This Week in Poker: Mercier on Top, Merge to Stop? - Poker Junkie
The week in poker started on a high note as Jason Mercier held on to the top spot in the world poker tournament player rankings.
Pokerstars continued the positive trend when it was announced one of their seized accounts had been unfrozen.
The tone changed a bit as the week went on and rumors arose that the Merge Gaming Network may be facing charges from the DOJ.
Mercier Remains World's Top Ranked Player
Earlier this week, the Global Poker Index released its updated list of the top 300 tournament poker players in the world.
For the fourth straight week, Jason Mercier remains at the top of the list with 2,618.67 points.
Erik Seidel, on the strength of his monster year so far, remains in second with 2,598.49 point.
Eugene Katchalov, Bertrand Grospellier and Tom Marchese round out the top 5.
WPT Legends of Poker winner Will Failla jumped 24 spots to break into the top 20 for the first time. He sits 19th in the world.
The Global Poker Index is the Federated Sports & Gaming ranking system used to identify the top live tournament poker players in the world.
Rankings are based on a system that takes into consideration results over the last 36 months with more recent results gaining more weight than past performance.
PokerStars Has Bank Account Unfrozen
The first piece of good news regarding Black Friday-indicted sites hit the news wires earlier in the week when the US DOJ announced that it has partially unlocked one of the bank accounts tied to PokerStars.
The account is located at the Hapoalim Bank in Luxembourg and is tied to Sphene International Limited, one of PokerStars' payment processors.
Per the release, the DOJ is requiring that PokerStars keep a balance of $5.5 million in the account while they are free to use the remaining funds as they see fit.
The $5.5 million is an amount that PokerStars claims to have made from U.S. players.
This is the first legitimate report of an account being released by the DOJ to either of the three sites indicted on April 15th.
Merge Gaming Network Facing DOJ Indictments?
According to an article written by Subject:Poker on Thursday, the Merge Gaming Network may be facing an indictment from the US Department of Justice.
Per sources, a set of seizures are planned by the US Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland and will involve payment processors.
The report did not state which payment processors would be involved, whether domains would be seized, or even if a full indictment against the processors or the company is planned.
The seizures are supposedly planned for sometime in mid to late-September, but an official date is not set.
Merge is currently the top site for the remaining networks still accepting US players. They currently rank 12th overall in worldwide traffic.
It should be noted that Subject:Poker did not name sources and that the report should be considered rumor until a more substantial source can be verified.