A lot of different conspiracy theories have been discussed regarding online poker's Black Friday. I love conspiracy theories so here's mine. :)
I think there's a chance that sites like Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker/UB can return to the US market once online poker legislation is passed.
The way I think things might play out is going to be similar to the recent banking crises we had in the US.
During that period a lot of smaller, and even some of the larger financial institutions such as Lehman, were gobbled up by the behemoths.
These entities that were already "too big to fail" were encouraged and even aided to get bigger. The federal government was purchasing debt, giving great loans and other incentives to allow these larger entities to acquire the smaller, troubled institutions.
In the event that online poker legislation is worked out in the US, the brick and mortar casinos and other entities (maybe Zynga) that are trying to break into online gambling can get a big head start by purchasing one of these exiled poker rooms.
Even though sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are continuing to be profitable in other markets, the loss of the US players caused their values to drop. One analyst on Bloomberg estimated that they're valuation has dropped at least 50% since Friday and will continue to do so.
The costs of dealing with these legal issues as well as any fines that might be levied against them is going to hurt. It may not bankrupt them but a buy-out option might be very attractive and for US based casinos this gives them the ability to "flip a switch" and provide a mature infrastructure that US poker players have confidence in. Take jail time off the table and the sale looks even sweeter.
If you like to believe the US government schemes like this, this is the way they could strong arm these foreign companies into becoming tax-paying US corporations.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the recent sale of Cereus (AP/UB) could have been completed with the intention of flipping the company to a US based casino once poker was legalized here.
Just a crazy thought.