Posts Tagged ‘alfonse-damato’

From Poker-Only to Poker-Plus

by , Jun 13, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Give me online slot machines or give me death!

Give me online slots or give me death!

A New York congressman introduced legislation last week to legalize all forms of Internet wagering by establishing a federal licensing and regulatory system.

Internet gaming supporters quickly applauded the measure, authored by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., which goes beyond previous attempts to legalize just online poker.

Others expressed caution and wanted to take a closer look at the 134-page bill.

“Our team and the board will need some time to fully review this legislation before taking an official position,” American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said in a statement.

Last year an online poker bill backed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and now-retired U.S. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., was leaked in Washington, D.C., but never introduced.

Partisan politics and opposition from Indian gaming tribes and state lotteries sank the legislation. Several online gaming and online poker-only bills have surfaced in Congress over the past few sessions.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told Internet gaming proponents he will introduce online poker legislation later this year. Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said the Democratic leader and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., “continue to work together in this issue.”

Former Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., now a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., said the King bill most likely will take on a different form as it comes up for debate and additional online gaming bills surface.


Christie Press Conference Gives No Decision on New Jersey iGambling

by , Mar 3, 2011 | 11:20 am

New Jersey Governor Christie did hold a press conference this morning, but it did not answer any questions regarding today’s decision on the fate of iGambling for New Jersey.

Press of Atlantic City reported here:

Gov. Chris Christie said at 11:30 a.m. today that he has not yet decided whether to sign or veto a bill creating an intrastate online gambling system.

Christie has just hours to decide whether to allow the system, which would be a first nationwide but which has faced questions about its legality within state and federal law.

Christie said he plans to decide the issue later today.

If he does not act by the end of the day, the bill becomes law.

The official live-feed site for Governor Christie went into “password protected” mode at about 11AM EDT, leaving those of us geeky enough to have gotten to the presser early to remain in the open chat room staring at a blank feed, and everyone else who wanted to watch *out*.

PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato appeared on Fox Business at 12:15PM EDT to discuss the governor’s upcoming decision. When asked what he thought was on Christie’s mind were this afternoon. D’Amato said:

“I think the governor would like to pass it [S490], but there may be a constitutional prohibition.  He’s studying that right now.  And it may have to first go through the people for legislative approval.”

Whatever Christie might be thinking or “studying” today, he has only until midnight tonight to veto the bill before it is made law.

Al D’Amato Goes Postal, lol

PPA Chairman calling out Republican strategist for racism

by , Sep 20, 2010 | 10:29 pm

This has little to do with poker, but kinda fun to see one of “our guys” — Al D’Amato standing up to his grand old party, which as we know, hasn’t exactly flocked in support of online gambling legislation, despite its compatibility with Tea Party principles on personal freedom, sensible government, and fiscal responsibility.

Check out former Senator Al D’Amato (R-NY) on Fox News … sitting around a table that would actually make a pretty cool set for a poker show … with Republican strategist Jack Burkman the online qualifier, joining the live action via the internet and Full Tilt Poker. It doesn’t take long for Burkman to become BurkVillain when he gets tied up in a hand with our hero, D’Amato …

With host Eric Bolling is in the little blind, Burkman opens the betting with a 3x rant about federal waste at the post office, placed in the pot with curiously racist undertones in the chat box about Ethiopian and Nigerian immigrants being “bottom of the barrel” in unskilled labor and therefore better suited for driving cabs than holding government employ …


Al D’Amato Rallying Poker Players in Washington State

by , May 21, 2010 | 7:45 pm

The somewhat nutty former Sen. Al D’Amato is getting ready for his upcoming trip to Washington — State, not DC — and is calling the online poker troops to action in Olympia, for the PPA’s big shindig in support of Lee Rousso at the state Supreme Court.

It really is an offensive law that Washington passed in 2006 — the Internet Gambling Ban, making it a felony to play a computer game online — regardless of where you stand on poker. But we’ll have to see how the non-poker masses take to one man’s challenge the constitutionality of such a government intrusive.

