Poker’s No-Strings Fling With Politics

by , Sep 2, 2008 | 8:19 am

Poker is having an affair with politics and the mainstream media, and it seems to be one of those flings…not sure where it started or where it will end, or even what it means, but enjoying it nonetheless.

Sure, the UIGEA was the first to act, but it was the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) who bought the drinks and started the bigger conversation. Most recently, the poker lobbying organization did something that didn’t seem like a big move in the beginning but is turning out to be an ingenious one. They established two charity tournaments to benefit the Paralyzed Vets of America, one to be played at each of the political conventions. The Democratic National Convention was the stage for the first, where none other than Ben Affleck won it. The second event will take place tomorrow in Minnesota, close to the site of the Republican National Convention. Both events are getting wide mainstream media coverage, i.e. Bloomberg, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and The Denver Post.

The poker/politics affair goes even further, as poker has also become the analogy of choice for many writers and reporters well outside of the poker community. Terms like “poker face” and “all in” are finding their way into articles about Barack Obama and John McCain, either because Obama has been known to play poker or simply because poker is a good analogy. For example:

Chicago Sun Times: Does Barack Obama Really Have a Poker Face?

The Times Herald: America Needs a Decent Poker Player

Lastly, poker veteran Bob Ciaffone got a nice write-up in The Bay City Times when he recently traveled to Denver as an Obama delegate.

One Comment to “Poker’s No-Strings Fling With Politics”

  1. DanM

    Funny, I wasgonna write something about the Bloomberg story — hadn’t seen all the rest of them — as it struck me that indeed, it seems the non-poker world is finally beginning to understand our issue. I’m not saying they fully embrace it or anything like that. But I’m also not sure they really have to …

    So long as the masses have a positive association with the concept of online poker players — different from those dastardly sports gamblers! — then they shouldn’t have too much of a problem with whichever one of our poker bills out there works its way through Congress, which, of course, is what will allow more representatives to comfortably (and publicly!) get on board.