How Poker History Repeats Itself: The Attack of Black Friday

How Poker History Repeats Itself: The Attack of Black Friday

Poker, the world’s number one game has been around for many centuries. The ancient Chinese and Egyptians played games similar to Poker, but the game that is considered to be the mother of Poker, as we know it today, is Primero. The game of Primero goes back to the year 1526 in Spain. A basic part of the game of Primero was to bluff, meaning that one would bet high stakes even though they held a poor hand. When the French colonials migrated from Canada to the Louisiana Territories in the United States they brought the game of Poker with them. When it hit the riverboats on the Mississippi River it had become known as “the cheating game.” Poker was born when a man named Johnatthan H. Green wrote a book entitled An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling, in which he documents the “Cheating Game.”

Poker is the world’s most played game. It is played at private home parties and get togethers, school dormitories, in back rooms of taverns and restaurants, in legal and illegal poker parlors, casinos, and online all over the world. As time went by there became many variations of the game of Poker such as: Five Card Draw, Stud Poker, Seven Card Stud, Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Mania and Razz to name a few.

Today Poker is played for more than just the fun of playing a card game. For some people it has become big business and for others a means of support. Many people have made the game of Poker into a livelihood. They follow the casinos and play professionally. Now, with the onset of online Poker these professional Poker players can earn even more money than they can in casinos because they can go online and play in more than one Poker game. Online Poker players can earn from thousands to millions if they play as if it were a forty hour a week job. Many of these players ages are in the late twenties to late thirties and older as well. True, it can be a fun way to earn a living if you are good at it. It can also plunge you deep into debt if you are not good at it.

As do most games, Poker has a game that rounds out a year of Poker playing from various areas; it is called the “World Series of Poker.” In 2003 the World Series of Poker was won by a twenty-seven year old Nashville accountant. He won two and a half million dollars. This man was an amateur that managed to qualify for the World Series of Poker. This was an inspiration to many Americans, who decided to quit their jobs and enter into the Poker arena. In a period of three years the World Series of Poker attendees grew from Eight Hundred and Thirty Nine players to Eight Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Three players. There were more players in the year 2006 than there were in the last Thirty Three years combining all the Series.

As of April 15, 2011, known as Black Friday in the online Poker communities,  this has all changed when the United States Government shut down the large online Poker sites. You can no longer play Poker with the big boys and girls online. Some of the smaller online Poker games still exist. Unfortunately, some of the people that depended on the online Poker games for their livelihood have to find other ways to maintain themselves. Some have returned to playing at casinos, however; playing at the casinos is not as lucrative as playing online. These players were able to take part in more than one game at a time online, while now at the casino they are restricted to playing one game at a time. Revenues in this way are much smaller, although still good enough to be able to live with it.

The Poker Casinos that were shutdown on Black Friday were:
  • PokerStars

  • Full Tilt Poker

  • Absolute Poker


  • Most of the online gambling sites were operated from other countries which made it difficult for the U.S. Government taxing agencies to know how to tax them. Now they are forbidden to operate here in the United States. Many of these websites were blocked and no longer operational. Having read some of the commentaries by people that depend on online Poker for their livelihood; it seems that they have no qualms about leaving the United States to play Poker in countries where it is allowed. The draw back here is that since you do not have a work permit you have to leave that country at certain intervals and then reapply for a visa in order to return. It does seem like a lot to do but I guess if it means your livelihood it may not be so much to do. It is believed that there are between 1.3 Million to 15 Million online Poker players that play for real money.

    There is presently a bill on the political table that would bring back the online Poker games however; it is also said that if the online Poker players think there is a possibility of its being passed, they are being delusional. There is no telling at present, whether online Poker will have resurgence and another Poker boom will take place, or if online Poker will go by way of many other online gambling games and disappear into oblivion.

    In the meantime, those Poker players that depended on the online Poker games and tournaments will have to change their strategies. If they want to pursue the Poker way to sustain themselves they will have to search for other avenues and if they cannot find a different avenue then, they will have to find a different way to sustain themselves. It appears they have the same choice that anyone that has lost a job and that is to find another career. It is neither and easy choice nor an easy task but there is no other choice. There is no sense in waiting for the ban to be lifted because it seems the ban is here to stay.
    Luckily, there are are poker websites that still accept players from the USA for real money betting. Check out our Best USA Friendly Online Poker Rooms Page!