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Poker Players Still Not Over The Effects Of Black Friday In US

One year ago, thousands of professional online poker players were stripped of their right to make a living online in the US. The players sat back and watched as the Department of Justice issued indictments against three of the biggest online poker sites in the world.

Last April, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt Poker drew the wrath of the DoJ as the US government continued to tighten the reigns on the online gambling industry. The result of the indictments was outrage by the pro players, who were left having to find different avenues to feed their families.

"That was one of the worst days of my life," said Stanley Kline. "I had been surviving for several years making a good living playing poker online, and then poof, one day it was just gone. I found another job, but I would love to someday go back to doing what I do best for a living, and that's playing poker."

Kline's sentiment is shared by poker players from around the country. There were even some players who moved out of the country once the sites were shut down. Tommy Dansby was a player who suddenly found himself without a five figure income because of Black Friday.

"One day, I was making $75,000 a year, with a job that I loved which helped me support my family, and the next day I was unemployed. It was quite an adjustment period and luckily I was able to rebound. I don't think others were as lucky as me."

One former pro online player who wished to remain anonymous claims that he filed bankruptcy less than six months after losing his poker playing job.

"I tried to play in the casinos, but it just wasn't the same," said the anonymous player. "Online, there are people who really love the game and treat it seriously. At the casinos, I was running into too many casual players, and sometimes that can hurt a professional player. We're used to facing other players who are the top in the game, so when an amateur comes in, it sometimes shakes up the game."

The government has heard the complaints of hundreds of thousands of players, and lawmakers are starting to work on changing the current laws. The DoJ issued an opinion last December that claimed all forms of gambling, outside of sports betting, were legal under the Wire Act.

That proclamation led to several states crafting laws regulating Internet gambling. New Jersey and Nevada are leading the way into the online gambling regulation world, but Florida, Iowa, Hawaii, Illinois, and California have all had discussions regarding following New Jersey and Nevada into the industry. Legislators in these states believe online gambling could be an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

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