Having trouble finding a place to play poker online since Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars got kicked out of the United States? Let me help you find the best internet poker rooms that are still accepting American poker players.
What happened to Full Tilt/PokerStars and can I get into any trouble?
Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are in hot water since the federal government decided to drop the hammer on these two poker sites on Friday, April 15 2011. The department of justice did not bust these two websites because they offer online poker to Americans. They did so because these sites were manipulating the banking and credit card systems to allow the deposits and transactions that players made to the website. They did this because the banks and credit card companies will reject or deny charges that are labeled as online gambling.
For the time-being, online poker is still considered an “internet gambling” game although the term “Gambling” most often applies to any game that is run by the “House”. Sites like Full Tilt and PokerStars exploited the ambiguous 2006 UIGEA Law that doesn’t specifically state what is considered to be Internet Gambling. The would have been no legal action that the US could have taken if these companies did not lie about the services and products being “sold” to players when they deposited money. They are now being charged with federal money laundering and bank fraud.
Are you in any trouble for playing at these sites? No, at least not on a federal level. There are several state laws that mandate that their citizens do not wager money on online gambling sites, of which poker is included. Here are the states that may enforce laws made against playing poker online:
Washington – The state of Washington has the toughest and most specific laws against online poker. It is a felony to play poker online for real money within the state.
Louisiana – This state also makes gambling online a felony. You will be hard pressed to find a gambling site that will allow you to deposit if you are from one of these two states.
Illinois – Gambling is a misdemeanor in this state; Kentucky – They have taken steps to prosecute gambling sites that allow players from their state to deposit/withdraw money; Missouri – Publicly against any form of online gambling. You may find it hard to play poker online from any of these states.
Other states have laws on the book, but are less likely to pursue any charges against their own citizens. These states include Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah. There are some online gambling sites that may not allow players from these specific states, but not as many.
Top Internet Poker Sites Left for American Players
The place that I have most often played at is Intertops, which is part of the Cake poker network. The reason I first joined at Intertops poker was that they were already the sportsbook that I used when they came out with online poker about a year ago.
You can see that Intertops often has promotions around current events and holidays. Want a chance to win a seat to the 2011 WSOP main event now that Full Tilt and PokerStars are gone? You still can at Intertops! There is also a poker festival going on for Easter. There are extra freeroll tournaments and other prizes to be won.
If you make a deposit into your Intertops poker account, you will automatically qualify for the next $1,000 Depositor Freeroll. In addition to that, you can also claim a bonus on your first deposit worth up to $600 when you use the bonus code 600extra at the cashier. This bonus is paid in $5 increments as you play raked hands and real money tournaments. You can also get a reload bonus if you continue to play after your first bonus is up.
The poker lobby isn’t too difficult to navigate through. You can sort out the Ring Games and Tournaments by game or by limit. There are many different options for you if you would like to participate in a poker tournament. There are Satellites, Freerolls, Gold Card tournaments, Sit & Gos, Private tournaments and special events.
No complaining when you take a tough beat! JK :)
The play at the table is just as easy as any other poker site that you have played at before. Just make sure that you don’t rush things and call/raise when you meant to fold. I’ve made that mistake pressing the wrong button at least 10 times myself.
Take a look at some of the other promotions that Intertops Poker has to offer: