Posts Tagged ‘IRS’

Full Tilt Poker Remissions Inch Forward at Snail-mail Pace

by , Nov 14, 2013 | 7:25 pm

If you had cash on Full Tilt shortly before Black Friday, you’ve got until this weekend to inform government contractors that you’d like your money back, please. Check out what I got in the mail recently from the poker world’s new-good friends at Garden City Group, who are handling Full Tilt remissions on behalf of the DOJ, whom you may or may not recall earmarked nearly $200 million of PokerStars money for paying back Full Tilt player/ponzi victims.


Curious though, their effort to contact me, as my email has been the same since I signed up in 2004 … and I’m almost certain I maintained a negative balance on Tilt ever since I stopped playing there in like ’09. (According to my records I was in the red for about $300, but hey, I’m standing in solidarity with Erick Lindgren; I called “not paying!”)

Presuming I didn’t unknowingly luckbox into some sorta secret errant money transfer, I think this postcard campaign reveals a GCG serious about covering various asses should someone and their lawyer(s) can come back later and claim ignorance when trying to get a piece of any FTP payout pie. Otherwise you gotta wonder … they didn’t have my email address — the one that just about everybody remotely connected to poker has? (You know, the one that has been the same ever since signing up with Full Tilt in ’04?) And yet they were able to track me down through a postal address that didn’t even exist for me or Pokerati until after Black Friday? It wasn’t anything I ever provided to Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Garden City Group, nor the DOJ, as far as I know. In fact, I could be wrong here, but I think the only federal agency that would have this address for me is the IRS.

Hmm … makes you wonder what kinda sit-n-gos the NSA really might be playing!

If you haven’t yet submitted your online poker DNA to Uncle Sam and you still want a chance at seeing your Full Tilt bankroll ever again, visit

Vegas Grinders: Cupcake Remission Stakes

by , Mar 14, 2013 | 4:12 pm

All I want is for you to love me like a Facebook friend.

We’re not just a 1-2 or 1-3-trick pony at Vegas Grinders … and to prove it we invite anti-Howard Lederer petitioner and middleweight grinder thug Nick diVella to report from the 5/10 and 10/20 NL tables at Aria, Bellagio, Wynn, and (sometimes) Venetian … just as we get word that the DOJ has launched a website to facilitate the repatriation of Full Tilt bankrolls.

Also … the Caesars Megabeat Jackpot hits at Planet Hollywood for $672k, paying off not just quad Queens < Queen-high straight flush, but also spreading a cool $2k around to 219 players in eight different poker rooms across Nevada. (Woot! It’s a casino party!) … But (sigh) what’s the point, really, when even Jerry Yang’s WSOP bracelet can end up on the auction block in an effort to pay off the IRS? With Dave boldly (and wrongly) folding pocket kings, good thing at least one of us finally took down a tournament FTW. Sure, it was just a little $45 tourney at the Stratosphere, but hey, don’t tell that to the 50 semi-grizzled players I bettered!

Vegas Grinders 1.5


Tax Court Ruling Favors Poker Pros

by , Apr 6, 2012 | 12:00 am

David in Dallas sends an FYI about a big ruling in Tax Court that should prove rather beneficial to poker players:

The key take-away is that poker losses are now deductible for professional gamblers beyond your profits, so you can carry them forward and backward to offset income in other years. You can file on Schedule C instead of Schedule A, which limits deductibility.

Of course, none of you probably have any losses to deduct, but it’s nice to know that you have the right anyway.

Wow. You know taxes and finance aren’t really my game, but if David’s correct, this reversal of interpretation seems nearly as big as the DOJ’s December flip on the Wire Act — microeconomic change poker players can believe in!? Even if my attachment of significance is a bit of a stretch, it probably was about time for the Feds to acknowledge that yes, they know now (after years of investigation), playing poker even semi-professionally comes with legitimate business expenses beyond your buy-in …but bummer for Dan personally, as losses suffered in the Pokerati game apparently are not deductible as marketing write-offs. (Crap, there goes my equity.)

Kinda a big step for poker players seeking a certain legitimacy for their profession. And who knew … “Tax Court,” it turns out, is a real place, not some reality show on Bravo or The Learning Channel.

