Black Friday in the world of online poker was April 15, 2011. On that morning, the United States Department of Justice filed money laundering, bank fraud, and illegal gambling indictments against the owners of three online poker sites. Poker Stars, Full-Tilt, and Absolute Poker were shuttered, and players accounts were frozen. This move by the Justice Department turned the sky over on-line poker black as night, what has seemed like a very long night.
Many on-line professionals were left high and dry without a bank-roll to make a living playing poker. Eventually many if, not all would get their money back, but not until they had to alter their careers. Many found other jobs while some became live game players, but all of them felt the darkness of Black Friday.
With groups like the Poker Players Alliance leading the way and rallying support, along with web-sites like LegalPokerSites.com keeping players informed, the once black sky of on-line poker has turned toward grey. Nevada(2011), Delaware(2012) and New Jersey(2013) have all passed on-line poker legislation. California, Iowa, Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts all having pending legislation introduced at the state level.
The sky is still grey, but as more and more states realize the value of regulating and taxing on-line poker blue skies will appear on the horizon. There will come a day when players will be able to play on-line poker with your friends in other states, perhaps even other countries. Like every other form of entertainment, poker will find its way into your laptop, smart phone, or desktop sooner or later.
People have started to realize what on-line poker meant to cities like Las Vegas. During the heyday of on-line poker, the World Series of Poker exploded in popularity. Players who never could have played won seats on-line. They brought their money to Vegas, not just to gamble, but to spend money on hotels, food, and everything else that make Las Vegas and the Strip thrive.
Back to back in 2003 and 2004, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer won millions by winning the Main Event. Both players won their seats to their respective Main Events on-line. Someday soon, another unknown player from the internet will win the Main Event and the millions that come with the title of World Champion.