CNN looks at online poker from players’ perspective

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 22, 2011 Posted in Online Poker News | No Comments »

Even as poker, and online poker in particular, has garnered a lot of mainstream media attention since Black Friday, for the first time (to my knowledge) a major network has decided to look at the fallout from the US shutdown of online poker sites and the subsequent problems created at Full Tilt Poker from the players’ perspective.

In a 4-minute segment on Monday titled, “Did Poker ‘Ponzi’ steal my rent?” CNN interviewed Shawn “Jordankickz” Busse, one of the many young online poker pros affected by the shutdown. Busse, isn’t the typical “go-to” interview as he doesn’t have the name recognition of Tom Dwan or Greg Raymer, but he does represent a far larger cross-section of the professional online poker world –a mid-stakes grinder who has created a nice life for himself.

Busse told CNN he has made in the neighborhood of $300k over the past three years, and not only is his livelihood now gone, but he also some $60,000 frozen on Full Tilt Poker. Busse’s situation brings to light a dynamic to this story that is not often reported on as most of the headlines go to the big name players who have moved abroad, and to the actions of the online poker sites themselves.

Busse’s $100k a year income is simply not enough for him to relocate overseas (assuming he would be willing to leave his life and family behind in the first place) especially when $60k of his savings is unavailable to him. As CNN reported, some 35,000 Americans were making a living playing online poker, so the DOJ actions on Black Friday was essentially a mass-layoff of these people!

My own guesstimate was that 100,000 US online poker players were winning players, so in addition to putting some 35,000 people out of work, Black Friday is costing the US Government quite a bit in tax revenue! Assuming the average professional poker player is a third as successful as Busse, the government is losing over $300 million in tax revenue. Add to that the industry-wide ramifications (I have taken about a 20% pay-cut since Black Friday) and you can clearly see how the ban on online poker is laying waste to far more than the overseas online poker providers.

This isn’t simply about having a new revenue stream from the online poker rooms; this is about lost revenue streams from the players, as well as unemployment numbers.

You can watch the entire segment at the following link: CNN Money

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