Saturday, January 20, 2007

Anyone Else Feeling Stuck?

First hand you are in the big blind and get dealt ace-queen. A couple of limpers, you raise, and five of you end up seeing the flop of A28. End up battling it out with one of the late position guys and lose a medium-sized pot to his ace-deuce. So you start out down 5 big bets or so.

You sit tight for awhile, mostly because you aren’t picking up any playable cards. Finally you get JdTd in late position and get to see a flop. A couple of diamonds come out and you eagerly raise the early bettor. The flush comes in on the turn and he check-calls your bet. A blank on the river, another check-call, and he turns over Qd5d. You’re down 15 big bets.

Now you start pressing, playing hands from late position with any king, cold-calling preflop raises with any two suited, etc. Without even getting to the turn in a hand you’re suddenly down 35 big bets. You’re reeling. You should probably just pack it in, but you want to get it back. You’re stuck -- figuratively and literally.

Kind of how this week has gone for us American online players. Started with a cold deck. (What’s happening? Just a bump in the road. Play through, it’ll be fine.) Then more misfortune, followed by a rapid deterioration in the stability of our game. (Can I continue here? Has this become a negative EV situation for me?) The weekend has come, and I think most of us are starting to recognize we are indeed stuck.

The cold deck came Monday with the arrests of Neteller’s founders and the company hastily pulling out of the U.S. market. As the week progressed, other third-party vendor options for us Yanks started disappearing as well. Citadel bowed out on Tuesday, only hours after Neteller’s exit. CentralCoin, another potential option, has had a worrisome message on its site since Thursday explaining it is “currently not operational.” Not good. But not enough to have made us think we couldn’t get it all back. We stayed at the table. This’ll correct itself somehow, we thought.

A few panicked, of course. But many instead chose to reassure each other on blogs and forums that all would be well. Ever since Neteller announced way back on October 19th its intention to comply with the UIGEA, we all knew its days were numbered. Few seemed particularly worried, though. “There will be other options,” we told each other, like the player who’s behind realizing he still has outs.

Bodog emailed me early in the week to let me know I could still use services like Click2Pay to fund my account. Absolute and Full Tilt Poker also eventually sent me emails directing me to their websites where they also recommended Click2Pay (among other methods). I wondered whether I should consider opening an account there. Yesterday (1/19/07) I read an article over on Poker News and another on CardPlayer recommending alternatives to Neteller, including Click2Pay. Sounds like the way to go, I thought to myself . . . .

Sort of like that K9-offsuit from middle position sounds like the way to go when you’re desperate to dig your way back.

Surfing around this morning, I discover Click2Pay is no longer accepting U.S. customers either. This news comes after (probably) thousands of players rushed over to open accounts during the week. At this moment (11 a.m. Eastern standard time), it isn’t clear whether those who have opened accounts will be able to use them to transfer funds to and from poker sites or not. Or for how long.

The player’s brain begins to fog up amid all of the contradictory information. How to act correctly, here? Currently ePassporte appears the most popular alternative left standing, but thanks to all the chaos I know I can’t play that hand confidently. It’s like after all the bad beats and crappy play, I get dealt something like AJ-off in middle position. What the hell do I do?

Luckily I’m not too concerned about the modest amount of cabbage I’ve currently got spread around those four sites on which I play. For the time being, though, I know I won’t be moving any of those moneys around (or to my bank account). Guess I’ll just sit here and keep playing.

Those alarms going off every few hours are damn distracting, though. You guys hear ’em, too? Are you able to concentrate . . . ?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its certainly getting very tough out there for you Yanks. If it continues this way I can see traffic on sites like Stars and FTP getting lower.
I might even end up having to play on euro-friendlier sites instead - which I have to admit are mostly awful to play at due to bad software.
Time to rebel and take down the government Shamus! :-)

1/22/2007 9:33 AM  
Blogger Swifty said...

Ever felt like you were a criminal?

Jeees.... :(

1/22/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey Shamus, Enjoyed your blog very much and have done a 1 paragraph write up on you in my latest 'linkage' post and added you to my blogroll.

Be great if you could link back when you have a minute.

Cheers, Mark

1/22/2007 4:56 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thanks, guys. Link added, Mark!

1/22/2007 8:57 PM  

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