I'm going to make myself sound really old, even though I'm only 31, but I remember in the early days of online poker that Americans made up the vast majority of the players on the different sites out there. I remember playing tournaments and sizing up where each player was from before the action was dealt and 70-80% of the players would be American. I would normally be the only Canadian at the table and if there were some European players, they were usually from Great Britain or France.

Nowadays, the landscape online has completely changed. At any given table, I'll still most likely be the only Canadian, but the tables are now filled with Russian, German and other European players. However, as we all know, American players are nowhere to be found thanks to Black Friday a couple years ago.

Having chatted with a few American players over the last couple of years, the frustration that they feel is absolutely immense with their state and federal governments as getting online poker has been successful in only a couple states. Other states have pro-online gaming bills going through the system at a snail's pace and a few states simply refuse to have the conversation.

Now, I'm not here to debate or discuss the political situation in each state or talk about the large anti-online gaming lobby that we're seeing from the various casino owners across the U.S., but what I did want to point out again was just how frustrated these people seem to be based on my brief online chats with them or their online posts in general.

I couldn't imagine not being able to sign into Pokerstars at any time I wanted to...hell, I couldn't imagine being a recreational player and still having to pay taxes on any gambling winnings like Americans have to. The only thing worse is having to pay close to 50% tax on lottery winnings. All lotteries are tax-free in Canada!

I guess in a roundabout way, what I'm trying to say is that it stinks that we've lost a large group of online players that would only add to the various cash games available on the site and strengthen the prize pools in large MTT's. Having a large group that are willing to open up their wallets to play only helps the game. It's absurd that professional players from that country have to decide which other country they're going to re-locate to just to be able to do what someone like myself or any other European country seems to take for granted.

So, if you happen to have a bad day at the tables, maybe just stop and think about how fortunate you are to have the opportunity to play in the first place...good luck at the tables today!