The poker world has had a chance to just take stock of the impact of the now infamous ‘Black Friday’ when the US Department of Justice took legal action against PokerStars, Full Tilt and Cereus.
Initial panic has been replaced with a degree of uncertainty.
It seems that the US Government have granted the sites permission to allow US players to retrieve their balances from the sites.
We are now in a situation of having tens of thousands of US players still wanting to play poker online but unable to use their usual preferred site.
There are still a number of sites allowing players from the US that haven’t been affected up to now by these proceedings. Namely, Merge, Bodog, and Everleaf.
Merge is now cemented as the number one site for US players in terms of player numbers and can only get bigger.
We would expect that the Merge Network, as a result of this, to break into the top 10 sites in terms of player numbers in the next few months.
We have tested Merge software ourselves and found it to be surprisingly smooth and there is technically no limit to the number of tables you can play at one time.
The site we deal with primarily, namely BlackChip Poker, also offer extremely good customer service.
They also do not hold the player balances themselves, which will re-assure more nervous players.
The funds are held by the Merge Network.
At the time of posting this the maximum allowed rake back on Merge sites is 35%, although this is due to stop for any new sign ups after June 1st 2011.
Our particular deal on Black Chip Poker offers a private rake chase that can take player returns up to a total 65%
We would urge anyone that is even remotely interested in playing at Merge to sign up before 1st June and our Black Chip deal is the best one out there.
Now the dust is starting to settle on the poker community, there is no doubt that the US poker players are in a completely un-enviable position.
However, it has also led to sites improving their offers to not only attract the US players (assuming the Network allows it) but also to attract the thousands of players that took their funds off of PokerStars, Full Tilt and Cereus while they waited for this to play itself out.
Bottom line is that there has never been a better time to look for a new deal……