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U.S. Unregulated Poker Sites Update

Taking a look at the U.S.-facing online poker industry that operates without the safeguards afforded by regulation reveals a bit of interesting information, including an upcoming event that promises to make history. While players would no doubt rather be reading about the spread of regulation throughout the U.S., that remains a slow-moving process, so let’s point our attention today to U.S. poker sites that are not regulated.

Winning Millions at WPN

The Winning Poker Network (WPN) is hyping its $1 million guaranteed “Winning Millions” event on December 14 as the largest prize pool tournament for U.S. players since before Black Friday. The buy-in is $540 and satellites to the event are being hosted by WPN skins such as Black Chip Poker and Americas Cardroom.

WPN also made history of sorts when it hosted its first “The Cage” contest under a Pot-Limit Omaha format on the day before Thanksgiving. Popularity of the cash game played under a time clock with a $5,100 buy-in continues to decline, as only 23 players entered, resulting in a $115,000 prize pool.

That follows the first two No-Limit Hold’em versions of The Cage that drew 66 and 25 players, respectively. It seems interest in The Cage is waning and I’ll make the suggestion one more time – lower the entry fee considerably and this concept would likely do much better. The next event is set for December 10 as NLHE. I’m betting that less than 20 players take part.

Carbon Poker Frosty Freerolls

U.S. players not located in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware who love freerolls will be pleased to know that Carbon Poker on the Merge Network is running a “Frosty Freerolls” promotion for the entire month of December. One freeroll per day, each starting at 20:00, will put a combined $10,000 into player accounts by January 1.

Player points must be accumulated each day to gain eligibility. But the point totals needed are not very high, including only 1 point required for the Christmas freeroll that offers a $1,000 prize pool.

Some Carbon players are likely giving the site the cold shoulder after problems arose during the recent running of the Carbon Online Poker Series (OPS). You can read about the disaster here. It’s not much fun to be making your way through a tournament field, only to find a server crash has thwarted your efforts. And then getting a frosty answer from customer support about a refund.

Bovada Ups the Buddy-Buddy Ante

Bodog/Bovada continues to be the poker site of choice for U.S. players who don’t reside in a regulated state or haven’t left the country for Mexico, Costa Rica, or any of the other warmer climes where avid U.S. players have set up shop. Consistently within the top ten globally as reported by PokerScout, Bovada upped the ante on one of its standard promos in an effort to attract more players.

The Refer-a-Friend Bonus has been doubled at Bovada and is now worth 200% of your friend’s first deposit. But only up to $100. The amount of friends that you can coax to join is unlimited. Certainly nowhere near as lucrative as money earned acting as an affiliate, but it’s a bonus nonetheless.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.