Black Friday And The Future Of The US Online Poker IndustryApril 19, 2011 8:12 am
Following the shocking news that last Friday the FBI effectively shut down the US online poker industry, players and industry experts have been contemplating the future of poker in the States.
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In an interview with Brian Balsbaugh from poker business services company Poker Royalty, the industry expert said:
“When Pokerstars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker left the US market, 95 percent of the market share for US poker players absolutely disappeared and with that so did $200 million worth of marketing money and advertising money.”
Balsbaugh then went on to explain that we have probably seen the end of such shows as “The Big Game” on Fox and “Poker After Dark” on NBC. He also said we can expect the WSOP attendance to drop off from around 8,000 players to around 2,500, as 60% of entries came through these online poker sites.
As to the effect the situation will have on these poker sites, Balsbaugh explains that if they were worth $20 billion to $30 billion before, their value would now be about half but, as he then goes on to explain:
“I’m told U.S. traffic on @PokerStars & @FullTiltPoker is approx 35%. My educated guess: their international biz continues to thrive.”
As to the effect Black Friday will now likely have on the professional players, the consensus seems to be that most will either decide to play a wait and see game while turning their attention to the live casino poker, or simply decide to head abroad and play.
Speaking on his blog, Daniel Negreanu said he intended to start playing at the Aria around six times a week, but he has so far expressed disappointment in the lack of action. As he explains:
“I tried to get a game together with Sammy Farha, Sam Stein, and BenB the other night, but it played super small. $50-$100 NLH/PLO. I genuinely thought there would be more action this week, but maybe I’m just being impatient. I just really want to play poker, but I don’t want to play 12 hands an hour either.”
Poker pro Jeff Madsen reflected on the ironic side to the new situation for online pros in the US and quipped; “Preparing for some live grinding this coming week sucks, i have to get off my couch now to lose money haaaaaa.”