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Old 02-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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PokerStars: There and Back Again

I am posting this on behalf of another player.


First, a short introduction. Some of you may know who he is. He goes under the username Ricestud on PokerStars. Back in October of last year he was blocked from playing on PokerStars for using a VPN while he was traveling in the US. To clarify, he no longer lives in the US. He currently resides in Mexico. He was caught along with a multitude of other players for playing within the borders of the US. The worst that happened to the majority of the players that were caught was a seizure of their winnings. He received a lifetime ban on PokerStars. For the past 4 years, he has been supernova elite which mind you is no easy task to achieve. He was blocked and unblocked several times between October 2011 and February of 2012. As a supernova elite player, his time is very valuable. Supernova elite is a yearlong chase. You can’t just throw in the towel for a few months. He was upfront to PokeStars security when he was questioned about accessing the client while he was traveling in the US. How was he rewarded for his honesty? A 5 month blackout period where it was impossible to receive any sort of update on the status of his case. This past Friday he received what will most likely be the final email from Pokerstars:

Ricestud,
Thank you for you patience while we resolved your case. During the period of September 24th - 27th 2011 you have net winnings to the value of $x

However during the period of October 7th - 11th 2011 you had net losses to the value of -$x.

Your balance at the time was $x. After netting off you wins and losses this leaves you with a balance of $x to cashout.

As you were clearly advised at the time you relocated, play from the US is strictly prohibited by PokerStars. As you chose to ignore this warning, I am sorry to advise you that we will not be opening your account.

I apologise for the length of time it has taken to resolve this investigation and wish you all the best for the future.

Regards,

Ben J
Senior Manager - Marketing Security

I wanted to tell his story as a warning to others that they will ban even their most loyal and valued customers. He raked over 1.7 million vpps in 2011. To put that in monetary terms, that’s ~$309k. No one is immune from the PokerStars banhammer. Not even their most loyal customers.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

suks man but that makes sense
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Did he also know that it was against the T&C to use a VPN to play on PokerStars within the US?
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Guess that stars mean srs biznizz when it comes to people playing from the U.S..
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Wow that's gotta be $1 million+ in rake over 4 years. Why wouldn't he have just relocated immediately after BF or waited until this year and then go with the head start?

You have got to know that you're playing with fire and the DOJ bogging down your account if you're using a VPN. It's so not worth it, especially if you're playing SNE volume, even if all they do is confiscate your winnings and VPPs.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

No company in their right mind will make special "Favors" (allow them to break the law) to players just because they play there a ****load. It really doesn't matter who you are to them.. IMO it makes stars look better. Would be kinda shady if they made special arrangements for their SNE players.

Sucks for your friend but not sure what he expected..
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

How much money did he have taken away from him in his account?
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by JH1 View Post
Wow that's gotta be $1 million+ in rake over 4 years. Why wouldn't he have just relocated immediately after BF or waited until this year and then go with the head start?

You have got to know that you're playing with fire and the DOJ bogging down your account if you're using a VPN. It's so not worth it, especially if you're playing SNE volume, even if all they do is confiscate your winnings and VPPs.
He was one of the first to relocate.


The reason I made this thread was to correct a common misconception. That misconception is that their high tier VIPs receive 'special treatment'.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

bummer, break the rules, hammer drops. gg gl
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #10
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Angry Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

If it was a first time offense or someone who didn't know better, then I would say a lifetime ban was harsh, but as he was someone who relocated to play poker he should have known better.

In any event someone so desperate to play poker that they are willing to play via VPN from the US (on pokerstars no less who are easily the most strict with this) is not going to be deterred by a ban surely.

I'm willing to lay odds a family member is suddenly crushing on stars (or will be soon)
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #11
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

They had the choice to comply with their own rules concerning the treatment of people who play from the US in defiance of the T&Cs, or to risk more wrath from the DOJ.

How many VPPs do you think might be worth that kind of special teatment? Honestly, the notion that any one customer is important to such a large entity is delusional.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

PS is licking butt of the US DOJ at the moment, and I can't really fault them for it either; clearly the business decision has been made to try and cooperate as best they can, rather than making a principled stand.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craggoo View Post
I wanted to tell his story as a warning to others that they will ban even their most loyal and valued customers. No one is immune from the PokerStars banhammer. Not even their most loyal customers.
Thank you, but I think everyone already knows this would be the consequence if they did something so obviously totally unacceptable in the current difficult environment.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:02 PM   #14
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

It sucks for your friend, but being able to operate outside of the US (and potentially in it when/if legislation changes) obviously means a helluva lot more money than $300k or $1m or whatever he rakes.

They are def playing hardball on the VPN/US stuff.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #15
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Re: PokerStars: There and Back Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Haven View Post
Thank you, but I think everyone already knows this would be the consequence if they did something so obviously totally unacceptable in the current difficult environment.
I agree completely..it sucks BAD but if you are going to go to the expense of moving out of the country to set up shop and then do something so stupid when it is your lively-hood you are dealing with then you have to be out of your mind.

Sucks for sure but nothing else could possibly have been expected. I can't believe so many people have risked everything over deciding not to play while on US soil for a few days.
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