National Poker Week Pre-Pre-Game

by , Jul 21, 2009 | 3:20 pm

Congressional staffers hold the keys to Representative doorways, and one of the first steps this week was educating these gatekeepers on WTF we’re talking about. Not the issues at hand per se — yay personal freedom and taxation! — but the logistics of regulating the pokery brand of internet commerce (while protecting players and children, keeping addiction in check, generating tax revenue, etc.).

Joining Annie Duke and PPA Exec. Dir. John Pappas for the panel discussion — attended by some 50 or so congressional staffers — were:

· Dr. Parry Aftab, Executive Director, Wired Safety (
· Stuart Dross, Vice President, Cigital (
· Paul Mathews, independent consultant, former executive with International Game Technology

5 Comments to “National Poker Week Pre-Pre-Game”

  1. BJ Nemeth

    While I think dubbing this “National Poker Week” is silly and pointless, you know I support 100% what everyone is doing in Washington, D.C. this week. I just feel that putting all of those actions under the banner of “National Poker Week” trivializes it more than anything. (And this week definitely doesn’t *feel* like National Poker Week, compared to the previous seven or so.)

    Prove me wrong, Dan. Legalize online poker and I’ll happily pay John Caldwell his $500.

  2. California Jen

    BJ, I can tell you that the “National Poker Week” phrase catches people’s attention in D.C. Not only did it bring a large group of poker advocates here to garner support for the cause, but in the few meetings I’ve been in with Congresspeople and their staffers, “National Poker Week” lets them know that it’s important they take action now. It is effective.

    On a more personal note, sorry you couldn’t make it to D.C. It’s a great experience!

  3. danm

    BJ, I’m no activist, lobbyist, or political strategist — just a journalist with a strong bias. (And now a blackberry that can leave comments on pokerati!)

  4. BJ Nemeth

    I’m confident that the high-profile contingent that is out in Washington, D.C. right now would be there whether this was National Poker Week or National Paper Towel Day. They weren’t drawn by the prospects of Poker Week, they were drawn by the PPA and others who stressed that this was an important week where they would be lobbying a lot of Congresspeople directly.

    If they do everything exactly the same, but drop the name “National Poker Week,” does Howard or Annie, or Dan or Jen, or any of the major players not show up? I don’t think so.

    Also, I am highly suspect that any Congressperson is giving this a higher priority because it’s called “National Poker Week” as opposed to just people showing up in a coordinated lobbying effort. They’re professional politicians at the highest level, and they see shit like this day after day, week after week, month after month … and the lucky ones see it year after year. Whether it’s National Poker Week or National Breast Awareness Month or National Paper Towel Day — they’re immune to those monikers because they know exactly what it takes to create those monikers.

    What they listen to are the lobbyists and the numbers of Americans behind them.

    I’d be shocked if any Congressperson or his or her staffers actually had the thought, “We’d better act quickly, because National Poker Week is almost over!”

    Again, this may be more of my personal pet peeve than anything, but it still strikes me as poor timing. If you’re going to put together a National Poker Week, the point is to use that as a rallying point for the little guys all around the country — and that’s where I think the timing absolutely sucks. The little guy isn’t paying any attention to poker this week, and might have some burnout after paying attention for 6-7 weeks.

  5. BJ Nemeth

    LOL … “National Breast Awareness Month” was supposed to be “National Breast *Cancer* Awareness Month.” I don’t think the American breast is underappreciated at all — but I wouldn’t turn down a month of increased exposure. 🙂