Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mansion Departs U.S. Poker Market

In the early hours of Tuesday, States time, Mansion Poker removed its poker services from the U.S. market, citing the usual UIGEA-themed stuff. U.S. players logging on to their accounts discovered that those accounts were locked, resulting in something looking like this, on their screens:

The handwriting was on the wall for this one a week ago, when Mansion removed the ability for U.S. card sharks (heh!) to deposit into their accounts. After doing the Member Services thing, U.S. players are still allowed by Mansion to access their accounts and initiate withdrawals or transfer their monies to non-U.S. players. Last time I checked, I had 64 cents in my account, and Mansion can have it, just for hanging around as long as they did.

Clearly, any online firm that is a combinations sportsbook/poker room is in a ticklish situation right now, and while at least one other such company continues --- as recently as yesterday --- to affirm its continuing U.S. presence in very real ways, I think that keeping massive amounts in such a room is a bit foolhardy. Poker should be enjoyable and for discretionary income only, so if you've got $2,000 online when you're only playing $2.20 sit-'n'-goes, give it a rethink.

I haven't received final word yet on the fate of Mansion's Poker Dome, which continues its own crescendo to a March 27th finale, should the plug not get pulled in the meantime. While there are scenarios under which that show could continue beyond this current year, one wonders if having the thing in Vegas remains such a great idea. Kudos to Mansion, for if nothing else, daring to dream big.

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