Welcome to PokerSiteShutdown.com! An industry leading source for poker sites that have closed as well as reviews and recommendations on where US players can still play. As anyone who actively plays poker knows, the US poker landscape is complicated and always changing. No players from any other country has to constantly be aware of which poker sites have shut down and where to play. We’ve consolidated all the information about who’s open and who’s closed into one place. PokerSiteShutdown.com is a great resource for US players looking for:
Best US Poker Sites
Choosing a poker site to play is more difficult for US players than any other country. Most players around the world have great sites to choose from such as Poker Stars, Party Poker, 888Poker, the iPoker network and more. Unfortunately for US players, none of the biggest poker sites and networks accept them; and of the top 10 poker sites/networks worldwide none accept Americans.
US players are left with relative newbies to the market with many popping up over the last year making it a tough task. Fear not! There are definitely good poker sites available which accept US players, offer good liquidity, can be trusted and are able to process deposits/withdrawals. For starters, here’s our list of top US poker sites and below we go into more details of the criteria used to determine them.
TOP US POKER SITES:
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How to Choose a US Poker Site
For US players, the selection process is a little different to those from other countries. We have been in the online poker industry since the boom in 2005. The industry has evolved greatly but our experience enables us to understand the inner workings and biggest challenges that are unique to this industry. Those who have never worked for an online poker (or casino, sportsbook for that matter) can’t fully comprehend how they differ from traditional business. Here we’re going to share what we know to help you enjoy your online gambling experience more.
This can be quite tough for the individual player to ascertain, but keep an eye out for clues and make sure you check sites such as this one for updates. Hindsight is 20/20 but think back to the issues that FullTilt Poker was experiencing. Many players attempted deposits and saw the money credited in their poker account, but nothing debited from their bank account. Sounds like free money, but when you realize the scale that this was happening on (and reading websites would alert you to this) you quickly realize that this isn’t sustainable. They need cash flow to be profitable and pay the bills. We don’t predict that we could have predicted the downfall of FullTilt, no one did, but if something seems strange in this industry it’s usually time to more along.
One of the biggest challenges that face US poker sites, getting funds to and from players. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the UIGEA that was passed in Oct 2006 targets payment processing. Online poker sites have managed to find loop holes to the laws but they still face steep challenges. If you’ve played long enough you have probably had a credit card declined or withdrawal delayed. That’s common even with good poker sites, but the very best have it happen less frequently and are able to quickly deal with issues. Two recommendations here:
- If you have any problems depositing or withdrawing contact the customer service. Sometimes they have information that’s not posted online and can be of great help.
- Bankroll management, in a different way. Don’t keep too much cash on one site, even though there may be fees to withdraw money there’s no shortage of players who have lost funds due to poker sites shutting down. If you can’t afford to lose the money in the account, take some out.
Customer service in the online poker industry can tell you a lot! Companies that take the business seriously (for the long term) invest in customer service. That might seem logical, but remember with online poker some operators don’t last a couple years. If you know that you’re going to be in and out, you invest less in customer service. Consistently the companies that we rank highly for customer service are the ones who have lasted. Plus, the obvious benefit of good customer service is a better experience if you need help, and everyone likes that.
This is a double edged sword. As a poker player you want more players to compete against which means more tables available. However as we saw with the PokerStars and Full Tilt indictments, being big puts a target on your back. We’d recommend finding a good poker room that has enough liquidity but isn’t in the face of the US DOJ. Big ad campaigns and arrogance just puts a shelf life on the poker operations.
US Poker Sites Shutdown
We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide for US poker players about the changes to the online poker industry. Find out what has happened to poker sites that have been targeted by the US Government and have been forced to shutdown to US players.
The US Government’s actions have had a varying affect on online poker sites with some completely being shutdown such as Absolute Poker, while others like Poker Stars no longer accept US poker players but are in an on-going legal battle. Plus for those US poker players who had an account at Full Tilt Poker, a refund of their account balance seems like a pipe dream.
Below are brief overviews of what happened to the largest poker sites that have been shutdown by the US Government and how US poker players have been affected. Follow the links under each synopsis for more details and poker news.
How was Bodog.com Shutdown: Initially Bodog decided to move away from domain due to other indictments, eventually deciding on complete re-branding with Bovada.lv. However on February 28th, 2012 US DOJ indicted Bodog and shutdown bodog.com.
Current Status:Bodog.com displays the US DOJ “seized” splash page. However the sites with which players can gamble at: Bovada.lv, Bodog.ca, Bodog.co.uk are still operational.
