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Lou Krieger

Absolute Poker/UB Reach Repayment Agreement With Feds

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

May 10, 2011—Absolute Poker and UB issued a statement earlier today stating that they reached agreement with the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in which the US Attorney’s Office agreed to provide all necessary assurances that third parties may work with Absolute Poker to facilitate the return of funds, currently held by third party processors, to players located in the US. This provision is an important step toward returning US player funds.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Absolute Poker/UB Fires all US-based Sponsored Pros

By Shari Geller and Lou Krieger

Last Friday, Costa Rican officials with the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) conducted a raid on the offices of Absolute Poker and UB, two of the online poker sites under indictment by federal authorities in the U.S. for money laundering, bank and wire fraud and illegal gambling activity.  This followed word that the Blanca Games Inc. (“Blanca”), parent company of Absolute/UB, would have to file for bankruptcy.  Today, not surprisingly, Blanca announced that all U.S. sponsored pros would have their contracts terminated.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Costa Rican Police Raid the Offices of Absolute Poker

By Shari Geller and Lou Krieger

Police in Costa Rica raided the offices of Absolute Poker/UB this morning.  Agents with the Organismo Investigacion Judicial (OIJ), their version of the Department of Justice, armed with a search warrants, hit at least six separate locations including residential homes as well as the offices of persons associated with the poker companies. 

The police action follows the indictments brought by the Justice Department last month against Absolute Poker and two other online poker sites for money laundering, bank and wire fraud, and illegal gambling.  

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Absolute Poker to Enter Bankruptcy; Return of Player Deposits is Doubtful

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

MSNBC reported last night that Absolute Poker/UB will enter bankruptcy.  This action leaves players who have funds currently on deposit with Absolute and UB twisting in the wind, with no assurance they will ever have access to their money.  

Madeira Fjord, a Norwegian company that represents shareholders in Blanca Gaming of Antigua, the parent company of AP/UB, told them that the company had “no cash on hand and no prospects for any cash flow for the foreseeable future.” Blanca Gaming stated that, “it is currently unable to make any payments toward its debt obligations.”

MSNBC reported that a source in Costa Rica—where Absolute Poker and UB have their operations center—told them that more than 300 customer support and marketing employees, approximately 95 percent of the staff, were laid off.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Is Senator Jon Kyl Revising His Stance Against Online Poker?

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

Every hero needs a villain.  Without it the drama seldom rises to the level it often achieves when the scales are balanced and both sides have to raise their game to succeed.

Where would Sherlock Holmes be without Professor Moriarty?  Batman without the Joker?  The Dodgers minus the Giants? Ali lacking Fraiser? They all need one another, just as the Packers need the Bears, and McEnroe needed the chair umpire.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Add Us to the List of Black Friday Losers

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

We’ve been bringing you all the news about Black Friday and its effect on various segments of the poker world since the event first occurred only two short weeks ago.  We’ve even brought you a segment on “Winners and Losers,” in which we listed those poker elements and institutions that were harmed by the Department of Justice’s declaration of war on online poker, as well as a much shorter listing of those who appear to have benefited—it’s a much shorter list, indeed—from Black Friday’s unintended consequences.

And we were able to do this objectively, since we were among a precious few left unscathed by these events … or so we thought.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

The DOJ Indictments against PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute: What People Are Saying (Part 2)

By Shari Geller and Lou Krieger

While the Justice Department and the under-attack poker sites have issued a number of statements regarding the government’s crackdown, which we discussed in part one of this series, reaction from the poker community has run the gamut of absolute silence (primarily by some sponsored pros) to loud protestations.  In this article, we will look at a sampling of quotes from some interested observers of the poker scene.

What the Poker Community Has to Say

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You Can Get Your Money Out of PokerStars, But No Word Yet From Full Tilt or Absolute

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

A press release from PokerStars, received early today, said, “In agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, PokerStars has made arrangements with a US bank and today began the process of returning player funds to former customers in the US.

“The funds to cover these withdrawal requests are readily available.

“All player deposits for players outside the U.S. are also completely safe and secure. PokerStars has always held all such funds in accounts that are segregated from company assets, in compliance with the strict licensing laws of the Isle of Man.”

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

The DOJ Indictments against PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute: What People Are Saying (Part 1)

By Shari Geller and Lou Krieger

The reaction to the shocking full-frontal attack by the Department of Justice against online poker has been coming in since the indictments were unsealed on April 15th.  In this two-part series, we will look at some samplings of quotes and written statements about Black Friday.  First up, quotes from those most interested – the government representatives and the poker sites.

The Government Had Its Say

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Black Friday Seems a Dream Come True for European Affiliates

By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller

While Black Friday was a nightmare for US-based poker players and PokerStars, Full Tilt, and UB—the companies that served them—it was a dream come true for European affiliates.

Once the Big Three were locked out of the US market, it left players in a tizzy, scrambling for places to play.  But it didn’t only affect US players, it had an impact across the pond too, as many European players grew skittish about keeping their money on PokerStars, Full Tilt and UB, and looked for other places to play.

This created a feeding frenzy for European based affiliates.  While the European-facing poker sites engage in a promotional war designed to scoop up disaffected European players, they are increasingly turning to affiliates to steer players their way.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)


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