There was a time -- pre-Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act -- when I’d routinely pull a spare hundy off a site and dump it into Neteller, then once a certain amount accumulated there with our once-favorite third-party vendor I’d go ahead and ship it to my bank account, no problemo. Starting in late 2006, once Neteller bailed on us Yanks, I’d instead wait until I’d built up a bit more than that on a given site before requesting a check. Have had to exercise some caution, of course, as I haven’t wanted to leave myself too small of a roll to continue comfortably on any given site. (I still have yet to explore depositing options for any site, and don’t plan to do so if I can help it.)
To this point, then, despite my backwards-ass government’s efforts to the contrary, I’ve encountered zero difficulties from any of my three sites when it comes to cashing out. (Same can’t be said for the sites on which I no longer play, but all that’s pretty far in the rearview by now.)
But like I say, it’s been a while -- perhaps six months -- since I’ve bothered to pull any cabbage off. Haven’t been playing Bodog as much lately, and so the roll is relatively small over there. Have had some technical issues over there, too (not unlike others, I see). Can’t seem to get the site to load on the laptop anymore -- don’t ask me why. I have, however, built up decent-sized chunks on both Stars and Full Tilt, and so had been starting to think about claiming some o’ that hard-earned cheddar.
I know some -- especially those who play at my small stakes -- don’t bother much with taking money off the table like this. But for me, doing so has always been an important part of poker, not to mention my enjoyment of it. Money left on the sites is always theoretically “in play” (even though I’d never dream of taking my whole roll to a table at once). Thus do I feel it should frankly be considered a very high priority for all online sites to make withdrawing one’s money as easy as they possibly can. Fer Chrissakes, it’s part of the game.
Of course, one could probably additionally argue the ethical imperative for online poker rooms to make withdrawing easy. Most sites at least nominally promote “responsible gambling” in some fashion or another, and it only makes sense that making it easy for players to “step away” (as it were) should be a big part of that effort.
But I personally happen to think it’s part of the game, too. Whether you agree with that or not, it’s most certainly a big part of how the very small percentage of us who don’t lose money at online poker -- something like 7-8% by most estimates -- manage to stay ahead.
Have to say, though, I’m feeling some serious trepidation about requesting any sort of cash out from any site at the moment.
Have been following that massive thread on 2+2 for the last month now detailing players’ difficulties getting funds off of Full Tilt in particular (although a few in that thread are complaining about Stars, too). There’s another thread, begun way back in April, that presently has several posters sharing their stories about having their withdrawal requests denied by Full Tilt. And I’m seeing a third thread, begun yesterday, that is also dedicated to posters explaining that none of the options presently offered by Full Tilt are working for them.
Have seen a few rumblings on other forums, too. Dan posted about it over at Pokerati yesterday. Read where PokerKat had posted her story over on the Poker Sift site, as well.
As I say, I haven’t tried to withdraw for a while, and so haven’t experienced this particular frustration first-hand myself. So I can’t really comment further on what is happening. I understand the feelings of those upset with a particular site, though I also know that whatever is happening, it probably isn’t entirely the site’s fault. The UIGEA, a law that still has never been enforced even a single time, has nevertheless helped create the situation in which this fundamental part of the poker experience -- the ability to “walk away” -- has been compromised.
In any event, anybody with moneys over on PokerStars who is interested in some pot-limit Omaha tourney action should seriously consider playing in this week’s Saturday’s with Dr. Pauly tourney. Following up on his big fifth anniversary blowout, the good Doctor is throwing in a free entry into the Stars Sunday Million to this week’s victor. Haven’t been able to play the tourney in a good while (and may not be able to tomorrow, either), but that’s a damned nice overlay!
Take a shot, why dontcha? You might win!
We’ll worry about getting the funds off later.