Posts Tagged ‘DOJ’

Instapoker

by , Jul 31, 2012 | 3:09 pm


Today’s Boxscore

Greg Raymer $71,875 – HPT Route 66 Main Event
David Allan NZD$110,600 – ANZPT Snowfest Main Event
Dan Sun $77,103 – BLUFF MSPT Meskwaki Main Event


All hail our new PokerStars overlords. As Dan posted earlier (and you’d have to be living in a cave or passed out to not have noticed), PokerStars reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to pick up Full Tilt assets in exchange for backing up a dump truck full of cash. This opens the door for Stars to pay out FTP bankrolls, reopen Full Tilt for play, and take over the online poker world.

Stars stated they will release bankrolls for non-US players within 90 days but US players will need to go through the DoJ to collect. This might open up a huge can of crap for players but it’s a step in the right direction.

Official DoJ document regarding US player funds: Regulations Governing the Remission or Mitigation of Civil and Criminal Forfeitures (PDF format)


With all the online news, the latest Heartland Poker Tour champion is pushed below the fold. They wrapped up their 200th episode and none other than 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer captured the title. HPT could not have asked for a better result coming through their Epic disaster and new ownership. Allen “Complainsaw” Kessler, Kathy Liebert, and former HPT champion Rob “veeRob” Perelman we also part of the 131 player field.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day 1 – Understated by Poker Stars

Tweet of the Day 2 – Todd Terry has lost his damn mind. Why stop at thanking the DoJ? Why not thank Bill Frist, Jon Kyl and everyone else who sat on their hands while UIGEA was rammed through Congress?


PokerStars FAQ for Full Tilt Players – Almost everything you want to know as a player on FTP including turning the lights back on within 90 days. Also, thanks but no thanks to France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia.

A Statement by Nolan Dalla – It’s great to see Nolan Dalla back to writing on his site (plus using Twitter!) and here’s his take on the Full Tilt/Poker Stars news. Now if he would just change the white text/dark background format so my retinae don’t burn out.

Poker Community Reacts to PokerStars-Full Tilt Poker Deal – Thanks to BLUFF for saving me the time to collect the Twitter reactions to the news. They also have comment from Blair Hinkle, who has $1.15million locked up on Tilt, plus statements from the PPA and Ray Bitar.

U.S. Department of Justice Requests Settlement Agreement with Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet – Oh yeah, now what about the Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker fire sale and player funds? Lost in the big news seems to be the DoJ reaching a settlement agreement with UB/AP to dump their assets to pay back players. That should get them a solid $3.50 to divide between everyone.


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Full Tilt Victims to Get Back Money

by , | 8:42 am

It’s all moving … Nelson Burtnick landing at Newark airport to surrender, and the DOJ puts out their word just before lunchtime across the river in New York City. Full Tilt players will have the chance to be reunited with their beloved bankrolls … all thanks to the fine and awesome work of our Department of Justice in the United States of America. Phew, now everything can return to normal, lol.

Details will be everywhere, for sure … so pick your slant and poison — whether it’s 2+2, Diamond Flush, Gambling 911, Twitter or whatever. The PokerStars spin machine got ahead of the game first with their version of near-billion-dollar events.

Read below for what the most powerful Preet Bharara DOJ has to say about it all:

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Signed, Sealed, and Undelivered

by , Jul 30, 2012 | 6:14 pm

Just when the poker masses had all but given up on the latest rumor about PokerStars settling with the DOJ … In just a few sentences published early on Friday in Poker Player Newspaper, Wendeen Eolis threw fuel on smoldering embers of hope for those still dreaming of someday seeing monies attached to Full Tilt Poker.

And though some are beginning to doubt yet again after more than one full business day, Wendeen’s assertion that Stars had indeed settled with the DOJ, and that Full Tilt players will be paid back in full (and rather soon!) was enough to make this rather vocal skeptic do a double-take and re-think. I know Wendeen chooses her words carefully, and she wouldn’t move in like this without the goods unless she has gone completely off her rocker — a possibility she addresses in a follow-up PPN update.