Details:Bodog most likely suspected something was in the works with the US DOJ as they moved away from the domain after Black Friday. To further distance themselves BodogBrand ended their domain licensing deal with the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (who operated bodog.com for US players) and the bodog branded essentially left the US market and was replaced by Bovada.lv. Whether the indictment will have any impact on Bodog’s worldwide operations and Bovada in the US is remain to be seen.
FULL TILT POKER
How Full Tilt was shutdown: Indicted by US DOJ on April 15th, 2011
Current Status: Open to non US residents (as of Nov 6th, 2012).
Details: The Full Tilt situation was by far the most complicated, with the financial issues and mismanagement shocking the poker world. Full Tilt was once the second largest poker room, but the US Indictment exposed poor business practices and a company in debt to players. Eventually saved by their long time rival, PokerStars came to an agreement with the DOJ to buyout the assets and payback all non-US players balance.
How Pokerstars was shutdown: Indicted by the US DOJ on April 15th, 2011
Current Status: Shutdown to US players. All funds have been paid back. Still largest poker site in the world
Details: Pokerstars was indicted by the US DOJ along with Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet in the first round of indictments. However unlike Full Tilt, they have seemed to come out of the situation as best as one could expect. Although no longer accepting US poker players, Pokerstars continues to be far and away the largest poker site on the internet, with peak period nearly 5 times their nearest competitor.
How was Absolute Poker Shutdown: Indicted by US DOJ on April 15th, 2011
Current Status: Shutdown to all players worldwide
Details: Absolute Poker was part of the Cereus poker network that was included in the indictments along with Poker Stars and Full Tilt poker, however they did not receive as much media coverage. Absolute attempted to stay open to Non-US and US poker players for a short period of time after the indictments; however it became evident the majority of their traffic was US which was becoming increasing difficult to service. With the US poker players, the liquidity was practically non-existent and they eventually shutdown to all players.
How was UB.com Poker Shutdown: Indicted by US DOJ on April 15th, 2011
Current Status: Shutdown to all players worldwide, including US players
Details: UB.com poker, along with Absolute poker made up the Cereus Poker network and as such they suffered the exact same fate. UB.com attempted to stay open to US and non-US poker players for a short period of time after the indictments, however after liquidity dropped and they quickly could not process payments (most likely due to the fact that they were indicted) cash flow became an issue and UB Poker shutdown.
How Doylesroom was shutdown: Indicted by US DOJ on May 23rd, 2011
Current Status: Acquired by AmericasCardroom.eu – open to US players
Details: Doylesroom.com followed a different path than that of Pokerstars and Full Tilt in that they ignored the US DOJ Indictment, choosing to move to a new domain. Originally they used doylesroom.net and then doylesroom.ag until they were eventually acquired by AmericasCardroom.eu. Doyle Brunson no longer has any association with the poker site and they quietly go about business, albeit with an indictment hanging over their head.
Effect on US Poker Players
It seemed like only yesterday that online poker was booming for US poker players. The popularity of poker had even spread to the main stream audience with late night television was filled with poker shows that showcased some of the biggest names in online poker. There were entire apartment complexes in Las Vegas that were known for where “professional” poker players lived and played online during the day and night. The good us poker players were making hundreds if not millions of dollars per year online while many more were earning a very comfortable living but blew that on a high priced lifestyle that wasn’t too last long. Playing poker for American players has drastically changed and with many having to find “real jobs” while others have moved to other countries where they can play on the big sites like Poker Stars and Party Poker.
For the regular Joe US poker player who used to play online some evenings and weekends – but didn’t make a lifestyle of it, the changes have also been quite dramatic. The biggest change has been the ability to transfer funds to and from poker rooms that accept US players. With the UIGEA targeting the banks and payments processing and some of the charges laid on Black Friday being against the payment processors, it has become riskier to do business for the processors. This has resulted in many challenges for those poker rooms that are left accepting US players. There are more hoops to jump through and accounts getting seized are a reality for these companies. However, it appears that there are still quality poker rooms left servicing USA poker players and some safe options to choose.
Future of US Poker
The million (or possibly billion) dollar question that so many US poker players are asking; “what does the future hold?” There has been much speculation and a lot of poker experts have weighed into the mix with their predictions. However no one has the magic crystal ball and when dealing with governments and special interest groups it can be hard to predict what will happen (no one ever predicted the UIGEA passing). With that said, the best guesses right now about the future of Poker in the USA is that regulation will probably happen, but it will be state by state that could involve a long and frustrating process. The biggest challenge is that each state has it’s own priorities and agenda, whether that be the big Casinos (Nevada, New Jersey) or tribal groups (California) or other lobbyists (every state) someone will be trying to influence the future of online poker in the United States. As it currently stands, it appears that the Government is not out to get the US poker players, but rather the big companies. And for that reason we feel that US poker players can breath a little easier.