Random Thoughts: Oktoberfest Edition
Online poker's struggle for legitimacy in the U.S. experienced a painful set back this week on the news of a new regulation proposed by the Treasury Department that would require banks to report all international electronic funds transfers (EFTs). Currently, banks are only required to report international EFTs in excess of $10,000. The new proposed regulation, aimed at detecting drug cartels and terrorist rings, would make life considerably harder for U.S. online poker players. Since a U.S. player would now have to supply their social security number for a paltry $50 EFT deposit to an online poker room, and thereby be personally implicated in the illegal exchange of funds, many players might understandably decide against playing real-money online poker in the U.S. As of now, it is unclear if this proposed regulation will become law or how exactly it might affect the online poker industry.
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With 20 players remaining last week in the WSOP Europe Main Event, the poker world watched anxiously to see if Phil Ivey and the man thought to be online high stakes enigma Isildur1, Viktor Blom, would reach the final table. The thought of the two facing off heads-up for the bracelet had the poker world in a frenzy. Unfortunately for everyone except the duo's remaining opponents, Ivey and Blom exited shortly after things started to get interesting (in 19th and 16th place, respectively). Instead, Englishman James Bord won the event becoming the first Brit to capture the most prestigious poker tournament held on English soil.
Speaking of the WSOP, the Main Event final table is just over a month away. Anyone remember about that tournament? Also, is it really necessary to stretch it out almost half a year later? Wouldn't a few week's delay suffice?
Due to Washington State's Supreme Court upholding their insane law from 2006 making playing online poker a class C felony, PokerStars officially withdrew from the state this week. Full Tilt will likely follow. By the way, that state is also on a spree of proposals to raise income taxes on its citizens due to runaway wasteful state spending (such as perhaps prosecuting people for playing internet poker). Washington state has gone from one of the more freer, liberty-loving states to perhaps one of the largest nanny states within a few years. You go girl.
Speaking of elections, there's talk that Barney Frank may not be a shoo-in in his district. Hopefully, that's not the case since he is currently the best thing for internet poker in the US Congress.
If you like free money and haven't signed up at 888 Poker yet, I'd suggest you pay attention to tomorrow's news.