Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm So (Frist)-F$%#ing Stupid...

I received the "We are discontinuing service to you" letter from Titan Poker today, and my thought on it was, what the hell? Why should Titan care? They're not UK and they're not publicly traded, so why the cut-and-run routine?

And then I realized that I already knew part of the answer, when I discussed one of the possible motivations for why Poker Stars is still sitting on the fence in a short post over at the KAP blog. In it, I suggested that Stars was remaining noncommittal to allow the U.S. executives connected with the firm time to decide their own fates.

Bill Rini jumped on me a bit for that post, and possibly deservedly so, for my dissing the quick-to-bail 888 and Party, while cutting Stars at least temporary slack. My counterpoint had to do more with my lack of fondness toward Party and 888 in general --- I feel that they are the two online companies most clearly partaking in predatory marketing, and these are the type of companies, in my opinion, most likely to bail at the quickest significant resistance, no matter the mess they leave behind.

But why are all these other companies, located in offshore jurisdictions, so quick to follow suit? As I remove the brick from my forehead, the answer is a great, big "Duhh-h-h-h!" Far more of these companies than we think must be shell corporations with U.S. executives, and it's they who are in trouble, should they persist under the new law, un-American though that law is.

So, fear not. The legitimate, privately-held overseas poker houses are likely to keep right on marketing to us and allowing us to play, while the ones run by Americans as shell enterprises are likely to disappear or to change form as they restructure to get around what the current legislation seems to say. As more and more U.S. citizens sell their holdings in these companies to their partners, more of these companies will again open their doors to American players. We're seeing the initial freezeout --- as for the rest, it just doesn't happen overnight.

From our perspective, this means that rather more of the poker sites we know and trust will seem to disappear. But there will be new ones. After all, God, and poker players, abhor a vacuum.


CarmenSinCity said...

i withdrew funds from them titan today. It's all good cause I never put any money in the account in the first place. It was a free bonus and I made some cash on top of it. I can just imagine how many of these sites are going bankrupt.

Haley said...

Me, too, regarding Titan. I'd have to put them in the first echelon of sites that, come what may, just won't be missed by the majority of poker players. You can also rest assured that if other sites do the heavy lifting, in regards to cuurent efforts to have the legislation tossed out, and succeed in their efforts, then Titan will be right there to jump back in.

To Titan: Don't bother e-mailing if the climate changes; I've tossed your virtual belongings to the curb.