Thursday, 22 December 2011

Melted Felt 2011 Poker Year In Review - Part 2

Bugger, was supposed to do the year in review weekly. One for each quarter. Now I’ll have to speed up to fit them in with your busy xmas obesity schedules.
Ah well, at least the 2nd quarter was an *ahem* interesting one.

Lets start at the beginning with the bliss that was the online poker landscape during the first half of April 2011.


Puppy dogs were playing, the sun was shining brightly, daffodils and crocuses were in full bloom as profits, the seemingly endless profits, seemed to seep almost gracefully from table to cashier to bank account. It was a time of hope, that poker really would fulfil the promise of freedom, that you would soon be able to swap a life of senseless career progression and working for the man for freedom to choose what hours you would work – blissfully extracting stack after stack from the donks.

Then *boom* the Feds got involved.

Within seconds the US sites were down, the flowers wilted back into the ground, the sun disappeared behind black brooding clouds. The games and their endless profits were gone, the boss was yelling and instead of telling him to stuff his job where the sun don’t shine all you could do is splutter ‘yes, sir’ and cower back to your cube.

No more freedom to grind, an attack on the very liberty which made America great, the fish would now get to play each other, you were going to move to Canada, no, to Mexico, maybe Europe… only you could not afford to, yet, if only the DoJ had stayed away you could have been a damn pro. You were good enough for fvcks sake, good enough… just a little unlucky that’s all.
When the smoke cleared, US poker was dead.


As the fallout from Black Friday continued, online poker players everywhere were desperately looking for someone to blame during May. After many players had clicked ‘like’ on various facebook pages, retweeted news about legislative efforts and ‘signed’ the odd online petition – and with them taking so much responsibility for their own future the real cause must be someone elses fvck up, right?

With UB / AP dead it was time for Joe Seebok, their ‘head of not being gay’, to get the pink slip this month. The final act in the story of a corrupt online poker room which had defined the life of countless online players. With no poker, no UB to hate and no social skills, you can still find these players wandering the streets of major cities – telling bad beat stories to anyone who would listen.

With Full Tilt soon following a strange monetary phenomenon occurred. Scouring the forums and adding up all of the claims of huge sums of money ‘locked up’ on sites which had closed, it seemed there was actually more cash in poker than what can be accounted for in the entire global economy…


Things started to stabilize in June, with Carbon and Cake poker taking up the slack of US players wanting to stay online.

Canadian and Mexican border police were forced to implement a shoot-on-sight policy as pasty-faced grinders left bedrooms all over the US and tried to emigrate to more favourable regimes.

Live poker took centre stage, with record numbers registering for the 2011 World Series Of Poker. The story of the year was 2nd-itus for one Phil Helmuth, who had a couple of runner-up spots in his quest to add even more bracelets, and a final table too. As we reported at the time, there were huge queues as 10,736,453 people tried to by first John Juanda, then Eric Rodaw a drink.

Tune in next week for my recap of an interesting 3rd quarter!


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