So while the poker world awaits some semblance of official word … I‘m gathering up $60 to pay off a few possibly lost bets, as I’ve had probably a 170-degree POV flip — and now see a DOJ vs. Online Poker endgame that might-could actually include PokerStars resolving its civil matters at the same time Full Tilt and UB players get made whole!

Probably a good time to put out the disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer but … Even though I still see the notion of criminal indictee #1 buying his freedom by offering to take the assets of criminal indictee #3 off the government’s hands for a fire-sale price as rather ridiculous, here’s some recent DOJ-SDNY hand history that I believe supports what Wendeen might be suggesting:

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Instapoker

by , Jul 26, 2012 | 11:34 am

Another guilty plea related to “Black Friday” and another stint in jail. This time it was Ira Rubin finally hearing the wrath of U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan after pleading guilty in January to “money laundering, bank and wire fraud, and gambling offenses“. He was expected to receive 18-24 months in Federal lockup, but instead got the nice round number of 3 years.

As quoted by Bloomberg, Kaplan told Rubin “You are an unreformed conman and fraudster.”

Ray Bitar must be questioning why he didn’t follow the Scott Tom and Isai Scheinberg strategy of staying the hell out of Dodge. I hear Dublin is lovely this time of year. I’m far from an expert but I have to think if a payment processor received 3 years, then the bigwigs at FTP/UB/Stars would have to be looking at some decent time.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Must have been a slow (non)news day for the “entities” or they are just going to pick this carcass to the bone.

Opinion: PokerStars to Acquire PokerNews.com – Interesting Op/Ed from Matt Showell at PokerListings about a potential PokerNews/PokerStars buyout. He brings up some good points concerning one of the biggest poker “media” sites going from affiliate to shill. True unbiased poker reporting is a rare thing and this is a big test for those media sites who dined mostly on affiliate fees in the past.

Nevada Online Poker Affiliates Will Need Licenses – So you make a bunch of money as an affiliate for an online gaming site? If Nevada has it’s way, you’ll need a license to operate along with the $3,000 application fee and the ability to withstand an investigation from The Man. Or at least that’s how I read it.

Zynga: Closer to Real-Money Online Poker? – Zynga’s stock takes a dump and CNBC.com posts a story about the company investigating the possibility of real-money poker games on their platform. The most shocking part of the article? CNBC name checks Gambling911.

Pinnacle Entertainment Announces Positive Earnings, Plans to Expand Heartland Poker Tour – Pinnacle had a good second quarter but more importantly (for a lot of people I know), they have plans to expand rather than contract their newly purchased Heartland Poker Tour. No one wanted to see the HPT get completely jack just because they were introduced to Jeffery Pollack, and it now looks like they were bought by a company looking to help them improve. Pinnacle properties seem to fit nicely into the HPT philosophy.

Winstar Casino “Play Big” – Since the WSOP has wrapped up, it’s become tough to find interesting videos. When in doubt, put up something with Maria “SEOGold” Ho. This commercial has too much Raymer, not enough Ho.


Ray Bitar Arrested

by , Jul 2, 2012 | 11:24 am

Leave it to Full Tilt Poker to steal thunder from all the attention going to the One Drop million-dollar buy-in tourney … after all, it’s gotta sting the creators of the Onyx Cup to see such a realization of their vision done bigger and better and with no Full Tilt patches anywhere near the TV cameras.

According to Forbes, Ray Bitar, the stubbornly semi-apologetic CEO of Full Tilt, has been arrested in New York after turning himself in to federal authorities. The Feds have added criminal charges to those levied against him April 15, 2011, based on false statements made to players about their funds as he and others continued to deplete Full Tilt accounts for personal gain … allegedly.

