You'd think that someone known as the Boy Genius and someone known as The Luckbox would be able to manage a better than .500 record picking NFL games. You'd think that... and you'd be wrong. We've picked 4 out of 7 weeks so far, and I'm sitting at 27-28-2 while my fearless compatriot is at 26-29-2. It has to get better, right?
So without further ado, I give you week 8 in the NFL:More in this Poker Blog! -->
There is no plot. It's like life. The game waxes and wanes despite my playing, sleeping, winning, or losing. It's all underground. It's all in a couple of illegal poker rooms within a 30-minute drive of my house. Online poker gives us the freedom to see thousands more hand per year. Live games, especially the ones in the illegal rooms, give us the chance to see people--nay, characters--that serve as a nucleus to a confounding human drama that surrounds the underground poker community. If it were one long story, I would write it. Instead, it's just people.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Due to the recent legal developments in the United States with the passage of the "SAFE Port Act", customers within the U.S. will be restricted from depositing or participating in real money games.
As of tomorrow, October 25, 2006, U.S. players will no longer be able to make deposits to ChecknRaisePoker.com. We further have been advised that by November 6th, it may happen that U.S. players may not be able to play in real money games.
We regret that we need to take these steps and sincerely hope that they are temporary.
In the interim, you are welcome to take advantage of our 100% reload bonus up to $250. Use deposit code USBONUS when making your deposit.
We are committed to investigating alternatives available to our U.S. players and we will keep you informed of our developments.
Many thanks again for your continued support of Check n Raise Poker.
The Check n Raise Team"
Just a quick warning to everyone to watch out for an e-mail scam running right now. It will come from a spoof of a NETeller support address and tell you you have received a certain amount of money from Party Poker affiliates. It will tell you that you must claim the money by clicking a link. The link takes you to a copy of NETeller's sign-in page, however, you'll note the URL is decidedly not NETeller. Chances are, you're smart enough to not get burned by this one (NETeller simply just doesn't work that way), but it's worth knowing about.
NETeller has now weighed in on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and the news is not good. I'm not surprised, however. After all, NETeller is a publically traded company that I'm guessing makes most of its money from something other than helping a bunch of degenerates play penny poker.
What the statement basically says is that within the next 270 days, NETeller will stop making any transfers from U.S. customers to onling gaming sites. Even though it is based outside of the U.S., NETeller says it will act as though it is under U.S. jurisdiction.
As soon as the appropriate people come up with the final rules and regulations, and assuming they are rules and regulations that a company can reasonably be expected to follow, NETeller will no longer be an option for online gamblers. "Within the next 270 days" could mean next week, we just don't know. Anyone using NETeller may want to keep that in mind. Your last chance to make a deposit from NETeller to an online poker room could be just around the corner.
Again, I'm not surprised, but this will force many of us to look elsewhere. Firepay has already stopped helping online gamblers, after first raping many of them with a surprise withdrawal fee. That left NETeller. Soon, that option will no longer be available. It will remain to be seen if someone steps up to fill that void.
You can read the full statement in the extended entry:More in this Poker Blog! -->
Week 6 of the NFL season and Boy Genius and I are back again for our 4th week of picks. It's been, um, marginal at best so far. After three weeks, I'm a stellar 22-20-2 and BG is right behind me at 20-22-2. We should be better than this. The worst thing is that even if you were betting against us, you'd still be right around .500.
This week, we decided to get a jump start on the picks so that you can fully absorb them in time to make your bets. If you were to engage in that kind of illegal activity. So, without further ado, the CJ-BG football pick chat:More in this Poker Blog! -->
With a stroke of his pen, President Bush vowed to "win this war on terror." Apparently, that meant making it harder for Americans to gamble online. When I think about stopping al Qaida, the first thing that comes to mind is Party Poker.
We knew this day was coming. And just after 10am ET, the SAFE Port Act became law. It's a law designed to keep nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from entering the United States by boat. Of course, if it's as effective as airport security, terrorists have nothing to worry about.
So in the end, a bill that will be largely ineffective at keeping us any safer has been used to attack our personal liberties. In fact, the President didn't even mention the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act during the signing ceremony.
What does this mean? It means some companies with whom you previously did business will no longer take your money. They include FirePay and some online poker rooms.
For example, Party Poker has officially pulled the plug on its American customers. Anyone hoping for an 11th hour reversal by the one-time giant can now start cashing out.
Interestingly, when Party turned out the lights for American customers, it also turned out the lights on what was once a ubiquitous player count at the bottom of its screen. Suffice it to say, seat selection is a lot easier now.
What's next? The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department have 270 days to develop the regulations banks and business will need to follow. The language of the bill actually gives banks some protection from liability and unreasonable regulations. In the next few months, we'll learn more about the practical application of the bill.
For more information on this bill, check out our FAQ on the Online Gambling Bill.
Now that PokerStars has announced its intentions to remain part of the United States online poker market, many of you are likely planning on moving your cash there. To help you out with your move, here are a couple of links (and a special little treat) to help you out.
PokerStars isn't going anywhere!
Here is their statement:
As you are probably aware, the United States Congress recently enacted the Safe Port Act which contains provisions relating to Internet gambling.
PokerStars has received extensive expert advice from within and outside the U.S. which concluded that these provisions do not alter the U.S. legal situation with respect to online poker. Furthermore it is important to emphasize that the Act does not in any way prohibit you from playing online poker.
Therefore, our business continues as before - open to players worldwide including the US. You may play on our site as you did prior to the Act.
PokerStars believes that poker is a game of skill enjoyed by millions of players and we remain committed to providing you a safe and fun environment in which to play.We value your loyalty to PokerStars, and look forward to continuing to serve you with the best online poker experience, as we have for the past five years, six billion hands, and 40 million tournaments.