A quick-and-dirty excerpt from the new issue of the (always-sexy) Journal of Accountancy that jumps right to the end for stuff that matters for poker players who at least occasionally find themselves reporting net-positive results is below:


Poker Player Tax Advice

by , Mar 26, 2012 | 7:35 am

With April 15 right around the corner, poker players are undoubtedly thinking about Black Friday Anniversary Parties remembering in the normal-people world that the real “Black Friday” isn’t until November, and oh crap, you mean federal income taxes weren’t just part of the tournament entry fee!?! And while there isn’t a blank specifically on a 1040 for seized funds or PokerStars T$, poker players (particularly those with online money in play) might-should presume they are being looked at more closely than ever for Fiscal 2011 — assuming, of course, you haven’t already been under full investigation and/or negotiated an IRS settlement as part of turning state’s evidence in the cases against your former poker-mates.

OK, before I over-insinuate: some news-you-can-use for poker players looking to play it straight with the Feds:

Attorney Brad Polizzano (aka @taxdood) has a series on PokerFuse about various tax matters pertinent to poker players — such as rakeback, staking agreements, and Form 8-Ben Lamb, I think it’s called?

And Theresa Fox (@TfoxCPAinc) talks taxable income on Strategy with Kristy n — tackling matters for anyone with gambling winnings in play, especially those that may have transpired in some capacity across international borders:


The National Bank of PokerStarzistan?

IRS says report your online bankroll as a foreign money account

by , Feb 24, 2009 | 8:33 am

With banking matters all over the place these days, the IRS reportedly investigating Russ Hamilton, and Barney Frank putting together a bill that would simply strike down the UIGEA as if it never happened, I gotta think, well … I really don’t know what to think. Though it seems major shifts are happening, global-economic finance is admittedly a little beyond my ken. But I’m trying to figure it out, and so far I’ve concluded that banks are clearly important, and anyone who handles the transfer of billions of imaginary dollars has major issues to attend to.

Brilliant, I know.

And actually, not even billions … just $10,000 or more. Apparently a new IRS rule has gone into effect that requires online poker players to treat their online accounts — PokerStars, Full Tilt, et al. — as offshore foreign bank accounts.

Yeow, that’s different. Sources who were winning players online tell me nothing more than a WG-2 was necessary before. Again, I’m not really sure what that means (or what enforcement mechanisms are in place) but do I know this change theoretically affects lots and lots of people and probably at least a few billion dollars. If I’m reading this tax expert right, basically, if all your money in all your accounts added up to $10,000 or more at any point in 2008, you have to file a special form (TD F 90-22.1, which goes to the Dept. of the Treasury, not the IRS) for these accounts, and the fine for not doing so is either $100,000 or half your bankroll, whichever is greater.

That sounds pretty tough. But maybe this is just what comes with the territory as G-men set up a framework for how these online piggy banks, er, poker sites have to work in the future? No word yet on whether or not you’ll ever be able to pay your taxes in PokerStars W$/T$ or Lindens.

Is Russ Hamilton about to Get Al Capwned?

IRS wants a word with excommunicated UB leader, too

by , Feb 9, 2009 | 5:31 pm

This is more than just Rumorati … it’s based on actual purported facts and second-hand semi-verified info:

Word is that the IRS has been in direct contact with at least two important and well-informed online pokerers who may or may not have important data on Russ Hamilton and the money stolen via Ultimate Bet. And this is not just some computer in Washington DC sending out form letters — there’s apparently a special agent in Nevada currently investigating the case.

What they’re interested in is 20 million untaxed dollars. And as is starting to get revealed since RawVegas went commando with their cameras, there is clearly more to this case than just an online poker cheating scandal and subsequent tax evasion … there could be some money laundering involved … which is kinda funny (not funny ha ha) because money laundering was one of the primary reasons given for the UIGEA … and now we have an example of how the law to prevent it may indeed have facilitated it.