The superseding indictment said, “In effect, Full Tilt Poker operated what was, by then, nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.” So they have softened their language to say not that FTP was a Ponzi scheme … but it was like one. That actually, seems kinda true … when you think of all the poker benefits afforded certain Team Full Tilt pros by using player funds unbeknownst to them.

You can only imagine, too, that while Full Tilt got kinda pissed when PokerStars paid back all their players, Stars has to be kinda pissed as they face another reminder that DOJ settlements don’t come when wanted criminals — their words, not mine — are on the lam and running multinational companies that compete with the Caesars Empire.


Sentencing Delay for Brent Beckley

by , May 19, 2012 | 6:46 pm

An order has hit the docket in the Black Friday prosecutions in New York. In it, Judge Lewis Kaplan indicates that the court will consider an upward adjustment in Mr. Beckley’s sentence on the ground of “an aggravating circumstance.” What does this mean?

In Mr. Beckley’s plea agreement, the government and he agreed that his U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range was 12-18 months’ imprisonment for both of the counts to which he pleaded guilty, meaning that it would not be unreasonable to expect that his custodial sentence would fall somewhere in the range of 12-18 months. However, these are only guidelines; the court has the power to take into account circumstances that it believes have not been adequately covered by the sentencing guidelines. In this case, the applicable guideline places a premium on “the reasonably foreseeable pecuniary harm” to the bank under the plea to the bank fraud conspiracy count. From a reading of the order’s text, the government is “not in a position to establish pecuniary harm.” However, Judge Kaplan states that the defendant “conspired to circumvent, and circumvented, governing laws of the United States in order to conduct or facilitate an unlawful business or businesses involving billions of dollars from which those businesses gained many millions of dollars.” The judge is concerned that the guideline’s heavy emphasis on loss might not result in an “appropriate” sentencing range and, therefore, appears to believe that an upward departure may be warranted in Mr. Beckley’s case.

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PokerStars to Save the Day?

by , May 9, 2012 | 2:02 pm

You hear a lotta stuff … ok, maybe not so much now without 2+2 … but regardless, I go to our Manhattan-based pal Wendeen in matters of DOJ vs. Full Tilt/PokerStars et al … and sure, even though I was all over so-called poker radio screaming that there wasn’t a chance the supposed GBT/Full Tilt bailout plan would go through, Pokerati was just spouting on “instinct” and maybe “hunch” while Wendeen was collecting actual data to either confirm or deny various pieces of the ongoing online poker saga unfolding in her SDNY back yard.

Check out her latest in Poker Player Newspaper — Full Tilt Creates Drama at PokerStars. Wendeen doesn’t seem as willing as I am to flat-out scoff and pshaw at any suggestion that PokerStars could swoop in and “save” Full Tilt (while saving itself for less than a billion) … but she does provide more facts to put any emerging hubbub in context — including some rather interesting narrative about PokerStars’ designs on going public and American banking giant Morgan Stanley’s interest in online poker sites prior to Black Friday.

A good companion piece of reading is DiamondFlush’s GBT post-mortem, which includes the email Laurent Tapie sent to his extended inside circle, giving not only his presumably honest perception of the deal as it went afoul, but also insights into some of the hard, painful numbers in play.


Flashbacks, Memories, and Lessons Learned

by , Apr 16, 2012 | 5:35 am

Yesterday marked the anniversary of online poker’s Black Friday. Anyone who ever clicked a raise button remembers the fateful day, and many are reminiscing about how their world changed on April 15, 2011.

