Top Affiliate Marketing Stories of 2011: Online PokerAs we complete our wrap-up of the top affiliate marketing stories of 2011, it wouldn’t be complete without a mention of a drama that engulfed the online poker world, disrupting the business plans of thousands of players and affiliate marketers.

What’s come to be known as Black Friday—the seizure of prominent online poker domains by the U.S. Department of Justice—has had fallout across the affiliate marketing community and has reshaped the way online gambling affiliates think of they sites and their target audience.

Since the government actions in April, many affiliates have simply shut down operations or refocused their efforts on attracting players from outside the United States, where reasonable regulation, or at least the lack of government intervention, has made their affiliate business more stable and much less risky.

It all began on a quiet spring day, when:

Breaking News: FBI seizes major poker domains (April 15) – The domain names of three of the largest online poker rooms that accept U.S. players were seized by the FBI and shut down in the U.S., several sources are reporting.,, and Absolute Poker (both part of the CEREUS network) are now off-limits to visitors from the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice, working through the FBI, was behind the seizure.

PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and issue official statements on DOJ action (April 18) – Check out PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and’s statements to the press or players in response to the seizure.

Updates on FBI online poker shutdown (April 19) – Here’s a recap of the events of April 15. One interesting twist added to the story is the likelihood of Australian entrepreneur Daniel Tzvetkoff having assisted U.S. authorities in the prosecutions.

Black Friday, one week later: U.S. online poker shutdown in review (April 22) – Is it marital law for U.S. poker players and affiliates? As the long-term impact on casino affiliate marketing starts to reveal itself, the future looks a bit grim.

Webinar: Legal experts discuss Black Friday’s effects (April 26) – Check out the webinar with top legal experts, I. Nelson Rose and Lawrence Walters. They analyze the current state of online gaming in the United States and discuss how affiliate marketers can navigate through this challenging time.

Cake Network’s PowerPoker stops accepting new U.S. players (June 1) – Another victim of the United States’ iGaming attack falls down. PowerPoker announces that it will shut out all new U.S. players. “Due to recent movements by the U.S. government concerning online poker, PowerPoker is no longer accepting new U.S. players,” the company announced in an email.

Black Friday updates: Merge exits U.S., Phil Ivey sues Full Tilt (June 2) – More fallout from the U.S. government’s April 15 seizure of the world’s biggest online poker websites: Just after Cake Poker Network site PowerPoker announced it was ending new U.S. signups, reports are indicating that the entire Merge Network will do the same.

Best Casino Partner affiliate payment warning (June 8) – Another setback for U.S.-based gaming affiliates as Best Casino Partner (BCP) has apparently shut down entirely, while still owing a considerable amount in payments to affiliates.

Moving past Black Friday: What’s next for U.S. poker affiliates? (June 20) – Once the dust settles, things don’t look so bad. Even though there’s no doubt that online gambling is facing a tough time in the U.S, there’s also probably never been a better time for gaming affiliates to position themselves in this market.

Full Tilt Poker, What Went Wrong? Scott Yeates Knows (November 9) – It’s time for lessons learned. Check out this interview with an insider who knows all the secret details.

The Two Black Fridays of 2011 (November 25) – It’s time to have some fun. Do you know the difference between the two Black Fridays? Take this interactive quiz and find out!