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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Plus - More Online Poker Rooms Open Their Doors to USA Players

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Online poker players know it as Black Friday, October 13th, 2006. This was the day the UIGEA – also known as the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, went into effect. It was also the day that the face of online poker changed dramatically and not for the better.

The ripple effect of the UIGEA was that a multitude of online poker rooms such as Party Poker, Mansion Poker, Pacific Poker and Titan Poker started shutting their doors to players who resided in the United States. It has been almost four years since online poker players in the US saw their freedom of choice taken away as they were relegated to playing at a handful of poker rooms who would take them. And along with those limited choices, came a drastic reduction in the great promotions that poker rooms offered their players. Since the field was so narrow and the competition so weak, poker sites that kept their doors open to Americans didn't need to offer fantastic deals anymore, because now they had a captive audience that had nowhere else to go.

But lately, in spite of all of the legal wrangling going on over the UIGEA in Washington, more poker rooms have recently emerged that are welcoming Americans. Not only is this influx of US friendly online poker rooms a benefit to poker players who are tired of playing at the same old place, but with more competition it will hopefully bring better perks for players.

A big advantage for poker players who try out the new US friendly poker rooms is strangely enough - the lack of player traffic. Tournament poker players especially can benefit from the low player turn out in the guaranteed tournaments, where it doesn't matter how many players enter because the prize pool is guaranteed. Therefore, lower player traffic amounts to less competition in the tournaments, giving serious tournament players a great overlay and a much smaller field to beat.

Another big plus for online poker players is that these new US welcoming poker rooms are turning up the heat on their competition by offering terrific promotions. While most poker rooms that Americans have been playing at over the last four years like Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker offer plenty of FreeRolls, seldom do they have cash prize pools. Instead, players can win a seat to another tournament where if they get lucky and win, they can add some cash to their bankroll. Thanks to the influx of US friendly poker rooms however, poker players don't have to settle for FreeRolls that don't reward them with cash anymore - because these new kids on the block are offering plenty of FreeRolls that have real cash prize pools.  

Most of the poker rooms making a splash by accepting US players are on the fairly new Merge Gaming Network and while most of them may seem like skins, they are in fact each as individual as their names. While offering many of the same promotions, each poker room also has promotions of their own, as well as unique VIP programs. A recent shared promotion was an amazing $100,000 FreeRoll event, which is a huge prize pool for a free online poker tournament and rarely seen at any poker room. One of the new rooms, Carbon Poker, has a hard to beat FreeRoll schedule which starts with a $1,000 new player FreeRoll. They also offer four daily FreeRolls that each have a prize pool of $50 and boast of having $30,000 in FreeRolls on the tournament schedule every week. Plus when you sign up to Carbon Poker on PokerWorks, you can qualify to play in a special $500 FreeRoll. Other poker rooms on the Merge Gaming Network offering great promotions besides Carbon Poker are; Players Only, Lock Poker, Play Aces, and Sports Book Poker.

More poker rooms that are open to US citizens are sitting on the Cake Poker Network which include Only Poker, Doyle's Room, and their namesake poker room, Cake Poker. All of these poker rooms offer fantastic guaranteed tournaments with great overlays, great sign-up bonuses, super promotions and of course many cash prize pool FreeRolls.

Due to the online poker landscape becoming broader, hopefully online poker players will start seeing even more profitable promotions being offered by the old guard; Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, UB Poker, and Absolute Poker. Someone once said, “competition is good for the soul,” hopefully they meant poker competition and online poker rooms will take heed, because competition is definitely good for the bankroll.

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