Victory Poker leaves US Market While Others Jockey for Position
Wednesday April 20, 2011
Two of the companies named in the indictment - Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker - have shut down their U.S. operations. The third, Absolute Poker, was still allowing U.S. players with existing balances to play real-money games as of yesterday afternoon, but was not allowing new American players to sign up or existing players to make deposits or withdrawals.
Victory Poker CEO Dan Fleyshman, who was not named in the indictment, announced that his site is voluntarily leaving the U.S. market, and all of the site's American players will be migrated to Cake Poker. Fleyshman said one-third of Victory's players were Americans.
"(Cake has) blocked U.S. playersalready and are working on the switch now," said Victory Poker CEO Dan Fleyshman in an e-mail. "(Cake Poker) will continue to accept U.S. players as a network as long as they like, but I have made a personal choice not to have Victory continue."
Fleyshman is one of just a handful of identifiable online poker executives in the industry. Since his site's launch in February, 2010, he has aggressively promoted his brand through online videos, advertising and professional player sponsorships. Despite recent actions taken against online poker site owners, Fleyshman says he is not concerned that he may become a target of law enforcement officials.
"I don't have XYZ shell companies or shady processing," said Fleyshman, referring to the bank fraud and money laundering charges facing the big three online poker rooms. "Victory is a poker skin on a network, so we have no access to merchant accounts, credit card processing, wire transfers, etc. The second I heard that the government was crushing the top three, I blocked U.S. players for Victory even though none of the other skins on the Cake, Merge, Everleaf and Yahatay did. It's a personal choice. I don't want to battle with the government; they are relentless and almighty."
Fleyshman had been in talks with the CEREUS network about a possible move to join what had been the third-largest network to allow U.S. players, but has stopped those talks and looks to be staying with Cake for now.
In addition to Cake Gaming Network sites, Merge Gaming Network and Yahatay Network sites as well as Bodog continue to accept U.S. players. Over the past few days, I asked customer service representatives from a variety of sites whether they still accept American players.
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