Two weeks after the government of United States decided to end the reign of the Big 3 in the US online poker industry, the effects are being felt and seen all over the world. Top online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker along with Absolute Poker that were indicted are feeling the heat of this step taken by the Department of Justice.

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There has been a decrease in the number of poker players and the guaranteed prize pools that used to be extremely high are nowhere close to those that were being offered before the shutdown. PokerScout has noticed a 22% decrease in the number of poker players online since the Black Friday shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

Although several professional poker players are affected the effect is mostly seen on these US poker sites and their businesses. Full Tilt Poker has decreased its FTOPS #1 guaranteed prize to $1 million and they also faced a 28% decrease in the number of participants as compared to the same event previously. Based on the decrease in guaranteed prizes, the number of participants has decreased in other Full Tilt events as well. An event called the Sunday Mulligan saw a decrease of entries from 1000 to 340 in just one week, and it does not seem like this is likely to change any time soon.

At Poker Stars the $1.5 million guarantee on the Sunday Millions has dropped to $1 million. There was a reasonable decrease in the number of players since the prize pool was only $1,295,000. The Sunday Second Chance tourney saw its guaranteed prize drop to $125,00 from $250000.

Three online poker networks, namely Cereus, Cake and Merge, also known as were able to show 1000 players in their cash game traffic and non US online poker rooms such as Party Poker and Titan Poker have seen a bit of an increase in the traffic to their site.

This shows that no matter how many loyalty benefits are offered to poker players they are going to change their choices depending on what suits them the best and hence everything about online poker depends on the people. The fate of online poker and that of these businesses rests in the hands of the people of America and also on whether they decide to press on their right to exercise freedom of choice. If like the government states that people are being exploited, they are choosing to be exploited, and indulging in any form of entertainment should then be considered exploitation.

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