In April 2011, and after years of impunity – online poker is extremely popular in the United States and yet non-legal – the FBI had 3 poker rooms closed overnight: Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. Executives and certain shareholders are accused of fraud, organized gang money laundering, and violation of gambling laws roulette malaysia.
Pokerstars quickly recovered by providing documents partially exonerating him. Full Tilt Poker, on the other hand, reveals its disastrous management. A large part of the money deposited by the players contributed to the bank accounts of the manager and part of the shareholders. Criminal sanctions fall, and the site is closed.
Ray Bitar, the leader, is accused by justice but will not go to prison because of serious health problems. Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, in particular, are accused of stealing some 40 million each and face criminal sanctions – sanctions that are not strong enough, according to many.
To be relaunched, the site must, therefore, be purchased with its debts and the promise to reimburse the players; this represents $ 731 million in investment. Pokerstars decides to take charge of this operation, allowing it to establish its leading position. Full Tilt Poker was indeed the world number 2. As for Absolute Poker, it will not recover, and its manager will spend some time in prison.
Regarding the players, the French were reimbursed, but the Americans had to wait much longer since the majority of them were reimbursed in February / March 2014.
The French online poker market
Since the arrival of the Online Games Regulatory Authority (Arjel) in France in June 2010, the number of poker sites has become limited. The room leader is Winamax, followed by Pokerstars and PartyPoker.
The huge drawback is that we can only play between French, unlike before 2010. The number of players available is, therefore, lower but still sufficient to be able to play almost at all hours. Personally, I am always nostalgic about the time before the Arjel, like many others … In 2013, the government refused a proposal from the Arjel to join the market to others, to allow to have a larger player panel and energize the market.
Online high-stakes poker
Many high limit players roam poker sites every day. Many make it their main occupation, and the cash game is their playground. The poker rooms with the highest limits and the highest attendance on these limits are Pokerstars and especially Full Tilt Poker.
Although the leader is Pokerstars, the craziest action is on FTP. Lots of game variations available, as well as limits of up to $ 1,000 / $ 2,000 blinds.
As a result, pots of hundreds of thousands of dollars are played every day. The record for the biggest online pot is held by Patrick Antonius – who is also the second biggest online cash game-winner, behind Phil Ivey – who won a pot of $ 1.3 million against Isildur1 (Viktor Blom), a Swedish phenomenon that turned high-stakes poker on Full Tilt upside down in 2009.
The biggest online cash game winner is Phil Ivey, with over $ 20 million in prize money. The biggest loser is also a well-known player who had great tournament success a few years ago, Gus Hansen. The Dane has accumulated $ 16 million in losses since his debut at full Tilt Poker.