Poker players taking part in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) appear least bothered about the scandals and the corruption related to the online poker gaming industry. WSOP players focused on the game and hardly bothered about the events of April 15, 2011, commonly referred to as “Black Friday of Online Poker,” the day on which the US Department of Justice (DoJ) cracked down on Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars, seized their domain names, and arrested their chief executive officers.
Obviously, poker does not mean any of the above for the large number of WSOP players dreaming of prizes worth millions of dollars, sparkling bracelets, and poker fame. They would happily leave the uglier aspects of the poker industry to the DoJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but at the WSOP tables, they were concerned only about winning the prize and the fame.
WSOP does not impose any dress code on its players, who play either in ironed clothes or rumpled clothes. It isn’t uncommon to spot players with a growth of beard on their chins, wearing sandals and sneakers and rumpled baggy shorts and polo shirts. Worth noting is the fact that Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari was barefoot when he won $18 million playing the $1 Buy-in Big One for One Drop.
This does not mean that poker players are not affected by the recent tragedies that have befallen the game. A number of excellent poker players, who lost their money when Full Tilt Poker went under, were missing from the WSOP tables. Allegedly, a lot of money belonging to Full Tilt Poker’s ex players was pocketed by Ray Bitar, chief executive officer of Full Tilt Poker, and its sponsored players.
While Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer kept away from WSOP 2012, Phil Ivey hasn’t missed too many events. Far from getting any rotten tomatoes thrown at his head, the ex sponsored player at Full Tilt Poker has an ever-growing number of fans. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker branded shirts were not seen at this year’s WSOP. Sponsored players of the fallen online poker sites do have their critics, but their fans far outnumber their critics.
Scandals or no scandals, the game of poker is still as popular as it has always been. As for the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker tragedy, the poker world appears eager to forget about it, and the atmosphere at WSOP clearly illustrates this fact.

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