Best Online Poker Sites for USA Players
Best Online Poker Sites for US Players
Online poker has been booming since Moneymaker’s sensational victory at the WSOP 2002. Some of the biggest and most well known faces in poker such as Ivey, Hellmuth, Dwan, Doyle Brunson and Howard “the Professor” lederer all play in the USA. It’s because of this that the US has long been the catalyst for online poker over the last few years (at least in my opinion). Think about it, all of the world’s biggest live tournaments and fields are run in the States, including the WSOP. With entry fees starting from $1,000 up to $10,000 in the WSOP NLH Main Event, the UK’s equivalent of the UKGPT (UK Grosvenor Poker Tour) or even the EPT pale in comparison.
If you check any of the latest PocketFives.com rankings over the last few years you’ll notice that around 70%+ of the top 100 tournament leader boards are from players that live in the USA. What’s more, 95% of the guaranteed tournaments featured on this site are from US poker sites such as UB.com, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.
That’s why when the Depart of Justice seized the domains of the top 3 US-friendly poker sites (PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UB.com), it caused catastrophe for millions of poker players and other people that work closely in the industry (affiliates, programmers, operators, payment processors, card rooms, training sites, software providers).
On April 15th, the FBI took down the 3 most prominent US-friendly sites. This was an act that was presumably mostly about money and principle. A lot of US gambling sites have been making money from US players depositing since the UIGEA 2006 fiasco. And I don’t know the rules exactly (since I’m based in the UK) however I’m not sure what the legal clarifications of all the billions of dollars being deposited/withdrawn from gambling sites has been all this time. All 11 of the individuals and owners indicted by the DOJ claim they haven’t done anything wrong. Even the top lawyer minds of the country find it hard to define online poker as an illegal gambling activity since it is mainly a game of skill.
The main problem for US poker players right now is where can they play? Even though the first round of domain seizures was restricted to the three biggest US facing sites PokerStars, UB and Full Tilt Poker, since then a 2nd wave of seizures have closed US gambling sites or they have elected to stop accepting US players themselves. DoylesRoom.com, UB.com, Sportsbook.com, BetUS.com and BetCris.com are just a selection of operators no longer accepting US players. You’ll notices that since Carbon Poker stopped providing rakeback to players there are no sites that offer rakeback to US players any more.
The good news is that you can still play poker online at CarbonPoker.com, LockPoker.com (both operating on the Merge network), Bodog, Power Poker or Cake Poker (which has since agglomerated Victory Poker’s old player base). These are the best sites for poker in the US. Industry speculators and editors at sites like Parttimepoker.com and Gambling999.com claim they expect to see regulated online poker in the US by the end of the year. However realistically, I think you’ be looking at around 2012/13 before you can deposit online through a credit card, given the amount of time it will take for the bill to pass through both houses of congress and for the land-based casinos to launched their own rooms.