I’m pretty sure the WA Court doesn’t make its decisions on the spot, so it will likely be some time before we learn if the below vid that D’Amato and the PPA just put out is an invitation to a victory party or a battle cry. Either way, it’s still fun to hear D’Amato get all impassioned:

I don’t know Washington state’s gun laws, so for now it’s probably best to leave your weapons at home. But you can still suit up belligerently in appropriate rally attire:

PPA to Rally at Washington State Supreme Court

Lee Rousso, Phil Gordon, et Al D’Amato standing up for online poker

by , May 12, 2010 | 5:32 am

This shirt is technically inaccurate now in Washington State but still would make for a great rally souvenir.

I saw a horrifyingly disturbing video several weeks ago. In it, this dude is getting fucked by a horse … I know I know … not even gonna link to it. (Forget NSFW, this is NSFHumanity, let alone lunch; trust me, you don’t even wanna google “2 guys 1 horse” … unless you happen to enjoy YouTube reaction vids to interspecies snuff films that show a man dying after literally getting ripped a new one by a 900-pound equine lover.)

Crazy thing is, this Darwin Awards ceremony took place on a farm in Washington State, which apparently has some of the most lax laws anywhere against bestiality — in fact no laws, and thus no charges were pressed against the men who ran an underground bordello for zoophiles. (Seattle Times, fyi, safe to click)

A little stomach-wrenching legal perspective as the Supreme Court in Olympia prepares to consider the felonious nature of the very toughest state law anywhere against online poker. Later this month, the court will be taking up the 2007 case of Lee Rousso vs. State of Washington, where an online poker player challenges the constitutionality of Washington’s 2006 Internet Gambling Ban.

Click here to read Rousso’s original complaint. He filed seeking a declaratory judgment on the legality of playing poker online, as opposed to other forms of online gambling that are specifically illegal (sports betting) or legal (horse racing and lottery). His primary beef seems to be that the IGB violates the federal Commerce Clause. He also calls out the questionable political backscratching between representatives and the casino industry that he claims was really behind this law that infringes on his liberty.

Heavy stuff in the balance …

As the court prepares to hear the case — not sure who won then lost, but these matters almost always require a suck and re-suck to get this far — the PPA is gathering a force to turn whatever happens on May 27 into a media event. Rousso, who happens to be the PPA’s Washington State Director, is set to testify, and cheering him on from the steps of the Supreme Court will be Al D’Amato, John Pappas, and Phil Gordon (the only Team Full Tilter who lives in Washington State). They hope to rally enough local PPA members to turn online poker issues into a noble courthouse spectacle.

Click below to read the PPA press release:


Howard Stern Joins PPA, Makes Online Poker a Matter of Internet Freedom

by , Jul 21, 2009 | 3:58 am

National Poker Week kicked off with Al D’Amato on Howard Stern yesterday, and Howard Stern joining, on-air, the Poker Players Alliance. While I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone listens to Howard Stern anymore — or is he kinda like Friendster … you know, very Web 1.0 — apparently Stern does still have a few million listeners, most of whom had little clue about poker issues before yesterday, when D’Amato also discussed the possibilities of more legal marijuana in America and the joys of an elder man banging his pregnant wife. So mission accomplished, at least as far as injecting our issues into the semi-intelligent American discourse is concerned.

From the Examiner:

D’Amato (who sounds a lot like Gilbert Gottfried to the untrained ear) told Howard Stern that he believes that America should get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, stating that both wars are unwinnable. D’Amato also spoke about current efforts to reform the U.S. healthcare system. D’Amato stated that he preferred “marginal” reform to overhauling the entire system, which he states would result in huge tax increases for most Americans.

“What about legalizing pot?” asked Howard Stern, pointing to new reports about the flourishing legal marijuana industry in California.

After thinking on it carefully, D’Amato responded: “I think there’s some merit in it.”

