comes as 2x $3.50c tokens and 2x $1.50 tokens. You can check out the different SNG games, and hopefully take one down for a nice initial bankroll boost. All you need to do is use bonus code FREESNGPK when you register, and make your first deposit. Check out www.carbonpoker.ag now!
5th Jan 2015: This should be an interesting year for poker. At the moment, all the action is offshore, with some nice tournament events already scheduled. ACR are re-running their $1m gtd after a successful start in December (lets hope this one becomes regular). There is a new 'Mega Stacks' promo at Carbon on Jan 18th, with 15k starting stacks and a choice of buy-ins. COPs, the regular Carbon event, follows on from this in early Feb.
11th December 2014: California is still the big hope for State-by-State regulation proponents, though it looks like the latest bill to be put forward does not have the support of the group of sites, tribes and industry interests which would be needed to have a realistic chance of becoming law. Legislation which indirectly affects US players is moving forward in Mexico, who look like they will segregate their market in the same way that Spain and Italy do. This means many of the US pro grinders who relocated to Mexico will have to start looking for a new home.
14th November 2014: A shock announcement from Nevada, with Ultimate Poker closing their doors not long after leaving NJ. With New Jersey also hitting a record low in revenue, it really is starting to feel like State regulated poker is fizzling out. Californina is still the big hope on this front, though even there multiple interested parties would need to be satisfied with any agreement... Interesting times, it looks as if the offshore sites will continue to be the number one destination for the time being.
6th November: 5Dimes might not be the first place you would think of when it comes to poker, though they made the news today. This site has left the Equity Network, and formed their own poker room - the Grand Network. I have not yet played there to report any details, however the creation of a brand new poker network feels more news-worthy than a CA tribe offering real money bingo games!
20th October 2014: Updates the pie chart above with the relative size of the networks. B**** are smaller (this is just an estimate according to PokerScout), with Merge (Carbon) holding on to 2nd place. The big change from last time is the gains for the Chico Network (BetOnline) at the expense of the Winning Poker Network (ACR Poker). Equity is now challenging for that 4th spot. The biggest NJ site (Party Borgata) has 130 player averages for comparison.
23rd September 2014: The resignation of Roderick Wright, the pro poker Californian Senator has added another setback to poker legislation in CA. With Ultimate Poker pulling out of NJ (their 'reason' was the Taj Mahal closing, but lets not kid ourselves, they had no players anyway) and the glitches in Party / Borgata's tournament series, there really need to be questions asked on the State model of online poker. It is now an odds-on shot that we end 2014 with only the 3 initial States limping along in terms of player numbers, with PokerStars New Jersey the only major plus for the rest of this year.
25th August 2014: America's Cardroom has announced that they will be hosting an online tournament with a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. This runs in time to give someone the guaranteed $200,000 first prize in time for the xmas / holiday season. The date for your diaries is the 14th December - though you'll find satellites are running right now.
11th August 2014: COPs, the regular tournament event held by Carbon Poker, is set to return. The dates for your diary are the 16th through 28th September, there are $2,000,000 in total guarantees - including a $250,000 Main Event. This event keeps on getting bigger and better.
14th July 2014: An odd news item today over at Calvin Ayre's site. A California tribe called the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel has announced they will offer real money poker games from their land without waiting for State regulation. They have some kind of licensing from the Kahnawake tribe and will open up their games worldwide, though you'll only be able to deposit from CA. Whether this will work out, only time will tell. Here is the link to the original story.
18th June 2014: Despite a lot of finger pointing (at offshore sites and the affiliates who promote them), the regulated in-State sites continue to attract only small amount of traffic. I have just added a pie-chart to this page showing the size of the main players, to put this into context the biggest NJ site (Party / Borgata) only manages 7-day averages of 140 players. My personal feeling is that the State-by-State model is in trouble - with only a large network of States pooling their games able to turn the tide.
26th May 2014: More news from the regulated States, the Equity Poker Network has stopped new accounts from NV. DE and NJ. It looks like the pressure applied by the New Jersey authorities who are blaming offshore sites for their slow takeup is starting to have an effect. My opinion is that the offshore sites are a minior influence at best - as outlined in this blog post.
