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.