Playing Online Today in the USA

Playing online poker in the USA has been a tough gig ever since that fateful day in April 2011 otherwise known as "Black Friday" when the US Department of Justice seized the websites and assets of the "Big Three" (PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker) ostensibly 'outlawing' online poker stateside. And while things might be moving, slowly but surely, towards regulated play state by state, fully regulated online poker is still a ways off in the land of the free (irony) - so what are the options available to online players?

International Relocation

The route that many full time poker pros took was to take flight and relocate. Canada, Mexico, Malta, England, and Macau were just some of the places online pros flocked to in order to continue their careers. Many still remain overseas for a good chunk of the year (Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky) while others grew weary of being away from home and ended up back in the US (Brian "$tinger 88" Hastings, Joe "JoeIngram1" Ingram, Phil "MrSweets28" Galfond). Popular for a time, and certainly still a viable option, it really does seem however that US citizens seem less and less willing to go down this road.

Internal Relocation

This is definitely an option for players within the US who don't want to leave the country, and in fact a very good option for those who live close to one of the three (soon to be four) states who have already regulated online poker. If relocating to either New Jersey, Delaware, Las Vegas or Pennsylvania isn't too much of a bind then this is a good way to continue your online poker career in the USA, especially as moves are already being made for the regulated states to enjoy the benefits of shared player pool liquidity.

Non-regulated US facing sites

Of course playing on any site which is officially "unregulated" should be thoroughly vetted and researched before you part with your hard-earned cash, but remember that back in the glory days of online poker in the US (2007-2011) NONE of the sites were officially sanctioned /regulated by the US government and the market functioned extremely well. As long as you're vigilant, there really shouldn't be any problems playing on many of the US facing sites.

Factors such as longevity, trust, and reliable and quick cashouts are all things worth looking out for when you are choosing a US facing site. Intertops, for example, has been in the igaming business for over 21 years and was the first player in the market to offer poker, sportsbetting, and a casino from a single login. Intertops have also long been praised for their swift cashout procedure, with processing taking an average of just 48 hours. Lengthy cashout times have long been a nuisance for US players, and feedback would suggest that this is a core strength for Intertops.


While traffic may not be huge at Intertops, there are always decent games to play, with the added bonus of a relatively soft player pool. While the sharks may play at the bigger sites this leaves some very juicy action for those who stick around. Intertops poker is on offer to US residents in the vast majoriy of States, although sadly isn't available in Kentucky, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Missouri or Washington. Players in these states (barring New Jersey of course who offer regulated online poker) still have a wide selection of alternative sites to pick from, although once again be sure to do your homework before committing.

The Sweepstakes Model - Global Poker

Another very viable option for US players is the unique offering (in the online poker world at least) presented by Global Poker, currently the world's fastest growing poker site.

By using a Sweepstakes model, Global Poker have found a way to legally offer cash prizes at the online tables (both in ring games and tournaments) nationwide throughout the USA.

Global Poker sell "Gold Coins" which are used in the same was as play money would be on other sites. Although you don't win anything at the Gold Coin tables, players purchasing the coins are given bonus sweepstakes prizes - in this instance called "$weeps Cash". Players can then buy into ring-games and tournaments with $weeps Cash, and any winnings can then be withdrawn through PayPal as cash prizes.

Global Poker is growing at an exponential rate with plenty of $weeps Cash ring games playing up to SC$10/SC$20 regularly, as well as huge tournament series with seven-figure guaranteed prizepools. In fact Global Poker's latest tournament series "The Grizzly Games" which boasts an impressive $1.5m in $weeps Cash guaranteed began just a few days ago and will run through until 4th February for anybody wanting to give it a try.


Above: Global Poker's Grizzly Games run through until Sunday February 4th offering real cash prizes for players throughout the USA and Canada.

In fact, you can try it for free with a special $weeps Cash bonus if you join Global Poker here through HighstakesDB.

The Bottom Line

The determined player in the US will always find a way to make it happen. If online poker is your thing then we advise you to visit every site you can, check out the offers, the security, the reputation, the game types, and make sure you find the right fit for you to enjoy a rewarding and profitable time at the tables!


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