14th May 2014: The Winning Poker Network (which includes America's Cardroom and Black Chip Poker) have announced they are stopping activity in the regulated States of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Merge (Carbon Poker) have already pulled out of these States, which leaves ***** as the only mid-sized offshore site happy to accept players - along with a number of tiny sites. Players who had cash balances will be able to log on and make withdrawals from those States.
8th May 2014: Some State news today, bills have been introduced in New York looking to regulate online poker. As you might expect from the State who were behind the 'Black Friday' crack-down, sites who broke the UIGEA rules after 2006 are not going to be allowed to reply. A similar bill last year did not make it to a vote, so it is too early to set high expectations just yet.
29th April 2014: Poker Host, who recently left Merge for the Equity Poker Network have caused a mini-storm by banning winning players from their room. These players are tagged as 'aggressive' and are often good multi-tablers... While there are lots of angry voices on various forums and news sites, I would be willing to bet that there are many recreational players who are looking forward to the games getting easier!
9th April 2014: Carbon Poker are to bring back their bad-beat jackpot. Before they dropped this about a year ago, this used to pay 6 and even 7 figures to people getting beaten holding quad 8's or better. The new jackpot will not involve contributions from players in the form of higher rake - making it a rival to 'The Beast' over at ACR. I'll update my review as soon as this goes live!
2nd April 2014: Comcast ISP users have reported issues logging on to ***** from some States. Comcast have denied that they are behind this, which adds a little mystery to the situation! The solution is easy, even for non-technical people, you switch your 'Domain Name Server' (or DNS) from that used by your ISP to the Google one. Here are the instructions over at Google.
29th March 2014: Merge Network news... PokerHost have announced their imminent move over to the Equity Poker Network. It is estimated that this will take some 20% of Merge's Players to this new home. For me this fits in with the pattern of major 'skins' leaving Merge, who then grow back the numbers through their main brand, Carbon Poker.I will keep an eye on the Equity Network and start to cover them here if they gain significant popularity.
21st March 2014: Some small-scale though welcome news from the Winning Poker Network and their oldest member, America's Cardroom. Their flagship weekly points race called 'The Beast' will no longer require playing on special tables, or in fact any special rake consideration at all. This will instead grow from the site's standard rake. Good news for cash games players, particularly those who enjoy putting in the hours and / or multi-tabling. I also added a new article concerning this network today, this one focuses on Deposit And Withdrawal Methods.
17th March 2014: There are 2 great online poker events about to start for US players, the Online Super Series On the Winning Poker Network returns on the 28th for it's 3rd running with $900k in total guarantees and a $200k main event. ***** have trumped this with a massive event in the form of the ******* ****** Open, which has $2.5 Million in guarantees and a post Black-Friday US online tournament prize pool record of $300,000 guaranteed in their main event. You can find out more about both of these in my Online Tournament Events page here.
10th March 2014: Carbon Poker have announced changes to their tournaments. There will be lower late registration, more turbo events and poker variations and more satellite qualifiers to the nightly guarantees. This follows consultation with many players on the Merge network - great to see a site listening!
25th February 2014: Interesting news from the regulated States today, with Nevada and Delaware signing a deal to share liquidity on licensed sites. This should be a small but significant traffic boost for the NV rooms - especially as the Delaware skins did not really get enough traffic to make them interesting to many players (a vicious circle). Of course, this also sets a precident for other States to follow in the future... we will have to wait and see how things work out.
16th February 2014: After a quiet month for US poker, Carbon have just done something noteworthy by releasing the first mobile poker app for US players. This is optimized for iPhones, though worked great on my iPad and just about coped with my Android phone. Let us hope that this is the start of things to come as far as device compatibility is concerned.
21st January 2014:****** have increased their tournament prize pool guarantees. An extra $100,000 per week has been added, with a focus on smaller and mid buy-in events - great news for tournament fans, as the buy-ins remain the same.