PokerStars joins Full Tilt Poker in saying this bill will have no effect on our ability to enjoy our online poker experience. Party Poker sucked anyway, right?
More fallout, here's a statement from FirePay:
SUBJECT: New FirePay policy for US account holders
On September 30, 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
Once President Bush approves the Act, FirePay (www.firepay.com) will no longer allow US consumer payments for online gambling merchants.
Beginning the day President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any purchase transactions from US FirePay account holders at any gambling merchant site.
Ten days after President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any transfer attempt made by any online gambling merchant to a US FirePay account.All US FirePay accounts holders will continue to be able to make purchases and receive payments from non-gambling, online merchants, as well as "Deposit From" and "Withdraw To" their US bank account.
CJ's Thoughts: I'm glad I signed up with Neteller instead of Firepay, but I wonder if there's pressure on Neteller to do the same. I guess that's why I pulled most of my money offline except for a small stash at FTP and Stars.
I played in a $170 live underground event in G-Vegas yesterday and finished a disappointing 13th out of 51. It was an afternoon of poker not to be remembered. However, as I looked around the room at the wide variety of players from all different walks of life, I realized that the poker community in my neck of the woods is pretty active. In fact, just before the tournament started, the organizer took the time to recognize three people in the room who had done very well in recent major events, including one guy who had just won about $100,000 in a WSOP circuit event.More in this Poker Blog! -->
We'r'e back for NFL Week 5, and the third week of picks for Boy Genius and I. Last week, BG finished 4-10 and I did only slightly better at 6-8. It was ugly. For the year, BG is 13-17 and I'm 16-14. Not exactly gonna get rich betting with those records!
Undaunted, we go once more into the breech! There are some big games on the schedule and we are confident this week will be better. (It almost has to be, right? If it's not, I'm going to let Swirl pick for me next week).
Anyway, here they are:More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'd like to say I was distracted by the blonde in the white tank top with the great breasts, but she wouldn't show up three tables over until later. No, I'm fresh out of excuses. I got my money in the worst of it and, well, you know what happened.
I'd recount the betting action for you except for the fact that 1) it's all a bit of a blur and, 2) it's boring. Suffice to say, I held pocket 10s, the board read Q72, and I was about to put not one, but two other players all in. These are two players that had either raised my post-flop feeler bet or called said raise.
But maybe I should back up a moment...More in this Poker Blog! -->
The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 --hidden deep within a bill to fight terrorism -- has opened a flurry of questions about the legality of playing and funding online poker. In fact, as of now, there are a lot more questions than answers, and even those answers seem to change from day-to-day. With that in mind, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the online gambling bill with the answers as we know them:More in this Poker Blog! -->
The following report was collectively compiled and written by the Up For Poker staff. This is the third of a series of such reports-- Ed.
Revealed in Congress' recent headshot to the future of online gaming is the unfortunate lack of understanding many online poker players have of the American system of government. While there are certainly many learned and well-tuned players in the online ranks, there exists a large segment of the online poker playing population that was simply oblivious to the possibility that their online livelihood could be destroyed.
This population is largely inhabited by the young online players who didn't bother to remember their civics lessons or suffered from an all-too common sense of entitlement that led them to believe they were invincible. Those who had staked their futures on the ability to indefinitely use their online poker skills are now left wondering whether they will be forced to go back to school or find a job waiting tables.
It was somewhat sad to see the 2+2 Forum's legislative updates post. While there were some very smart people updating all of us on what was happening, a majority of the posts were young folks who literally wrote, "Somebody please tell me what's going on!"More in this Poker Blog! -->
The following report was collectively compiled and written by the Up For Poker staff. This is the second of a series of such reports-- Ed.
It's 1925 and Billy Mumphrey isn't sick. His body is healthy, his lungs are free from phlegm, and his nerves are as settled as Plymouth Rock. Still, Mumphrey is at the doctor's office. He has a big weekend planned and he needs a prescription for fun. And some grape jelly.
As it happens, he's found the right doctor. For a small fee, Mumphrey can get the script he needs. In the Prohibition era, without a prescription, the liquid is called whiskey. The doctor calls it nerve medicine. Regardless, for a little premium, Mumphrey has what he needs. Now if he had just had some grape jelly, he'd be all set.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The following report was collectively compiled and written by the Up For Poker staff. This is the first of a series of such reports-- Ed.
The banking industry response to the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is something in which we can take some heart. The banks were initially afraid the bill would hold them liable for not enforcing the law. Now, bankslawyers are telling them that it appears the banks' exposure is limited. While it would've been good for us if the banks had more exposure (if they had, they would be fighting harder for legal challenges to the bill), there is a silver lining evidenced in this quote.
If they find that the banks just don't have the technology to track and block these transactions, then we don't have to," Verdier said. "The Fed and Treasury are not supposed to ask us to do the impossible."
Still, Verdier said, "we will have to see how those regulations get written."
For more, check out the Banking Industry Response to Internet Gambling Bill.
Of course, the most immediate concern for us is what's happening to our online experience in the interim.More in this Poker Blog! -->
My freshman year health teacher, a crazy Pole, once told me that pulling out is the least effective form of birth control. All I know is that it's 4:23am in the USA and CNBC World is showing me this on my television.
Now, I'm going to bask in the irony that I'm covering the WCOOP Main Event, the biggest online poker tournament in history.
Update below the cut
It's Week 4 in the NFL, and Boy Genius and I are back with the picks to make you money. In Week 2, I went 10-6 and BG went 9-7. However, our three picks of the week would have made a profitable parlay. We've got another great three team parlay for you this week as well.
Without further ado, the picks:More in this Poker Blog! -->