Here’s a best-of list of links, tweets and general brooding from over the weekend:

The cold anniversary was, of course, trending on Twitter Twitter hashtag #BlackFriday … From Ben Lamb wondering if anyone would tweet about it to Dan Fleyshman posting this sad picture http://instagr.am/p/JcjU9BJT1C/

The legal landscape

Reminding people they really do represent the players (especially since Black Friday) the PPA urged them to continue to contact their political representatives. http://www.lvrj.com/business/poker-lobbying-group-marks-black-friday-anniversary-147424325.html

As legislators grapple with the future of online poker, Nevada officials want to host the first legal sites. http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/13127-black-friday-the-day-that-changed-online-poker

Poker affiliates reflected on lessons learned since being forced to admit that the whims of authorities are a legitimate risk for anyone doing business in a legally gray world. http://www.casinoaffiliateprograms.com/blog/black-friday-lessons-learned/

On the casino side, Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, pushed for amendments to the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that would “unambiguously eliminate illegal Internet gambling.” http://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releases/statement-on-the-anniversary-of-black-friday

And FairPlay USA has Greg Raymer reminding you to sign their petition while former FBI Director Louis Freeh cites the anniversary of Black Friday as a call for federal action and continue the fine worl of the DOJ. http://fairplayusa.com/blog/fairplayusa%E2%80%99s-judge-louis-freeh-statement-black-friday-anniversary

Meanwhile, lawyers of all stripes took note, with a new class-action lawsuit filed against Full Tilt filed just before any anniversary parties. 
http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/13/45602.htm

Thanks for the memories, DOJ

QuadJacks.com did a special anniversary live podcast, which included “original Black Friday audio.” Ah, the memories.
http://quadjacks.com/poker-radio/

Short-stacked Shamus gives a thorough write-up of the drama to that would befall so many in different ways. http://betting.betfair.com/poker/poker-news/black-friday-one-year-later-130412.html

The folks at Poker News compiled tweets from the dreadful day, including Doyle Brunson’s best tweet: “Now maybe we will see if these online ‘superstars’ can play real poker. Ante up suckers!”  http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/04/black-friday-chronicles-twitter-reactions-12451.htm

Wicked Chops Insider talked with poker industry leaders about where they were when they heard the news for an oral history of that fateful day (worthy of free distribution). http://insider.wickedchopspoker.com/543/an-oral-history-of-black-friday/

Many pros, like Shane Schleger here, had to share their thoughts and perspective from a day they won’t forget. http://shaniaconline.blogspot.com/2012/04/black-friday-one-year-later.html

Like a moment frozen in time, here’s the original 2+2 Black Friday thread, which received more than 6,000 replies in the first 3 days: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/reuters-full-tilt-poker-pokerstars-absolute-poker-charged-illegal-gambling-1020606/#post26050483

The guys at pokerfuse.com produced a bomb-ass timeline, tracking all the major events since that dark day, including their own birth. http://pokerfuse.com/features/in-depth/one-month-black-friday-timeline/

Michael Gentile, a former online pro, interviewed Poker Players Alliance board member Patrick Fleming to (re)assess the online poker legal landscape in the US. http://pokerfuse.com/features/in-depth/us-legal-landscape-one-year-after-black-friday/

Here’s another sharp timeline at PokerStrategy.com. http://www.pokerstrategy.com/news/world-of-poker/One-Year-Since-Black-Friday:-The-Complete-Timeline_58551/

And another by-the-minute timeline at PokerNews.com. http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/04/the-black-friday-timeline-one-year-without-online-poker-12445.htm

Poker still has a future

A bunch of pros, like Matt Waxman, told PokerStrategy.com that this year’s WSOP Main Event should hold steady. “It’s like so prestigious and like world renowned, you know, so everybody’s gonna just make it out cause this is the one tournament that like if you’re the guy who plays the nightly home game for 100 bucks, you’re gonna splurge your 10k just so you can play in the main event,” he said. Like riiiight. http://www.pokerstrategy.com/news/world-of-poker/Daily-Rewind-Black-Friday-Anniversary,-New-Gambling-Film,-WSOP-2012-Thoughts_58570/

CalvinAyre.com looked at the companies “making noise” about bringing online poker back to the United States. http://calvinayre.com/2012/04/15/poker/how-to-make-it-in-america/

QuadJacks put out a new music video by Sonny Caine and Dennis Rybaczewski (DRybes) to inspire a little hope for the future.

