You've heard the news, right? Of course you have! Everyone that plays online poker knows the U.S. Department of Justice brutally beat us about the head and shoulders after flash freezing our wallets to our pants and purses when they took control of the top three online poker sites: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, and U.S. players were "OUT" without even getting a chance to swing at a pitch.
At a point that nothing appeared to be resolved with U.S. players that make a living playing online poker being able to play on the top poker site that is still running strong out of the big three - PokerStars - players started moving to other countries to continue their livelihood. As long as players review and understand PokerStars new terms of service, it’s workable. But some players appear to ignore the terms and have been playing from their homes in the United States.
Steve Day, PokerStars VIP Manager, reported that U.S. poker players have been playing real-money games from their homes by using Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN routes a user's internet connection through another country to mask their IP address. Last week the TwoPlusTwo Pokercast was joined by Day and news on these infractions was that some players had managed to escape PokerStars security but there were others that found their accounts suspended and funds frozen.
Day reports that the use of VPN networks is not allowed and PokerStars is enforcing their new term of service although he isn't sure what the final consequence will be. It's fact that the penalties could be quite severe. PokerStars terms of service read, "Players who attempt to play for real money from inside the US with the aid of VPNs or other technical workarounds will lose their playing privileges and/or funds in their account."
“We're not really sure what will happen (to the suspended accounts) yet,” said Day. “The accounts get frozen, and then we wait for guidance from the independent moderator who was appointed by the Department of Justice as to what to do with the funds in these accounts and the ability to play in the future.”
Day continued, “Tell all your friends — it’s a mistake to try to do this.” Day added, “Many people are getting caught, and the consequences are severe. We have to enforce the rules.”
Day went on to recount an example of one player that was told by friends it was safe to play on a VPN and he was trying to earn Supernova Elite status. The player's account has been suspended and the status of his funds are now in question.
Hear the full interview at TwoPlusTwo.