It wasn’t all shop talk for Alfonse D’Amato. Howard Stern asked D’Amato some of his classic questions. Alfonse D’Amato admitted that he still regularly has sex with his 6-month pregnant wife, spoke about it openly, and then sheepishly followed up his response by saying: “This isn’t going to be on TV is it?”

To celebrate this momentous kick-start to a week of DC-centric poker politicking, the PPA unveiled a press release font upgrade and added the color blue to its official statement on Stern’s membership:


What’s Your Poker Story?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 3:31 am

As you probably know, the PPA is collecting short videos at The purpose, as far as I can tell, is to put something together for the coming legislative push that (quickly) shows on-the-fence Congresspeople that poker players are a diverse group of citizens, who care about the game for more than degenerate reasons, and ultimately that the our bills tap into a motivate-able mass spread across a wide spectrum of the American populace. Here’s PPA Chairman Al D’Amato’s poker story:

LOL, you can see why the PPA needs your help. (No offense, retired Senator … just saying they probably need more than just you to convey their message.) All it takes is a minute or two in front of your computer cam and a few clicks. I tried to submit mine, but it apparently violated YouTube TOS. (Hey, I can’t help that I learned so much at The Lodge. So she was naked … it’s still a bad beat.) So in the meantime, as a placeholder for Dan’s poker story, I’ve submitted this:

For a bunch of really good ones (and some humorously not so good) check ’em out the poker stories here. On a serious side, OK, I’m making a little light, but these really are a good reminder of why the fate of a silly little computer game matters to so many.

Poker Media Priorities

Girl-on-Girl Boxing vs. PPA

by , Jun 23, 2009 | 5:16 pm

The Rumble at the Rio had its press conference/weigh-in ceremony today in the Rio Pavilion hallway to introduce Liv Boeree (representing UltimateBet) and Melissa Castello (representing PokerNews), who will be fighting each other on July 1 for publicity charity. ESPN filmed it, and the poker media was out in force to cover it. Almost every poker media outlet was there to take photos or gather notes to publicize the event.

It is significant to note that only about 25% of those reporters were anywhere near the Poker Players Alliance press conference yesterday. PPA Chairman and former NY Senator Alfonse D’Amato spoke, along with NV Rep. Shelley Berkley and PPA board members Greg Raymer and Linda Johnson, to announce National Poker Week.

Who says the poker media doesn’t have integrity/priorities?

Players to Watch – Day 27

by , Jun 22, 2009 | 2:09 pm






Thousands of players taking to the felt today. Whether going for a bracelet, just trying to survive Day 1, or making an otherwise interesting showing, some folks catching eyes today, in action you may want to follow:

Ret. Sen. Al D’Amato seems to be today’s guest of honor at the WSOP. While shuffle-up-and-deal duties have been relegated to active Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), the Chairman of the PPA will be playing in the $1,000 NLH-Seniors event. If he goes deep, it could screw up a bunch of schedules something fierce. Event coverage here.

Phil Ivey, of course, is always a player to watch – especially when he’s advancing, as he did in his first round of the $5,000 NLH-Shootout. While it’s obviously premature to get trip-bracelet possibilities, he only has to beat two tables. Take a look at the field and you tell me who has the best odds of doing exactly that. Jen Harman also advanced in her first match. Might she be able to finally make a showing for the ladies? Strange tourney, btw, with 6-handed tables in the second round, playing down to a 5-handed SNG for the bracelet.

While multi-tournamenting isn’t unheard of at the WSOP, doing two Day 2s at the same time kinda is. Nam Le went deep (but fell short of cashing) in the $10k PLO while going even deeper in the $1,500 NLH. In that event, he’s one of 25 players left, from a starting field of 2,715.