I don’t know enough about how IRS investigations work to know what kind of teeth this thing really has — but I’d like to think that so long as the Feds keep an eye out for one-way tickets to Costa Rica by any R. Hamilton’s … in the end, one way or another, his fate is not going to be left in the hands of the Kahnawake.


by , Mar 31, 2008 | 12:28 pm

Sorry for the lack of personal postage last week and presumably this one … I have gotten caught up in the housing crisis and am moving again over the next couple days … even though I don’t know where yet. Seriously, housing crisis is very real here — our friends at The Poker Atlas were forced to relocate due to the house they were renting going into foreclosure; Rounder Club West got evicted from their digs a couple weeks ago because their landlord decided to desperately sell. When this sorta thing happens to three homes in an isolated niche, it can’t just be coincidental.

Anyhow, so yes, content … sorry for the lack thereof and sorry for the blog-cliche post about being sorry. There’s still plenty going on out there that the poker-minded populace shouldmaybe care about, regardless of my personal battle against homelessness.

As we know, the US is currently trying to figure out how to enforce the UIGEA — the AMERICAN BANKS say they can’t really do it — so now, instead of rewriting our own bad laws, we are pressuring the UK to change theirs.

And here’s an article about EL PASO’S rich gambling history
– underground or not — over the past 100+ years, starting with a mayor in 1895 known as “Poker Bob” Campbell.

A NEW BLOG (to me) I am now following semi-regularly: David Matthews’ Gambling in Space.

Through him, I learned about FRANK GAGLIARDI, a California Lottery winner who also likes to gamble and recently won his very relevant (to me and you) court case vs. the IRS:

If this case stands, then it could effectively rewrite tax law and make it easier for gamblers to report losses and more difficult for the IRS to go after gamblers.

BALLY TECHNOLOGY also won a pretty big case in court — against SHUFFLE MASTER, which up to this point has maintained an expensive stranglehold on the automatic shufflers you see in poker tables.

And CALIFORNIA JEN may have loved the poker mockumentary THE GRAND, but not everybody did.

Crap, that’s hardly everything, but I have to run …

RE: Pure Raided by IRS

by , Feb 25, 2008 | 4:27 am

Norm Clarke — kinda like the Alan Peppard of Las Vegas, with an eyepatch — has the inside poop on the IRS shakedown of Pure. Does this sound familiar … an industry making ridiculous amounts of money, tons of it going untaxed … so the Feds rough up one of the big ones to get the model of how things really work? What happens from there I’m not so sure. But it’s kinda like Neteller, right? Either that or a mid-level agent got turned away at the door and was pissed! Evidentiary text messages between door guys and unthankful bottle-whales included … can’t wait ’til a little Paris Hilton-sex-and-drugs emerges somewhere in the records.

Meanwhile, this week, Pure will be the site of the “drawing party” for the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship. I wonder what a doorman would say to anyone who slips him a twenty and asks for a receipt.

Pure Raided by IRS
I can’t seem to get away from the shadiness

by , Feb 21, 2008 | 3:37 pm

I used to do business with the underground poker rooms in Dallas. I use the phrase “do business” lightly, as it generally meant these guys were willing to front me a couple hundred bucks whenever I needed a rebuy, which may have just been good poker. Regardless, I decided to leave all those red chips behind to work for PartyPoker — one of the biggest companies in the UK until Uncle Sam threatened to imprison my new bosses if they didn’t get out of Dodge by sundown. Bummer.

So now I have moved to Vegas — follow, the legal money, baby! — and find myself writing about bars, shops, restaurants, nightlife, etc. (among other things – sign up if you already haven’t). Good times, right? Maybe … but PURE — the swanky, Batface-friendly nightclub immediately next door to the Caesar’s Palace poker room — just got raided last night by the IRS.

More from the LV Review-Journal here.

Wha? The Feds also hit the Pure offices … seizing computers, paperwork, and presumably DNA samples. Perhaps coincidentally — or not — all this comes less than 48 hours after Dubai World, the Middle Eastern company that invested $5 billion into MGM/Mirage, reportedly bought a 50 percent stake in the Light Group, the biggest nightclub confecture in the world.

Yeow. This apparent shakedown has to be about way more than drunken chicks from Nebraska pretending they are Paris Hilton and slutting it up for guys who can thumb their noses at $350 bottles of Red Bull-and-vodka. But then again, maybe not.

July 2007: Gavin Smith, partying like a rock star at Pure.