And our own Dan Michalski summarizes it all as simply a “big, industry changing day” in All In – The Poker Movie, which is available April 24, 2012, on iTunes. http://mashable.com/2012/04/13/online-poker-black-friday/


Media Named as Co-conspirator in Calvin Ayre Indictment

by , Mar 4, 2012 | 4:18 pm

When Calvin Ayre got indicted this past week, some were wondering what took so long … because if the DOJ couldn’t nab the brashest of online gambling kingpins (Bodog did sports-betting for chrissakes!) then there had to be a formula — a legal-enough way to run an online gambling empire while steering clear of America’s internet police.

Stu notes that the investigation leading to Bodog’s shutdown wasn’t singular in scope, and asks who might be next on the DOJ’s hit-list. The answer to that question, I believe, is in the indictment itself — and though they don’t name any magazine or website by brand, the DOJ does reveal that after more than five years of investigation they consider certain media part of a criminal conspiracy to facilitate illegal online gambling.

Read and decide for yourself on the not-so-subtle nuances of the DOJ-Maryland office’s carefully chosen words:

6.Through these communications, members of the conspiracy caused the media reseller to create and execute an advertising campaign to increase the participation by gamblers in the United States on the BODOG.com website.

7. Through these communications, members of the conspiracy caused the media reseller to send invoices to BODOG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP S.A., d/b/a BODOG.com. These invoices represented the costs and fees for the creation and execution of the advertising campaign.

8. Members of the conspiracy caused funds to be sent by wire from accounts located outside the United States to accounts located in the United States to satisfy the invoices sent by the media reseller. These wire transfers totaled more than $42 million during 2005 through 2008.

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Secrets of PokerStars Revealed?

by , Feb 15, 2012 | 3:15 pm

Check out Wendeen Eolis’ story over at Poker Player Newspaper, the Manhattan-based poker journo who apparently isn’t gonna let the young whippersnappers at Subject:Poker and QuadJacks bastardize the reality of what’s going on in her courtside stomping grounds as this DOJ vs. old-school online poker story unfolds.

Just last week Wendeen laid out why the supposed “Tapie Deal” isn’t taking shape the way many purport (didn’t someone say FTP-Europe would be up and running by now?) … and she follows that up with a little shameless expose on PokerStars and the cloak of secrecy covering many of their operations — modus operandi she contends became the norm for a company that couldn’t at once be biggest in the world while still trying to fly beneath various legal radars.

From PPN:

Reports from current and former employees, consultants, business partners, Team Pro players, and media brought many verified vignettes that highlight the secretiveness of the company. The various accounts share a common theme; they all indicate a core value of camouflage that permeates so many of the company’s significant initiatives.

Yeesh, happy Valentine’s Day to someone!

Also extra-fascinating is a part of her story suggesting that PokerStars’ efforts to get poker declared a game of skill could be what does them in, financially, because of European tax laws.


Zynga’s Semi-Bluff?

by , Jan 26, 2012 | 4:14 pm

Play-money poker giant Zynga hinted last week that it conceivably could enter the real money gaming world (i.e. gambling).

The Facebook-facing poker site’s interest might seem reasonable in light of the Department of Justice’s recent re-interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act, limiting the scope of its prohibitions to sports betting. But there is also a more cynical interpretation of Zynga’s announcement.

With its stock price languishing after its initial public offering, Zynga needed a growth storyline that shareholders might believe. I could write more about why Zynga’s announcement may be more of a semi-bluff than a made hand, but an online gaming insider has done that already. Bill Rini asks Zynga Ready For Real Money Gaming or Trying to Hide Failures? 


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Steve Wynn in Partner Spat over Asian Pursuits

by , | 2:29 pm

Shares of Wynn Resorts tumbled on January 12 when it came out that a Wynn director and major shareholder had filed a lawsuit against the casino company. Turns out Kazuo Okada, one of Steve Wynn’s original partners, is claiming the company made a questionable $135 million donation to the University of Macau and hasn’t been sharing its financial information with him. Reuters has a nice write-up here.

