First Pleas Entered in “Black Friday” Case as the World Starts Distancing Itself From Online Poker

by Lou on April 19, 2011

Bradley Franzen appeared in federal court in New York before US Magistrate Judge Frank Maas.  Franzen, a 41-year-old Illinois native, was indicted last week as one of the alleged payment processors on what’s now referred to in the poker industry as “Black Friday.”   He entered a plea of not guilty to the nine charges brought against him.

Chad Elie of Nevada and Utah bank owner John Campos—who were also arrested on Black Friday—are expected to appear in court either today or tomorrow, where they will respond to similar charges.

Meanwhile the media is backstepping away from poker with lightning speed.  ESPN announced that it will not televise the North American Poker Tour (NAPT), which is heavily sponsored by Poker Stars. According to Bluff Magazine, Fox quickly cancelled plans to air The Big Game or Million Dollar Challenge, both associated with PokerStars.

Online poker, which up until last week continued to be eagerly courted by TV and major land-based properties alike, has now become a leper colony, as former suitors such as ESPN, Fox, and Steve Wynn sprint for the exits.

If you were randomly stick push-pins in a map of the world of online poker, the Black Friday event would thread to all of them.  It is a case of such magnitude that it touches poker everywhere, in all aspects, and we’re beginning to see the winners and losers sort themselves out.  More on this in the next few days.

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