13th January 2014: COPs is coming back! The Carbon Online Poker Series is set to make a return on the 9th Feb. This tournament event is very popular and now has prize pools totalling $1.2 million - plenty of satellites to make sure that the games are full too. I'm predicting big things from Carbon and the Merge Network in 2014, and COPs will make a great start.
10th January 2014: Sponsorship of sports teams does not usually make the news feed here, however this time things are different. The NJ Devils and 76ers deal with Party Poker is the first cross over of a newly legal US poker site into the world of sports and media. This has to be a significant development and will help make a lot of people aware that poker is now legal and regulated in New Jersey. Lets hope this is the shape of things to come.
8th January 2014: The Winning Poker Network, whose members include Amerca's Cardroom and True Poker, have now started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. There are several smaller sites including Seals with Clubs who accept BTC, however this is the first established network to do so. It will be interesting to see how this one works out.
10th December 2013: PokerStars ambitions of returning to the US took a hit today as their application for a New Jersey license was suspended for 2 years due to an 'unresolved federal indictment'. They have not given up the fight, and are in dialogue with the licensing authorities... meanwhile Party and 888 will be rubbing their hands at the thought of having a 2+ year head-start!
1st December 2013: 2 brand new promos at Carbon Poker which are worth getting into quickly this month. 'The Bankroll Builder' and 'Winter Wish List' both reward daily play (Br Builder based on points and WW List on Tasks)... the sooner you get involved, the bigger your xmas bonus will be! Tourney fans will find a 25% increase in guarantees this month too, should be some nice tournament overlays.
25th November 2013: New Jersey goes live (well, soft launches at least!). WSOP Poker and Ultimate Poker already live, with Party, 888 and Betfair sites to follow shortly. No plans for shared liquidty with other states at the moment, but still an exciting milestone for US players. I am going to hold on and see which sites gain the biggest share, and hope to have reviews and insights in to their SNGs + tournaments in early 2104.
18th November 2013: A new network has launched accepting US players - and it is billed as a 'cooperative' rather than a traditional network. The 'Equity Poker Network' allows complete freedom for member sites and rewards recreational players above grinders. I'm a little confused at the moment about the tournaments - which seem to be run by the individual skins. There are currently 5 members, headed up by FullFlushPoker. I will try out the games and come back with a review and feedback very soon.
31st October 2013: Lock Poker have announced that they are to leave the Revolution Poker Network and become a stand-alone poker site. As they are (were!) the biggest site on the network, the future of revolution is very much in doubt. Reports suggest that network restrictions were preventing fast cashouts (Lock have been plauged with slow cashouts for a while now). Personally, I am wondering if their best players were being poached by tiny skins offering huge rakeback / under the table deals... It will be interesting to see if this is the fresh start Lock need to bounce back from the negative publicity their cashout issues generated.
October 20th 2013: Carbon Poker have announced a new online poker tournament event in the shape of the $1.5 million guaranteed 'COPS' (Carbon Online Poker Series). This runs from November 3rd through 17th, and includes 85 events with 3 buy-in levels. Really feels to me like Carbon are making a play to be the #1 US site when it comes to tournaments. Remember, if you support this type of event, the site(s) will be able to make them even bigger and better next time - a win-win!
October 7th 2013: Bovada have launched their 'Golden Spade Open' a tourney event which runs through to November 3rd, features a massive $1.5 million in prizes and includes a $300k guaranteed main event. The games start with buy-ins at just $22, and if you already know the 'recreational' crowd at Bovada (bodog) then you will not need me to tell you how easy these tournaments are. More on this cool event over at www.bovada.lv
September 17th 2013: WSOP.com Poker will launch in Nevada tomorrow, this is a big moment since US Casino Giant Caesars is behind this site. Players with long memories may recall many in the casino industry supporting the UIGEA back in the day. Clearly their objective was to clear out their established competition in order to get a level playing field to work with. This strategy could well have paid off, although Nevada is a small state - the consensus is that legal poker there is the start of something big in the coming couple of years.
September 5th 2013: Just a quick final warning - the awesome Poker Maximus starts this coming Sunday the 8th over at Carbon Poker. There is $3 Million in guarantees this time around, and a huge main event - make sure you keep supporting these events, and they will only get bigger and better.
