18 thoughts on “Poker Ponzi Accusations

  1. I am always leary of news reports like this. Especially when they use the “dreaded word” – Ponzi scheme – because all the sheeply identify with this word. Kinda like “insurgents”.
    Knowing that the Casinos want to “regulate” the online gaming and are lobbying Congress makes me suspicious of the US Attorney’s ultimate motivation. And of course the government wants “regulation” – ie. taxes – so they can “protect the consumer”.
    Would not surprise me to see the media really start pumping this story to make everyone avoid online casinos so the big boys can step in and fill the void coming up in the future.
    Just saying…..

  2. So when does Broke 2 “Jail Edition” come out? Maybe we can hear about capitalism inside of prisons and winning the zero sum game of cigarettes through poker.

  3. My views so far:

    1. Ken, good point.
    2. Mark, why is it not a criminal charge?
    3. At least we can all play the lottery still!

    Will be interesting to see what happens.

  4. The truth will come out shortly, I don’t think casinos and U.S. Attorney fabricated the charges. If it is as stated then of course it’s a ponzi.

  5. main problem with the initial structure is that you had owners who were gamblers, and as anyeon who plays ho;d’em will tell you, a lot is luck. so given a bad run and access to millions of dollars, these guys appear to have used the company as a piggy bank and stake. i dont know of any companies extant whose owners pulled out that kind of cash.

  6. What boom is busting Trender? Poker has become more popular since the UIGEA got passed in 2006. Government intrusion is the only thing stopping a larger boom than when Moneymaker won. If poker were to get legislated there would be an initial boom larger than 2003. You can log on right now and there are still thousands of people playing on sites that are slow to cash out and could go bust at any time.

  7. It’s like people who still email about Richard Dennis: “Didn’t Dennis blow up…so trend following doesn’t work?” Everyone gets to believe what they want to!

  8. @Mark

    Irrespective of the reasons, online Poker has been dying a slow death since 2006. That is what’s happening! To argue otherwise is inane.

  9. Trender,

    There were more players right before Black Friday playing poker on the “illegal” major sites than at any point in history. The games were tougher due to more pros not fewer casual players. I think people tend to grossly underestimate how untapped poker still is. Legislation on regulated sites could cause an exponential spike in the player base. Trend is still up.

  10. Mark,

    Check out this New York Times article with graph.

    After ‘Black Friday,’ American Poker Faces Cloudy Future, By NATE SILVER

    This years(2011) field? 6,865. Just 21 people more than 2008’s field. The low of 2007 was 6,358 participants.

    If whoever wins the next election cycle repeals UIGEA of 2006, it is possible this trend may reverse. But that is only a future possible trend. In this tightening regulatory environment cycle, I could be dead wrong but I’m guessing repeal is unlikely to happen for quite a long-time to come. In either case expect even more bad news to come out.

  11. I’m not questioning the players skill. They’re masters at what they do. But much like Richard Dennis their business skills are questionable.

  12. Come on guys, let’s just think for a second and look at the accusations: “defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time.” The poker company was behaving like… A BANK! That’s all that banks do, by the way.
    If you put money into an online poker company, or ANY company for that matter, you have 2 situations: 1 – they completely state in writing that your money is 100% segregated, and so if they fulfil their promise they misrepresent and commit fraud. Or 2 – they don’t say anything and any advance money is not yours, it’s a claim, it’s a credit, you’re a creditor. There’s nothing you can do about it except wake for this basic fact. Wake up folks, like and business is full of this, there’s no such thing as money in a vault as we imagine in cartoons when kids.

  13. The growth of online poker has been entirely outside of the US since 2006. The numbers peaked this year. The main event relies on online qualifiers from US poker sites, hence lower numbers. Its binary right now. Legislation=Dow 36,000. No US legislation will be hard for poker to survive long term in my opinion. So the trend depends on your time frame.

  14. Mark says: “so the trend depends on your time frame.”

    True, in the short-term it’s certainly a guessing game. That’s what makes this game so interesting.

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