The veiled implication is Wynn’s sizable donation might have been less than philanthropic — bordering on a “pay to play” ante to retain favor in the world’s most lucrative gaming destination. (The competing Las Vegas Sands’ Macau operation is currently under DOJ and SEC scrutiny for possible infringement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as referenced here in a Wall Street Journal blog.)

Wynn claims Okada’s lawsuit is just a smoke screen to mask the fact that Okada had been working behind Wynn’s back to develop a casino in the Philippines. You can read all the tawdry details in A Partners’ Fight Erupts at Wynn.

How will it end? Perhaps better than Steve Wynn’s marriage. After all, Wynn recently told the press, “I love Kazuo Okada as much as any man that I’ve met in my life.”

Wynn shares have since recovered from the drama at the start of January, but still have a ways to go in 2012 before reaching 2011 highs.


Executive Exodus: PokerStars CEO Campos Is Out

by , Jan 16, 2012 | 8:14 am

Too Soon? PokerStars is proud to announce that this has never happened on any PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

PokerStars may be without a CEO for the time being, as Gabi Campos, who assumed the chief executive position in 2010, reportedly is no longer big boss of the largest real-money online poker site in the world. While it’s not quite clear who told whom to eff off (and Stars has yet to put out a press release insisting all is hunky-dory) … if confirmed, Campos’ ouster/skeedaddling marks the fourth major executive departure at PokerStars since Black Friday.

First to be disappeared (amid some controversy) was veteran EPT Tournament Director Thomas Kremser in May; then last month, EPT founder John Duthie left. And now supposedly Jeffrey Haas, top dog at Global Poker Tours Limited (parent company for PokerStars live events) has been, er … moved on. (Haas’s LinkedIn page lists GPTL as “Past” … and “Director of New Platforms, Mobile & Social Gaming for Pokerstars.com” as current — sounds like “big-money suit demoted to glorified blogger” to me, but hey!)

UPDATE: Interestingly, Campos’ LinkedIn-from-Israel doesn’t list PokerStars as a past or present employer … says he his now working for 888-subsidiary Dragonfish, which we know, of course, in 2010 became an online partner to the WSOP.

What if anything might be behind this extended shakeup on the international live tournament poker scene is hard to say. Read Wendeen Eolis’ report in Poker Player Newspaper here.

Despite Black Friday, PokerStars has maintained its position as the world’s biggest, arguably most important, and possibly most highly regulated and therefore internationally legitimate online poker site. (And they set a Guinness World Record to boot!)

The US Department of Justice, meanwhile, maintains that PokerStars’ success was built on the ill-gotten gains of an illegal enterprise with ties to organized crime … and their founder is still, according to the DOJ, the #1 most wanted online poker criminal.


Absolute Poker Owner Pleads Guilty, Expects Prison

by , Dec 21, 2011 | 3:01 am

My bad: Brent Beckley, guilty of online poker.

DOJ prosecutors keep moving up their ladder of bad guys in the unlawful internet gambling case against Isai Scheinberg et al. Brent Beckley, the 31-year-old father of two and a co-owner of Absolute Poker, told a Manhattan judge he did indeed lead a company that deceived US banks to circumvent US law, and acknowledged conspiring with others to commit bank and wire fraud. Beckley will likely serve 12-18 months in prison as part of a plea agreement, Reuters and the New York Times report.

This probably doesn’t bode well for other Black Friday defendants who face more severe charges and still haven’t stepped foot into US court. Though I haven’t seen actual documents on this one yet (readers please feel free to send a link or pdf), I’d be willing to bet (on this-here internet?) that the plea deal does not cut Beckley any slack because Absolute Poker patches said “dot net”.


In Brief: Legal Biznass

by , Dec 8, 2011 | 6:26 pm

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]