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Ousted financial processors hurt Sunday tournament numbers

23 January 2007

PokerStars lost 12 percent of their Sunday Million crowd and Full Tilt Poker failed to meet their guarantee in the first weekend following NETeller's U.S. withdrawal.

January was shaping into the largest month in online tournament-history for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker until American players lost most of their depositing options last week.

Citadel, INSTAdebit and several other e-wallets left the U.S. after NETeller co-founders Stephen Lawrence and John LeFebvre were arrested and charged with money laundering.

The 6,742 who participated in last weekend's the Sunday Million helped PokerStars easily pass their guarantee, but the numbers were the Web site's lowest figures since early December.

It was the first time PokerStars experienced a non-holiday decline in players since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act became law.

Since President Bush signed the UIGEA into law, PokerStars has seen a 24 percent increase in Sunday Million players.

Before the arrests, PokerStars drew two consecutive record-breaking crowds on Jan. 14 and Jan. 7 of 7,632 players and 7,129 players.

Despite competing with the NFL playoffs, PokerStars generated nearly $3 million for the two weekends and the Jan. 14 PokerStars Sunday Million was the largest non-special event tournament in online history.

The e-wallet exodus from the U.S. also hit Full Tilt Poker hard. The online poker room was hosting its first $750,000 monthly tournament and posted a $60,000 overlay.

The non-holiday overlay was Full Tilt's first since the World Series of Poker last summer.

Full Tilt has been one of the primary beneficiaries of Party Poker's exit from the U.S. increasing Sunday guaranteed numbers by 119 %.


Mucking McLane
Ousted financial processors hurt Sunday tournament numbers is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.