The World Series of Poker main event has been a global attraction for almost a decade now, and the 2011 version was no different. Players came from all across the world to enter into the most prestigious event in poker.
This year, however, the strategy of the November Nine will be different than in the past. With the US enforcing their online gambling prohibition laws in recent months, online players have been left without an outlet to practice their craft.
Of the nine players remaining at the main event final table, three are Americans. Ben Lamb, Matt Giannetti, and Phil Collins all will have to travel either to their local casinos, or overseas, to practice for the main event finale, which resumes in November. Giannetti and Collins should have no problems finding a game, both being from Las Vegas.
Lamb, on the other hand, is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. That means that Lamb will be at a competitive disadvantage when play resumes, unless he finds a game where he can practice. A move to Las Vegas for a couple of months could be just what the doctor ordered for Lamb, who likely will be competing in major events between now and November.
Players such as Sam Holden, from the UK, and Eoghan O’Dea, of Ireland, can return home and resume their playing careers online. The UK has some of the most player-friendly laws regarding online gambling in the entire world. Pius Heinz, from Germany, can also enjoy online games at his leisure.
This is the first year that US players have had to deal with their favorite sites not allowing them in. PokerStars is usually deep into the negotiating stages with November Nine players by this point of the summer. Full Tilt Poker, which also signed players to endorsement deals, is not even operating anywhere around the world.
PokerStars and Full Tilt, along with Absolute Poker, were all indicted for their roles in the US online gambling industry. Millions of American players had money in these sites, and the players have yet to be paid back the money that was in their accounts. Full Tilt shut down, so unless they re-open, it is likely the US players will not receive their funds.