August 19th 2013: I just put up a brand new article specifically covering the satellite qualifiers at the major US sites. Bovada have great 'alternative' trips (party in Las Vegas, Asia and Caribbean to name 3 current ones), Carbon have a weekly system for a $12,500 live event package to the tournament of your choice... and Lock do not have very much at all right now!! check out the article here.
August 13th 2013: Just as you were starting to wonder whether fast-fold poker would ever make it to the US... it has arrived. Bovada are the place to check, and the game is called Zone Poker. The combination of fast-fold + anonymous tables makes this a must-try. Canadians can also play this one on the Bovada.eu branded site.
August 1st 2013: I have just refereshed my dedicated article on the best tournaments for US players, this one is divided between the 'majors' / mid buy-ins and lower buy-ins and now covers the big-3 of Bovada, Carbon and Lock. You can find this article here.
July 24th 2013: Bovada have just announced qualifiers for the Punta Cana Classic, part of the Caribbean Poker Tour - they are giving away $5,500 packages which include transport, hotel, expenses + buy-in. Find out more over at the excellent Bovada.lv
July 18th 2013: A big update on the Winning Poker Network for America's Cardroom has been announced. This includes some features which you might have taken for granted at other sites, such as the ability to sit out at all tables at once (and back in!) + a redesign of the tables. I'll need to play a little on the new version before giving my final verdict - though visually, things do look like this change was for the better! If you can not wait any longer then you can check out the changes via this link!
July 11th 2013: Turbo Ops is coming back at Carbon Poker! This is a tournament event with 18 fast blind games, and kicks off on July 25th. Meanwhile, qualifiers are underway for the Asia-based Anonymous poker series at Bovada. Some noises from Delaware and new Jersey on their state level legal poker, but nothing concrete to report on just yet - watch this space!
1st May 2013: The first legal US Poker site went live yesterday. Called 'Ultimate Poker' this is open for Nevada residents only... This news does not affect too many people at the moment, however it is a starting point which should be celebrated. If you can access the site then please try it out, if this is a success then it may help to bring forward legistaltion in other states (or even federally). I can not access this site myself, so will continue to cover the bigger US sites instead!
8th April 2013: You can now find coverage of Bovada Poker here at SNG Planet. Already up are my detailed review, SNG specific review, depost methods and world series qualifiers.
26th March 2013: Just a quick shout for a new tournament event at Carbon Poker which runs from March 28th through to the 31st, this is called 'Turbo Ops' and has $1 million in guaranteed prize money, a leaderboard contest and plenty of qualifier opportunities. There is also a big $200k guaranteed over at America's Cardroom on the 7th of April - good signs here with the US poker tournament scene growing bigger all the time.
4th March 2013: Lock Poker have announced that they will segregate winning players... to keep them away from the biggest fish! Following the lead of non-US Party Poker, big winners will only see a selection of tables in the lobby, without the ones containing the biggest losing players. This is designed to protect new players from the biggest sharks while they gain enough experience to compete. At first view, this seems a little unfair to those who have worked hard on their game - however you should bear in mind that what is good for the poker economy as a whole is good for all players in the end.
18th Febuary 2013: Americas Cardroom have started their 'Mini Online Super Series' (MOSS) today, a smaller buy-in tournament event with $500,000 guaranteed - a nice addition to the online poker events available to US players. Meanwhile Lock are under the spotlight in the poker media, with frustration over their slow payouts turning into pointed questions about fund segregation and liquidity... I am really not sure whether this is just bad feeling over payout delays or whether there is anything factual to back it up at this point. I will keep a close eye on developments and add a warning to my Lock reviews if and when anything more concrete shows up.
24th January 2013: Merge have announced that they are stopping their flat rakeback deals from the end of the month. All players will be moved over to their VIP loyalty scheme. Some lower volume players will lose out slightly here, though the majority of players will find that daily cashback, bonuses you can buy + tournament entries more than make up for this. The Poker Maximus event is about to start again over at Carbon Poker - seats are already being won in satellites for this big online tournament event.
