PokerStars Questions Answered

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This is a compilation of information from PokerStars on the recent withdrawal from the United States market.

Statement from PokerStars on why USA players can no longer play for real money:

On 15 April 2011, PokerStars ceased providing real-money poker to residents of the United States and related territories. Real money play and deposits by US residents are strictly prohibited.

An agreement has been reached with the US Department of Justice to allow United States PokerStars customers to cashout their funds. PokerStars will work diligently to expedite those withdrawals. All PokerStars player deposits are completely safe.

Players from the United States can continue to play on our site for play money only. New players who wish to create an account will need to do so using our play-money-only software.

Why USA players could not access the web page or support email

The Justice department seized all the .com name including access to the .com support address. As part of a deal with the Department of Justice, USA players can now, again, access any of the .com sites including the support email address.

Can I get my Money?

PokerStars has reached an agreement with DoJ to refund players their money. Because the recent issue removed all of the old processing structure, at this time, the cashout option in the cashier is disabled.  It will be enabled when a new system is put in place. PokerStars says that getting funds to players is their top priority.

Cashouts that were requested before April 15, 2011 will be cancelled and returned to players accounts. Players can view the cashier, but US players cannot transfer to other players. Any tournaments tickets or T$ will be converted to cash, though PokerStars stresses that this will not happen immediately and asks for patience. At this time, PokerStars has yet to work out a fair plan for monetary consideration in exchange for FPPs.

All US Players who were registered in future tournaments have been unregistered and their buyins have been refunded to their accounts.

Trying to get around the restrictions

I am sure many of you are scheming or hoping there is a way to get around the new order of things. PokerStars has answered some of those common thoughts.

Players thinking they can just change their address to a new country need to know that just changing their address does not allow them to play for real money again. PokerStars needs copies of photo identification as well as a recent utility bill showing your new physical address.  If you can prove that you have left the USA, your account balance will be restored to you, including VIP status and your FPP balance.  You cannot play for real money by just taking a trip outside the country. Accounts are blocked until you show proof of new address.

If you cook up some IP rerouting scheme like a VPN, PokerStars says they will revoke your privileges for trying.

Foreigners traveling to the United States will not be allowed to play on PokerStars while in the US.

US players can buy into PokerStars live events using their real money account balances, providing they have the money already in their accounts. They cannot deposit the money and then use it to play the event.  PokerStars live events like European Poker Tour will proceed as planned. Players from the United States who have won packages to these events will still be allowed to play.

US players are welcome to play for play money if they so choose but will need to set up a new .net account.

UB Poker has Suspended Real Money Play in the US

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UB.comUB Poker just suspended real money play for US residents.  A statement regarding the suspension on play now pops up for players trying to connect from the USA.

This comes as a slight surprise to us as they had chosen to remain open for the last few days while Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars had immediately suspended real money play on their poker websites. The UB website has been moved to for players outside the US. For customer support you can contact They are being flooded with emails at the moment so please show some patience.

Here is the greeting that players from the US will see when and if they can connect to the UB client:

***Some players in the US are saying they can still log in and play for real money. I cannot even connect to the server.

Absolute Poker Suspends Real Money Play in the US

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Following their indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice on April 15th, 2011, Absolute Poker has now stopped real money play for their American customers. The owners and operators of Absolute Poker were named as defendants by the FBI, but kept their site open and active as normal for the last few days. Many in the online poker community felt this may be a sign that they would remain open while fighting the charges brought against them but that does not seem to be the case. Absolute Poker has changed their homepage domain to

Absolute Poker is now officially banning U.S. players from all real money games. Users from the US who manage to connect to the Absolute Poker client are greeted with the following announcement:

Some US players are saying they can still play real money games on Absolute Poker.

Pokerstars has Suspended Real Money Play in the US

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Pokerstars has finally issued an announcement to last week’s indictment and their leaving the US poker market. Several big name pros have come out and said that players should give the poker sites some time to get things worked out and that they would get their money as soon as possible.

Poker Sites that Accept Players from the USA

“As you may have heard, we have had to suspend real money poker services to people based in the U.S. due to legal developments there.”

“The developments are confined to the U.S. and do not have any impact on your ability to continue using our services. Please be assured player balances are safe. There is no cause for concern. For all customers outside the U.S. it is business as usual.”

“Please be aware that we are currently experiencing a very high volume of emails, so our response times are delayed. We will answer player emails as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.”

April 17, 2011 Update:

  • Both the Million Dollar Challenge and Big Game have been cancelled.