I wonder if jetski ever had a turtle
“Two men say they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong.” — Dire Straights
First of all, I don’t claim to be one of the best players on this site.
I play here because it’s not legal for me to play online for real money. The day it becomes legal will be my last day on Replay.
I made the bulk of my income playing poker online from about 2004-06. The highlight of this period was freerolling the WSOP Main Event in '06.
You don’t have to be a top pro playing the highest stakes in order to make money with poker. It’s surprisingly easy to grind out $40-$60 an hour playing fairly low stakes ring games.
I’m a tournament player, and used to play mostly $2-$20 MTTs. Most of these were 1,100 seat affairs. A $10 MTT like that typically pays something like $3,000 for a win. That’s not going to get you at a table with the big boys, but it’s not chump change either, at least not to me. For every 1 you win, you cash 20 or more, and it adds up.
I play because I love the game. Free poker isn’t about the chips, it’s about the game.
As has been mentioned here by me and a few others over the past 2 years, playing online poker for cash is not illegal at the Federal level. There are plenty of sites that take US customers and not a single US Citizen has been prosecuted for anything other than tax avoidance. Virginia in particular has no laws on the books that even reference online cash poker. I’m more limited here in NY and MD because these states have created laws but there are workarounds that allow me to play without any worry that I am violating any criminal statute whatsoever.
The biggest downside to the sites US players are allowed to play on is that the number and variety of tournaments isn’t all that great compared to what it used to be (so I’m told). There are plenty of ring games available at most stakes up to 5/10. There are zero problems with depositing and withdrawals on any of the major sites, aside from the fees (none for crypto).
Online poker is legal in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
One can argue the legality in other states. If poker is defined as a “game of chance,” it’s probably illegal, if it’s defined as a “game of skill,” it might not be. The way it’s defined can be up to the whims of a random judge.
Once bitten, twice shy. Black Friday cost me dearly, and it’s just not worth the risk to me.
Yeah, I could set up an offshore account and proxy through a VPN and would probably be OK, but I’m not a criminal. If you don’t believe me, ask my defense attorney.
Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
Illegal Gambling Businesses Act (IGBA)
I should add… yes I have looked into subscription based online poker “clubs,” which are probably legal. None of the ones I have looked at have the numbers of tournaments and field sizes that I like.
I absolutely get where you are coming from and was paranoid about it before I tried it out and started talking with people who do the same. I did bitcoin and the VPN and the whole works so I could enjoy my “vice” without fear. I figured the worst that could happen is I lose a little money if I have to abandon 1 of my accounts. While I still wouldn’t leave a big chunk of cash in any 1 account, I’m not worried at all about any other legal ramifications. I know people in local law enforcement and state government who have online cash accounts as well.
The laws on the books all target operators, not players. That’s why there aren’t any domestic hosts in the US. Federal law is totally silent on players and only a few states have addressed players in any capacity. I wouldn’t worry about a rogue judge because there isn’t an actual criminal statute they can charge you with.
Everyone has their own risk tolerances. Hopefully the states will get their acts together and explicitly allow for online poker when they inevitably address sports-book legality. Its absurd to think that people should not be allowed to do what they wish with the money they’ve earned and paid taxes on. Thankfully this place exists so people like you can still enjoy the game until our government graces us with “permission” to use our private property as we see fit.
Well OK, but when they shut a site down and seize accounts, it kind of affects players.
There were no problems with deposits and withdrawals until there was.
I lost my online bank, ended up paying back taxes and a hefty fine, and got audited 4 of the next 6 years. It’s just not worth the risk to me.
Cryptocurrencies use a public ledger of all transactions. It’s not hard to track transactions back to specific individuals. I would suggest using a tumbler service. (AKA crypto mixer)
I’m just using prepaid cards or wire transfers to and from an LLC that I set up for this purpose now. Everything is segregated from my personal or corporate banking and about as anonymous as I can make it. If one of the sites goes under and I lose what’s there, oh well. I don’t allow balances to grow past a certain point so my risk is limited.
As I said, the only real danger comes from the tax-side. I’ve had gambling wins and losses on my tax returns for ages and get P&L statements from a few casinos and 1099 MISC forms from a few more. This is the rabbit hole I never wanted to go down so I kept casino wagering on the books for the most part. Private games are another matter entirely
You don’t necessarily have to be very good to win at mid or even high stakes for real money. There’s people who do it by exclusively bum hunting. This was especially true pre black friday. If 75% of the world is better at poker than you and you want to make money, then take care to make sure you play with the other 25% as much as possible.
Pre black friday i was definitely not the best 200NL player, but I did better than most of them. The only reason why is because I was willing to do some pretty crazy things to isolate and destroy any weak players who showed up and didn’t waste time playing tough games that only the rake would show a profit in.
Where did you go to school ? Or better yet, did you ?
those are quite high amounts, it’s even enough to go pro.
just curious, which low stakes are u referring to, i can imagine too low won’t give u that much money and too high will defenitely not be easy cuz there are lots of strong players.
just being curious as i haven’t played at those stakes (yet)
Game selection has always been how to make money. However, the game today is not the same as it was 10 years ago, The players are evolving at a pretty good pace and 200NL is no longer easy. They aren’t the best players in the world overall but they are a whole different league than micro stakes players or live.
I was playing 4 or 6 tables at $2/$4, with the goal of winning about 2 or 3 BB/hour per table. This was on PartyPoker back in the day (2004-2005) when they were doing so much advertising that those stakes had more fish than Arthur Treacher’s.
I suspect things are different today, but back then it was stupid easy to do, if somewhat hectic.
I drifted away from it and went more towards tournaments, which gave me a much more relaxed pace and the potential for a bigger payday.
thx 4 the information