Is Poker Back Online in the U.S.?

I know, I know – What does poker have to do with finance or rewards maximization?

Not much.

But, keeping the Finance Punk name pure, I consider poker a game of skill. This means that it is possible to gain an edge over other players and see a positive ROI over time [thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of hands].

6 Years Ago:

April 15, 2011 is known as “Black Friday” to online poker players because on that day the United States governments decided that online poker sites were operating in direct violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. So, the big poker sites [PokerStars, Party Poker, 888] stopped allowing players from the United States on their real money sites.


No regulated, real money, online poker in the U.S. is pretty much still the case due to various laws and territory agreements.

But, recently, a new online poker platform opened up available to those in the United States and Canada that allows U.S. and Canadian citizens to play online poker for real money.

For now, is operating under a loophole that allows players to play online poker for real money and cash-out to PayPal.

Basically, you aren’t playing for real money. Instead you are playing with “Gold Coins” and “$weeps Cash.” You can buy “Gold Coins,” which are similar to PokerStars play money, with PayPal and play in what are essentially play money tournaments.

The loophole comes in with the $weeps Cash. When you buy $5 worth of Gold Coins [for example] you will get $5 in $weeps Cash. This $weeps Cash can be used to play poker on their website and it can be cashed out at a 1:1 ratio for USD into a PayPal account.

You are buying a valueless video game currency [just like you can buy power-ups in CandyCrush or similar games] and they are “giving you” the $weeps Cash as a bonus or a gift or sample or whatever they have to call it to make it into a scenario where you are NOT playing poker online for real money.

How long will it last?

I can’t imagine this is going to last [at least in its current state] long for a couple reasons:

  1. Particularly beneficial to Finance Punks, these Gold Coins/$weeps Cash vouchers can be bought with a credit card through PayPal.
    • In other words, this is an opportunity for those in the rewards maximization business to manufactured spend without leaving their computer chair – buy cash equivalent [gold coins/$weeps Cash vouchers], get rewards points, and cash out into PayPal, and finally pay off credit card with the cash originally bought
    • These manufactured spend opportunities usually get closed fast but add gambling onto it and it should be like gas to a fire.
  2. They are operating in a huge online poker market [United States] that the big poker sites [PokerStars, 888, Party Poker] have been trying to get back into [legally] since Black Friday.
    • Either the U.S. government is going to shut them down on their own for trying to exploit this loophole
    • Or the big Poker Sites are going to get them shut down by lobbying against them

Why is this in the Finance category?

The main reason is because I had to select a category.

The other reason is because I think I am a winning player [at least at micro stakes] so, if the website is legitimate, I should see a positive return on investment.

Let’s Gamble and Call it an Investment:

The name is Finance Punk after all.

I deposited $5 right away and have turned it into $15 after about an hour of $0.05/$0.10.

The next step is to make sure I can cash out and then the real fun starts.

Let’s see if I can turn $100 into $1,000 this month playing low stakes online poker.

I’ll update this post as I go.

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