Full Tilt Pokerstars No USA Players - US Online Poker Sites Shut Down

If you're a US poker player, take note: the two largest online poker sites, Pokerstars and Full Tilt shut down recently to U.S. residents. This means that no USA players are accepted at Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars.com as of April 15, 2011.

The online poker sites closed after the Manhattan US Attorney's office announced charges aimed at the owners of Full Tilt and two other poker sites. 11 men, including the founders of Full Tilt and Pokerstars, are alleged to have committed bank fraud and money laundering, among other things.

Where Can USA Players Play Poker Online? Are All US Poker Sites Shut Down?

No. Only Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker shut down for USA players. There are still numerous online poker sites accepting US players. When PokerStars & Full Tilt Poker closed, it certainly created a void in the poker landscape; however this void is sure to be filled soon by any number of smaller rooms vying for American traffic. The poker rooms listed below accept all US players and are unaffected by the "online poker sites shut down" in April 2011.

Why Were the Online Poker Sites Shut Down?

In a press release, US Attorney Preet Bharara asserts that "these defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits." Bharara also claimed that the defendants "engaged in massive money laundering and bank fraud."

The FBI seized five internet domain names as a result of these charges, including fulltiltpoker.com. Players who attempt to visit the Full Tilt website will find an FBI logo in place of legitimate Full Tilt content.

Soon after its domains were seized, Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars shut down its real money games to US-based players. Those playing real money games at the time found themselves unable to re-join games after exiting the poker client.

As of right now, no USA players are accepted at Full Tilt for real money play, nor can they join Pokerstars. When or if the two poker sites will re-open to Americans is unknown at this time.

Can USA Players Sign Up at Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars?

No, USA players cannot sign up for real money games at either of the sites. Full Tilt and Pokerstars are closed to US players, whether its sign ups, free money games or real money games. Given the severity of the charges against Full Tilt and the Pokerstars founders, the site has decided to withdraw from the US market entirely.

Some US players claim they are unable to open the poker clients following a recent software update. This is speculated to be a move by the two sites to prevent US players from accessing the software entirely.

Can USA Players Deposit at Either Site?

No, USA players with existing Full Tilt Poker accounts or Pokerstars accounts will not be able to make deposits any time soon. The FBI has essentially frozen over 75 bank accounts in 14 different countries that were associated with Full Tilt Poker, Pokerstars and its payment processors. This means that the two poker sites capacity to process transactions in the United States is severely limited at this time.

Can USA Players Withdraw from Pokerstars or Full Tilt?

It is extremely difficult to withdraw from either poker site at this time. American players would do well to assume that their ability to process payments in the US is crippled, and that funds might be tied up on the site for a while.

Online poker forums are full of reports from players claiming that cashout attempts from Full Tilt have been futile. Most players' withdrawal requests are simply denied. Some players reported having approved cashouts retroactively declined hours later. Other players report being frozen out of the Full Tilt poker software entirely, thus unable to access their money.

Although the online poker rooms are closed for US players, Full Tilt and Pokerstars have released official statements claiming that US players' funds are safe and stored in a protected bank account. However, it seems players will have to wait indefinitely before these funds can be returned