US Student Poker Pros Strapped Following Black FridayMay 2, 2011 12:04 pm
Since PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker were indicted by the Department of Justice on 15th April, an estimated 50,000 Americans who lived off their online poker earnings now find their valuable source of income suddenly gone.
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Included amongst those numbers were thousands of students who were able to help support their studies, rent and other expenses with poker money.
One such player was 20 year-old Lakeview resident Neel Choksi, who over the past couple of years managed to support himself at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. As Choksi explains:
“Going broke is almost unheard of if the player has self-control. Most professionals use rules where we only play games that we have 100 buy-ins for, which reduces the variance. Of course you get the bad apple who can’t help but play out of their bankroll.”
Another such student/poker pro was Jeffrey Saberoff from Ohio who said on average he and his friends were making around $300 to $400 each day playing online poker negating the need to procure student loans.
“There are also players out there that may have made $50,000 a day, easy. Now they must go find a job where they may be lucky enough to make that in a year.”
Saberoff blames the recent DOJ shut-downs on the UIGEA legislation introduced during President Bush’s term, which then forced the online poker rooms to seek ‘creative’ ways of enabling players to receive money from poker.
However, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, AbsolutePoker and Ultimate Bet now find themselves being indicted on money laundering and fraud charges, while millions of US players still remain unable to access their online accounts and bankrolls.
Now cut off from such a lucrative stream of money, many students have been contemplating various extreme options in order to remain self-sufficient. With a possible legalized US online poker industry a further two to three years down the line, one option remains studying or moving abroad.
As the previously 24 tabling poker pro and current DePaul student Marty Rose explains:
“I have a number of friends who rely on poker to pay the bills who are moving to other countries where online poker is legal. Many of them are going to Canada because it’s close and English speaking.”