3rd January 2013: Better news for those looking to deposit at Carbon Poker. I am seeing a lot more deposits coming through my players there - indicating that the move to the brand new Antigua-based cashier has done the trick! With the lack of deposits over the last few months and some smaller 'Skins' leaving - there have been 'overlays' in many of the tournaments there too. I'm advising readers to take advantage quick, once the deposits flood back in these will soon disappear!
This page is here to keep a record of all the updates from my main 'US Friendly Poker Sites' page which are getting a little old. There were a ton of updates from 2011 and 2012 which are worth keeping in order to have an overview of the changes. Since they do not really affect the day-to-day of most players, it made sense to remove them from the main page and de-clutter things there.
So, here you have it... an archive of the older US news, with some of the out of date links disabled.
17th December 2012: More Merge news - RPM Poker, who were on the Merge Network, have closed their doors. Players are able to withdraw or to transfer their balances to Carbon Poker or Aced. While this is a sudden stop for this once popular brand, there were certainly some warning signs including a sudden stop to their reps posting at 2+2. I am getting a little nervous in general about Merge... the news does not seem to get any better and I would advise caution for those with balances on those sites (Lock seems like a much steadier outfit!). Second from merge is that PDC Poker have closed, this was an old brand owned and run by the same people who run Carbon and Aced, balances and deals are being transferred to those sites.
10th December 2012: Curious update today, with Zynga Poker applying for a licence from Nevada for their inter-state legal poker offering. While there is no positive news on legislation to report at the moment, there are two reasons that this is good news. Firstly that yet another 'outside' company is taking an interest in legal poker for the US has to be a good sign that momentum is building towards legislation. Second, the poker world in general would benefit greatly from the cross-over of play money players - even a few percent of them taking the real money plunge would be a huge boost to liquidity.
4th December 2012: Lots of changes on the Merge Network, with Black Chip Poker leaving and RMP and Hero Poker rumored to be following. On a brighter note, Carbon (the biggest site on Merge) have increased their welcome bonus to 200% matched up to a massive $5k, they are currently moving cashier system - which should help to solve some of the issues with depositing which have been reported. I will let you know when things settle down and visa cards are once again a viable option for US players.
13th November 2012: I started my coverage of Lock Poker yesterday, as a replacement for Cake (whose player move to Juicy Stakes seems to have gone well). Lock are really ambitious and want to offer a great player experience. I am tipping this site for some major success in 2013 (as long as they can steer clear of the political issues in the US). You can read my detailed review here and my SNG focused review here.
25th September 2012: A Shocker from Cake! As reported by Calvin Ayre, Cake have announced they are to stop taking new signups from US players, and will transfer all of their US players to the Juicy Stakes Poker brand... with whom they share the Revolution Network. This is brand new news at the moment, and I have not had time to check out Juicy Stakes, and do not know how this will affect the main site on this network Lock Poker. I'll aim to review and bring you details of the sites affected by the end of the week.
23rd September 2012: Merge deposits (affecting Carbon Poker featured here) have been experiencing some delays on the credit card side. Deposits with Money Transfers are currently the best bet (services such as Western Union). A Carbon contact has assured us that this issue is on the way to being solved, and that they expect to be back taking credit card payments by early October.
17th September 2012: While there has been some buzz in the press about the latest federal Bill - co-sponsored by long time gambling opponent Jon Kyl and John Reid, it looks like this one is not set to make it through. Pokerfuse got hold of a draft summary and noted a 15 month gap period, no sharing of liquidity with international player pools and a 16% tax rate. They also gave this bill a 1/20 chance of making it into law this time around... Meanwhile, Republicans have taken a decidedly anti online gambling stance in their pre-election documents. Looking more and more like the State-by-State scenario is our best hope before 2014 at the earliest.
22nd August 2012: No more bad-beat jackpots at Carbon Poker. This seems like a strange one for me, after all, those BBJ tables were hugely popular once the total got above around $250k. Anyway, once the current jackpot is won the pool will be closed and the special tables removed. This is the last of the major rooms worldwide to remove their bad-beat jackpots! For some better news, the guaranteed amounts for the Sunday Majors are going up for both Carbon (now $125k gtd) and Cake (now $110k gtd)... Oh and I just did a big revamp of many more US poker articles, including Cake Poker SNGs + the comparison of SNGs at US friendly sites.