Of the 25 players who remain in $10k PLO, dare I say I’m rooting for Richard Austin? Kinda funny for the kid who wants nothing to do with cameras and interviews or even just basic biographical info to go deep yet again. Austin didn’t want to play nice with WSOP officials after winning his bracelet in the $5k PLO. Possibilities include that he is a) shy b) the second coming of “Ricky Zilem” c) just a punk-bitch a-hole or d) a DOJ narc. Think about it … supposedly undercover Treasury agents at the WSOP and elsewhere in Las Vegas where large sums of money are exchanged amongst gamblers is nothing new. But this year, totally unconfirmed and hardly reliable word has it, whoever’s really behind the payment processor crackdown has a posse of undercover Feds sprinkled throughout the Amazon room … and you gotta think at least a few of them would know a thing or two about pot-limit Omaha, right? Event coverage here.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 27

by , | 6:43 am

Finishing the Sunday tournaments plus a preview of the Monday doubleheader and a reminder that Sen. Al D’Amato and Rep. Shelley Berkeley will be at the Rio to announce National Poker Week, also be sure to go to and add your name.

Iacavone In Control

Michael Iacavone is the reported chip leader (1,605,200) when play resumes in the $1,500 NL Holdem as the remaining 26 players come back at 2pm to play down to a winner. Joe Bartholdi (1,040,000), Nam Le (500,100), Mohsin Charania (471,000), Alex Jacob (433,000), and Raymond Davis (401,000) are the notable names also returning to capture a bracelet.

Schwartz Still Swinging a Big Stack

Another field with a long day on Monday will be the remaining 25 players left in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship who return at 1pm today as they’ll eventually be streamed over the Internet on ESPN360 and Noah Schwartz (1,220,000) remains the chip leader, with Markus Golser (621,000) and Robin Keston (606,000) leading their respective tables. Recognizable names returning include: Matt Graham (586,000), Barry Greenstein (467,000), Josh Arieh (356,000), Richard Austin (331,000), Howard Lederer (326,000), Padraig Parkinson (259,000), and Vitaly Lunkin (220,000).

More Shooting at the Rio

Some more names that won their first table in the $5,000 NL Holdem Shootout: Danny Wong, Davidi Kitai, Amit Makhija, Roland Isra and David Pham. The remaining 30 players return at 2pm for the second round with the final five winners returning Tuesday for a five player final table.

Filippi 8-Game Leader

153 players return at 2pm Monday for day 2 of the $2,500 Mixed Game event with Amnon Filippi the chip leader with 90,000 in chips. Other notables with chips: Andy Black (58,000), Thayer Rasmussen (48,425), Jon Turner (41,725), Sorel Mizzi (39,525), and JC Tran (34,700).

Monday’s Tournaments

Today’s a pair of events for the 50+ crowd, with the $1,000 Senior’s NL Holdem World Championship, won last year by Dan Lacourse for $368,832 in a field of 2,218. The 5pm tournament is the debut of the $2,500 Razz event. The WSOP Staff Guide projects a field of 2,440 for the Seniors’ event, and a field of 300 projected for the Razz event.

More updates during the day at and Pokerati should have some new stuff during the day, check back often.

Politics Invades WSOP on Monday 6/22, D’Amato to Play Seniors Event

by , Jun 15, 2009 | 2:39 pm

Overheard and confirmed. Political geeks are in luck. Not only is it rumored – and close to being 100% confirmed – that Rep. Barney Frank will be visiting the 2009 WSOP on July 5 to do a little “shuffle up and deal” business, but other political figures and friends of poker will be arriving on Monday, June 22.

PPA Chairman and former NY Senator Alfonse D’Amato will be gracing the Rio on Monday for a yet-to-be-announced morning press conference. After, he is scheduled to join Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley for Monday’s “shuffle up and deal” honors. D’Amato will then look for his seat, as he will be playing in Event 43, the $1K Seniors NLHE tournament, starting at noon.

Fully understanding that the likelihood of D’Amato going deep in this tournament is slim, can we not agree that seeing him at a WSOP final table would rock our worlds?

Go Al!

