Hundreds of online poker players are planning to move from Las Vegas, seeking greener pastures that are friendlier to online poker. Before the US federal crack down on major online poker sites on April 15, 2011, a day popularly known as the Black Friday of online poker, these people used to earn in thousands of dollars playing online poker for 10 hours per day and lived in style.
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Speaking about hundreds of online poker players who were making big money playing online poker, Pokerati.com Editor Dan Michalski said, “Guys in their 20s who were making from $30,000 to $80,000 or more online … what other life skills do they really have? A lot of people are really lost and confused right now.”
Online poker players who have lost their cozy space on Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker have decided to move to places such as Mexico, Canada, or Costa Rica, where they can play online poker in peace. Deeb, a 25-year-old poker player, said: “I used to play poker for 100 hours a week. Every day, I sit around I get more motivated to leave.”
Dunst, the TV commentator for the World Poker Tour (WPT), which is based in Los Angeles, said that he will have no poker friends left in Las Vegas after a few months. He says that he won’t leave because “his job, which allows him to travel the world playing casino poker tournaments, will lead to bigger career opportunities.” Speaking about his friends who used to make money playing online poker, he said: “Their lives revolved around playing online. They have no wives or kids. They’re capable of making so much money online that it would be extremely financially stupid for them not to move.”
However, businesses across Las Vegas will miss these players soon. Las Vegas was a poker hub simply because of the availability of poker games, tournaments, and 24-hour access to various facilities and entertainment. There is plenty of live poker at Las Vegas, but online poker players are not fond of live poker, which is slower and expensive. Moreover, live poker rooms at Las Vegas do not allow players to play for free while they learn the tricks, rules, and strategies of the game. Black Friday has wrecked everything for online poker players, and the only solution, they feel, is to move to places where it is perfectly legal to play online poker.