10th August 2012: Two quick updates today, first - I have updated my US Poker Deposit Methods article... Carbon in particular are establishing a great track record at the moment with credit cards! Secondly, now the Full Tilt deal is signed we are looking at the latest date of 9th November for return of the cash - though players will need to go through the DOJ to get hold of this.
1st August 2012: The Full Tilt deal is on! With both Pokerstars and The Department of Justice confirming that a deal has been done, the wait for return of funds for many 1000's of players will be over soon. 90 days is the key point from the press releases, which means that there should be closure before the end of October. The actual process for getting the cash back has not yet been specified, though the DOJ (and not Pokerstars) will administer this. I will update my blog with the details as soon as these come in.
20th July 2012: Revolution Gaming update. Lock Poker have resolved their issues of mistreating partners, and I am happy to declare the incident to be closed. Unfortunately there are still come questions concerning lost deposits, and stories of a general lack of communication from customer services. Obviously I can not recommend this site for readers until this is resolved. If you want to enjoy the games on this network then Cake Poker are trouble-free, and have increased their welcome bonus too - this is now 200% up to $2000 - you can find my Cake Poker Review here.
July 15th 2012: For those players waiting for the return of their cash from Full Tilt there are a couple of news items which might indicate some movement (though we have thought this often before!). First, Ray Bitar of Full Tilt has flown to the US to surrender to the Feds (and has since been released on bail). Second, Pokerstars have filed for dismissal of the charges against them... more as soon as we have something concrete.
25th June 2012: Some better news today... Carbon Poker have added an Omaha Calculator to their list of downloadable freebies for players. This combines an odds calculator, HUD and more.
25th June 2012: Some strange dealings at Lock Poker have lead me to decide to temporarily ask readers not to deposit there. A mixture of some very shady sounding issues with an affiliate, stories of non-responses to support requests and an amazing e-mail sent from the CEO of Lock have combined to lead me to this (hopefully temporary) conclusion. Just to clarify - I am warning SNG Planet readers not to deposit at Lock Poker until further notice. On the same network (Revolution Gaming) Intertops Poker have announced that they are no longer accepting new US players, though players from the rest of the world can still join this brand - no explanation was given, though payment processing / uncertain legality could have been the causes.
7th May 2012: News coming through that Lock Poker have bought the Cake Poker network. Lock are currently on Merge (the same network as Carbon Poker). My initial feeling is that this will be good news for Cake, who are starting to fall behind a little in the US traffic rankings. Lock did focus their marketing on the more experienced players (using online and live poker pros) which could well lead to the 'better' players leaving Merge... Early days yet - though this certainly looks like a positive development.
26th April 2012: Thought I had better add an entry for the amazing Full Tilt / Pokerstars news this week, which could affect US readers in 2 ways. Firstly those waiting for repayment of their Full Tilt balances have reason to be optimistic if the rumors that Stars are to buy Full Tilt are true. More important for the longer-term health of US poker is that the negotiation is about a 'settlement' with the DoJ - which could eventually clear the way for Pokerstars to return to the US once the market gets regulated - all speculation at the moment, albeit with some good reasons to be optimistic.
9th April 2012: A Big announcement by Americas Cardroom, this smaller site (they were previously known as Doyles Room) are on the Yatahay Network and are planning a big MTT with a $250k prize pool to mark the anniversary of black friday. I will be playing on ACR this week and bring you a review - in the meantime you can find a summary in the entries of my Fish-o-Meter widget, or check out Americas Card Room for yourself here.
13th March 2012: The State of Nevada look like they will have their own intrastate online poker operational by the fall. While this is not particularly interesting for most players (even in Nevada there will not be enough players to build the critical mass for great games). It is looking more and more like a starting point for wider legislation - the question seems to have shifted to 'will it be states or federal legislation first?' rather than 'will we see legal poker' - great to have some good news!
