It's been a strange year for poker especially online poker with the industry turned upside down on Black Friday. Online poker traffic has decrease by 31% as a result of an unstable US market.
Not all online poker rooms suffered a loss in traffic, CarbonPoker and Merge Gaming Network experienced an increase of traffic up to 76%.
Notable Poker players for 2011 include: Erik Seidel new leader on the poker all time money list, Phil Hellmuth, Ben Lamb (Player of the Year) and Pius Heinz (2011 World Series Of Poker Main Event Champion)
Read more for the top poker articles and major event winners of Poker 2011.
2011 WSOP Main Event
Pius Heinz, 22 year old German player wins the first title and bracelet for Germany. The final heads-up match featured European players Pius Heinz verses Martin Staszko, Ben Lamb (Player of the Year) was eliminated in 3rd place. Read more about the 2011 WSOP Main Event.
NBC Heads-Up Poker Champion 2011
Erik Seidel aka Seiborg has been on the top of his game in 2011 achieving top spot in the poker all time money list after winning the 2011 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship which pushed his earnings to more than $4.2 million for the year. Read the full story - NBC Heads-Up Poker Champion 2011
Phil Hellmuth - Year of 2nd place
Phil Hellmuth misses his 12th bracelet this year but settles for 2nd place in three 2011 World Series of Poker tournaments:
- Event 16 - 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No Limit)
- Event 33 - Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship
- Event 55 - The Poker Player's Championship
Cashing more than $1.5 million in 2011 WSOP events, read more about Phil Hellmuth WSOP 2011.
Poker room technology increased drastically in 2011 with poker web cam tables and customizable private tournaments becoming available to players. Pokerstars Home Games allows players to create their own private poker clubs and schedule their own poker tournaments or cash games with their friends.
888Poker Lounges also allows players to create their own private cash games or tournaments to play against family and friends, but takes it one step further with an option to use web cams instead of avatars on the table.
Black Friday Poker
On the Friday 15th April 2011 the poker industry was turned upside down when the top 3 poker US Poker rooms PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and UltimateBet Poker were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling in the US and their poker site domain names were seized by the DOJ and FBI.
PokerStars managed to work out a deal with the DoJ which included refunding US players within two weeks.
Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker issued a statement providing more insight on why USA Poker players have not yet been paid.
The Full Tilt Poker Black Friday statement explains that prior to Black Friday the government had seized player funds from American banks amounting to $115 million over the last two years. An online payment processor company have also stolen about $42 million causing even more financial difficulties for the company and were currently looking for new investors to save the company.
Full Tilt Poker secured an investor but still had their gaming license revoked by the AGCC (Alderney Gambling Control Commission). The new French investor Groupe Bernard Tapie group plan to work with the DOJ to return players funds and continue operating outside of the US market. FullTiltPoker still remains closed for the remainder of 2011.
Online Poker 2012
There have been a few breakthroughs in the last week of 2011 with the Department of Justice admitting that the Wire Act only applies to sportsbetting. The current debate is intrastate online poker which has already been approved in Nevada, US players will be limited to playing against players in their state.