Gearhead American poker players are still finding some creative ways to fight the current situation in the United States. These include Absolute Poker, one of the sites which was recently indicted by the US Department of Justice. The situation came to public notice after Pokerscout.com proved that numerous Stateside players, including online poker enthusiasts from Chicago to Cincinnati, are still playing on the Cereus Netork, which manages both Absolute Poker and their sister site UltimateBet.
According to reports, it is still possible to play if US players downloaded the software before April 15. This was the date the FBI shut down Absolute Poker, as well as fellow online poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt. It seems that software downloaded before the catastrophic events of Black Friday (as it is popularly known in the poker community) is somehow able to bypass the imposed security lockdown and allow players to carry on participating in the game they love (and which, many argue, is not, and has never been, illegal in the United States). Estimates since Black Friday say around 50,000 Americans have lost their job and/or primary source of income due to the indictment. Some of these people were disabled or housebound, and used their gift for online poker in order to give themselves financial support, as well as a way of socialising with like minded fellow poker players around the world.
What is not yet clear is how many Americans are currently taking advantage with this apparent flaw in the programming. However, it is most likely going to cause yet another headache for Absolute Poker and Ultimatebet.com, who have not yet been able to return frozen funds to American players. Indeed, of all the online poker rooms caught up in the scandal (which caused the arrest of 11 founders and executives) only PokerStars has returned funds to players worldwide. Absolute Poker have remained ominously silent on the matter. All three companies have been seriously hit financially by the matter, and Absolute Poker have even had to lay off members of their pro teams as well as numerous staff.
Meanwhile in America, the future of online poker is still being played out on the world’s biggest political stage.