28th Feb 2012: Well the news does not get better, another indictment - this time of Calvin Ayre and Bodog. This site already switched branding in the US and was operating under the name 'Bovada', this continues to welcome US players under their .lv domain. Meanwhile the non-US old Bodog brand is fully operational under the bodog.eu domain.
9th Feb 2012: Everleaf Network leave the US Market. Another casualty of frozen funds from payment processors and Federal indictments. Everleaf have been forced out of the US. While their own stats claim only 20% of the total players were US-based, this is still a significant blow to some of the sites which focused their marketing there.
6th Jan 2012: Some on-site news, I have been working hard on updating and upgrading my reviews of the leading sites. Both Cake and Carbon are included. You can see the new look Carbon Poker Review here (link to SNG review around half way down).
27th December: Interesting news from the DoJ just before Christmas, with the Wire Act clarified as only applying to betting on sporting events. This seems to clear the way for the individual states to pool together players should they choose to allow online poker - and with the current economic situation there are many states who could do with the money! We will have to wait and see how fast things move, and whether this opportunity at the State level triggers some of the 'vested interests' to move faster with federal legislation efforts.
4th December: Another update of an older guide now includes my top US pick in addition to the worldwide players choices. Check out the Best Site for Heads-Up Sit N Goes Here.
21st November: US players looking escape the winter can now qualify for the Aussie Millions (Jan 22nd to 28th, Melbourne, Australia) at Carbon Poker. Check out this article for more on how you can bag that $12,500 package!
17th November: Two new items. First I put together a detailed new article pitching Carbon Poker and Cake Poker head-to-head on cash games, tournaments / SNGs, software and the all important financial incentives. You can find out who won in here! Secondly, the state of Nevada have announced they are to license Intrastate real money poker from next year. This will be for Nevada residents to play other Nevada residents and is being seen as an opportunity for a new bunch of operators to gain some experience ahead of wider legislation. Again - watch this space!
9th November 2011: Some new tournaments from Carbon Poker to report on. Friday's now see the 'Fat Stack' games, which start with 1 million chips - and the 'Slim Stack' tournaments which start with just 10 chips! These innovations are currently fee-free. I am looking forward to the Fat Stack games which should see final table stacks measured in the 100's of millions. While there is also some good news coming out about Full Tilt cashouts, I will wait until something is confirmed on this before publishing. Keep and eye on my blog for the latest news.
12th October 2011: Carbon Poker have re-opened to US players from most states - this site have been closed for a while for new US signups, so this is a very welcome development... I rate Carbon highly and expect to make them my top choice for all poker formats. There are currently restrictions on the following states: New York, Kentucky, Washington DC, Maryland, Washington, Missouri and Louisiana. If you are outside of these states then you can check out my Carbon Review + special reader offer via this link.
11th October 2011: The Doyle's Room Brand is about to disappear. This will be transitioned into the (dormant) site 'America's Card Room' which is on the same network known as both Yatahay and True Poker. This should be smooth for existing players, who will apparently keep their same deals and bonuses. More as soon as I get the details!
3rd October 2011: General Full Tilt Update: Faint hopes of getting our bankrolls back have come around, thanks to news that Group Bernard Tapie are exploring a buyout. There are so many 'ifs' and 'buts' (especially where the DoJ are concerned) that this is more of a wait and see than a real sale... the hope is welcome though and statements have been issues with Feb 2012 as a target date.
21st September 2011: Full Tilt owners and pros have been named in a new civil suit by the Feds. Allegations cover the disappearence of money from what should have been segregated player funds into the pockets of Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar and Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson (and others). Looks like a bleak day for all of us with funds frozen on Full Tilt. I'll post more as the situation develops.
13th September 2011: Poker View announce they are to join the Merge Network: PokerView are a webcam poker site and apparently intend to integrate this with the Merge software moving forward. At the moment the Merge Network is used by many US players, however they temporarily stopped new US signups while they restructure their back office operations to deal with the increased player volumes. I personally love Merge, and believe this will be the best choice for US players once they re-open. Read my review of Carbon Poker here.