One year ago today, April 15th, as everyone finished submitting their taxes, drove to work coffee in hand, thinking of their spring weekend plans, the Department of Justice (DOJ), without warning, shut down online poker.
The founders of the Big Three, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling (while I personally feel the DOJ had other motives). PokerStars followed the DOJ, came clean; U.S. players could withdraw their funds, and the site was unfrozen to countries outside of the States. Absolute Poker I know nothing about aside from gossip and rumors heard down here from mouths of individuals on both sides of the situation (employees and players).
Full Tilt Poker is still a four letter word in our house. No sign of a payout yet, although it seems every week they promise to make a statement. They keep stringing everyone along, something about a new French investor… There are mixed feelings here about the possible payout; people feel strongly one way or the other, but the site is generally a joke now (as we were walking into the AutoMercato a gringo walked out wearing a Full Tilt hat and we literally burst out laughing, we’re hoping he was going for irony).
One year ago April 14th, I was going to graduate college and we had a well thought out next step. One year ago April 15th that was completely flipped upside down; black Friday shook us to the core. Everything changed – our thoughts, desires, expectations… It was a rough couple months following, then, like a switch was flipped, everything began to change again, but for the better (to start, Nick’s brother met an amazing woman, beautiful inside and out, and their wedding helped pull us through the summer).
We made a new plan and, while that is a whole other story, here we are.
I am deeply moved by how it all happened – how bad things felt, the amazing things that followed, and how the good could not have happen without the bad. Looking back, everything was preparing us for moving out of the country, it was all building momentum to that moment we decided to move to Costa Rica.
It feels so right.