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Best of Aaron Todd
I had high hopes for PKR.com. The 3D poker room has the best software I've seen. You can play for real money in a video game atmosphere.
Unless, like me, you live in the United States.
PKR launched real-money games on its site on August 17, but passed on allowing U.S. residents to make wagers on its tables. In the weeks leading up to the decision, the House of Representatives had passed the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, and BetOnSports.com CEO David Carruthers was arrested on U.S. soil.
"It was a very painful decision," said Jez San, president of PKR. "But we thought it prudent to launch after there was clarity from the Senate."
With industry experts suggesting that the Senate probably would not act on Internet gambling restrictions, I tried my luck in one of PKR's freeroll tournaments. My eighth place finish netted me $0.60 in my account.
San assured me that PKR would open for business to U.S. players when Congress recessed at the end of September, as long as Internet gambling legislation did not pass. So I let my $0.60 remain in my account, waiting for October when I'd sit down in a $.01/$.02 no limit game and try to build a bankroll from scratch.
Then, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) managed to attach the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to a ports security bill. It sailed through Congress with almost no resistance and was signed by President Bush on Oct. 13.
"Given this development, we are not in a position to lift our current block on real money gaming for US residents until further notice," an e-mail from PKR informed me.
Sadly, with no chance to multiply my winnings, I am now forced to withdraw my pittance from PKR's coffers. I will be receiving a check for $0.60 in the mail in the coming weeks. The only problem is I have no idea what to do with it.
So, I'm leaving it up to loyal Casino City readers. Please send suggestions on what I should do with my $0.60 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, I'll post some of the best suggestions, and yes, I'll actually follow the advice given by one of you.