WHERE TO PRACTICE HEADS-UP
BLACKJACK TOURNAMENT FOR FREE
by Kenneth Smith
Tournament expert Ken Smith has appeared on all four seasons of GSN's World Series of Blackjack, and had several appearances on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour on CBS. He is the author of the e-bookHow to Win More Blackjack Tournaments: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Supercharge Your Game and his latest book, How to Win EVEN MORE Blackjack Tournaments-Volume. Ken hosts the popular website www.BlackjackInfo.com as well as the online tournament community at www.BlackjackTournaments.com. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/. Ken also released his new pocket blackjack strategy cards, which are available in our BJI store.
Back in 2005, blackjack tournament enthusiasts were beginning to have some very interesting online opportunities to compete at the game. Internet casino Global Player was first to market with true multi-player blackjack tournament software, and other competitors soon joined them. Online poker provider Ultimate Bet launched a full featured implementation of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour format of tournament play, featuring elimination hands and secret bets. The company is now far better known for a huge insider cheating scandal and a still-unresolved seizure of US player balances. A site called Blackjack21 created another tournament platform, and not long after launch, marketed its technology to other online casinos creating the 21GNet network. The network of online sites using the software grew to over 30 venues, and 21GNet managed a combined pool of players across those sites.
Then, the hurricane of online gaming in the US hit. The UIGEA law passed in 2006, signaling the US government's intention to stamp out the menace of online gambling. The law was controversial from the start, beginning with the clandestine way the bill was attached to an unrelated port safety bill on the last day of a congressional session. More importantly, the bill seemed to be fundamentally flawed, as it did not actually make online gambling a crime for anyone involved. Instead, the bill made it a crime to transfer money for the purpose of illegal internet gambling. The definition of illegal internet gambling was conspicuously absent in the UIGEA, and the focus, therefore, shifted to one of the few laws that would seem to make the activity illegal, the Federal Wire Act. Interpretations of the law varied, since the Wire Act explicitly applies only to wagers on sporting events. Regardless of the actual efficacy of the law, it had the intended effect, a chilling of the entire market in the US.
Fast forward to late 2011...
Finally, five years after UIGEA was signed into law, the other shoe dropped. In an opinion letter issued by the US Justice Department, the lingering questions about the Federal Wire Act are answered. The Act does NOT apply to other forms of gambling, but instead only applies to sporting events. Now the UIGEA would seem to have no teeth, since a state can explicitly allow online gambling for its residents, and no "illegal internet gambling" will be taking place for the UIGEA to apply.
In the months since the Justice Department bombshell, activity has been intense in several states of the US. For more explanation of the impact of the decision, see my article at Mississippi-Online-Casinos.com: Online Gambling in the US - It's Coming.
For the conspiracy-minded, it makes a lot of sense. The UIGEA might have been intentionally crafted to be eventually ineffective. Once the offshore market has been weakened, US casino companies can swoop in to provide online casinos with no need for a controversial gambling bill being debated again on Capitol Hill.
That's enough background and history. What is the current situation for US players interested in online blackjack tournament play? I expect we will soon have some opportunities for real cash play online, but in the meantime, we already have an interesting practice setting.
Maryland Live! casino is opening their land-based casino in early June, but they have already launched a play-for-fun online casino that ties into their player system. For more on the online offering, see Maryland-Online-Casinos.com...
...enter your member login information below to read this article/newsletter...
Paid Members-Only Article
You have clicked on a link to a Blackjack Insider web page or article for paid subscribers. You must have a paid membership to the Blackjack Insider newsletter to view this content. About 1/2 of the articles in each issue of the Blackjack Insider are for paid members only, while the rest are viewable by everyone. Your purchased membership will allow you to read all Blackjack Insider articles for 12 months.
Enter your user name and password below (they were listed and e-mailed to you after you purchased your Blackjack Insider membership):
Forgot your membership id or password? Click here.
How do I get a membership?
A membership can be purchased online at our secure store with your credit card for only $19.95 per year. You will receive a user name and password immediately by e-mail which you can use to read the all past and future members-only articles for 12 months, as well as the regular free articles.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP NOW... only $19.95
Do I have to buy a membership?
No. Blackjack Insider will continue to be published as a free monthly e-newsletter. But about 1/2 of the articles each month will be for paid members only. Subscribers without a membership can still view and read the non-members articles for free.
What happens after I buy a membership?
Immediately after you complete your purchase, you will receive a unique login user name and password. These are displayed on the final purchase page, and are e-mailed to you. When you click on a members-only article in our web site, you will be prompted for this user name and password (as shown above). Simply enter them, and enjoy the article! Note: make sure you turn on the checkbox above when you login, to save the user name and password so that you don't have to re-enter them every time you view members-only articles.
Why did you switch to paid memberships?
Blackjack Insider is a professional monthly publication with top-notch articles by world-reknown gaming experts. In addition, we have regular reporters that monitor game conditions and tournament schedules throughout North America. We use a partially paid subscriber model to enable us to continue getting the best content for our readers from leading authors on blackjack and gaming.
©2015, DeepNet Technologies. No material to be copied without express permission of DeepNet Technologies.