PokerGO’s latest original programming series focuses on the big topics in the world of poker, hosted by yours truly with guests that will give you unique insights into things that they’ve been through or topics you always wanted to know more details about. On this episode that’s centered around the darkest day in online poker history, I spoke to Blair Hinkle and Matt Berkey and Black Friday.

Black Friday

On April 15, 2011, shockwaves were sent through the poker world when the Department of Justice shut down all major online poker operators in the United States. While painful and frustrating for poker players in the USA, the initial concerns about not being able to play their favorite game anymore quickly turned into a far greater problem.

Now more than seven years later, it’s easy to forget even for those involved, how bad Black Friday really was. Players had millions of dollars stuck on sites such as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, and while the hopes of seeing any of those dollars from the latter seemed improbably from the start, hardly anyone could’ve seen coming to the mess that was Full Tilt Poker.

On this episode of Real Talk, Blair Hinkle speaks openly about having nearly $1.200,000 stuck on Full Tilt Poker for three years, how this impacted his life and the emotional swings it created. Matt Berkey, on the other hand, while feeling bad for the players with having money stuck, thought that Black Friday would be a long-term positive for the poker industry.

Through the years that followed, Berkey continued to take shots the higher stakes while Hinkle slowly rebuilt his bankroll before ultimately getting paid in full on the money that we owed to him. Watch this episode of Real Talk and many more right now on PokerGO.

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Matt Berkey, Black Friday, Blair Hinkle