PokerStars Payouts And Other Black Friday Updates

While it was originally announced nearly a week ago that the FBI would allow Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars to relaunch their primary domains to facilitate the withdrawal of American players’ funds, that process only actually began today. Per an announcement from PokerStars executive Steve Day, the first withdrawal requests have been made, and the site is now working to process those requests and clear out all the remaining U.S. real money accounts.

As the requests pile up, you can expect the processing time to slow down, so the sooner you start on your own withdrawal request the better. Likewise, international players that are still active at the site’s cash games can expect their regular withdrawals to be delayed in light of the increased activity. PokerStars has reassured withdrawing members that the funds are readily available, but no information has been released on how long the withdrawal window will be open. Full Tilt Poker is not yet processing withdrawals, and there’s still no word on whether or not the CEREUS Network sites will even be able to give their U.S. members that option.

In related news, PokerScout has been releasing data on how Black Friday has affected the four seized sites, and the numbers are pretty grim. PokerStars is thus far faring the best. Despite an initial 28% drop in cash action, the site has rebounded over the last two weeks and is now only down a negligible 3%. Full Tilt Poker was hit even harder – with an immediate loss of almost half their cash players and an ongoing decrease of 35% of their cash action – but the crackdown has been especially harmful for the CEREUS Network sites. Absolute Poker and not only had an initial 40% drop in cash action, their numbers have actually suffered more over time, continuing to drop to the point that the sites are now at only one-third of their original real money traffic.

With those kinds of losses, you’d think the other poker sites would be holding onto their American members for dear life. Indeed, some of the affected sites’ biggest competitors have actually profited from the DoJ case, posting traffic gains of as much as 61%. But apparently the threat of prosecution is enough to scare off at least two more popular poker sites. Rumor has it that the poker rooms at PlayersOnly and Sportsbook will stop accepting real money American members on May 1.

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