RE: Fed Crackdown on Online Poker Money Transfers (3)

PPA joins legal fracas, questions legality of fund seizure

by , Jun 9, 2009 | 3:06 pm

Ah, once upon a time ret. Sen. Al D’Amato (R-NY) held real power … regardless, he’s still trying to wield his influence over federal actions in his home state, and the PPA statement around his statement says something about the seriousness of the payment processor account-freezing situation while confusing this quasi-legally savvy journo/not-a-lawyer on the difference between warrants and subpoenas:

PPA Statement on Southern District of NY Action Against Online Poker Players
Letter Sent to Assistant US Attorney Requesting Presence at Future Hearings

WASHINGTON, DC (June 9, 2009) – The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today released the following statement by PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato on questionable actions taken by a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York to freeze payment processor accounts containing more than $30 million in poker players’ deposits and payouts.

The PPA also sent a letter to the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York asking for an opportunity to be heard in any future warrant hearings. The letter is available at


UIGEA Challenge: PPA Raises $3 Million and Bi-Partisan Support

by , Apr 23, 2009 | 11:57 am

Rep. Barney Frank has yet to introduce (or reintroduce) the legislation, but the likelihood of its passage has already been debated and practically set up for defeat. But just as the words in poker and mainstream media outlets were being penned that any UIGEA repeal effort will likely fail, the PPA raised that bet.

Poker Players Alliance Chairman Alfonse D’Amato first put his thoughts into an article for The Hill with regard to the bipartisan support that has been building for this effort. Shortly thereafter, the Associated Press reported that the PPA has allocated $3 million for lobbying Congress during this upcoming session. (More details can be found in my article on the Bluff Magazine website.)

Sure, the NFL and other opposing groups may have stacks big enough to call that raise, but the PPA might just have the best hand in the end. Still early in the game…

D’Amato on the Poker Front Lines

by , Feb 3, 2009 | 7:50 am

As Dan mentioned during his Poker Beat podcast debut last week, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is on the case of the UIGEA in Washington, D.C. He published a piece in Roll Call, the magazine of Capitol Hill, in which he points to online poker – and the billions of dollars in revenue potential – as a potential source of revenue for the economically-challenged U.S. government. It’s worth reprinting here, not because of the message that went out to the politically-minded last week, but because it shows that the Poker Players Alliance is working behind the scenes in D.C. It might be worth it to be patient with the PPA during this time of relative silence, as they may just have a few aces up their sleeves.

Here is the article in full:

The New Deal: Regulate and Tax iPoker
By Alfonse D’Amato
Special to Roll Call
January 27, 2009, 4:21 p.m.

As the Obama administration and the new Congress evaluate their policy priorities, they cannot ignore the significant challenge to fund these programs given our nation’s financial situation. Our new leaders have been dealt a struggling economy, and even President Barack Obama can agree that tax increases to pay for his agenda won’t reveal the winning hand, politically or practically. A possible solution, however, is not out of reach. Our new president needs only to look at his favored form of skillful avocation: poker.

Yes, I said poker. While business leaders and politicians debate how much, or how little, we should regulate the business community, the online poker industry and the millions of Americans who play on the Internet have been crying out for regulation and taxation. The absence of government regulation, and in fact the quixotic efforts to ban Internet poker, has left U.S. consumers vulnerable and left billions in potential tax revenue on the virtual poker table.


How a Bill May or May Not Become a Law, Part 5

Rallying the inner-ish circle

by , Dec 10, 2008 | 6:55 am

I recently discovered some new tricks on YouTube, so … In what is sure to be as critically acclaimed as Lucky You, here’s a glimpse of the American political system in action, as seen at a semi-private PPA get-together on Day 1B of the 2008 WSOP main event (July 4th) … where a poker activist braintrust confabbed down the hall, in the Palazzo Suites, about Beltway procedure and parliamentary strategy moving forward:

A moving and dramatic civics lesson, to be sure. Starring Al D’Amato, Howard Lederer, and Annie Duke. Special appearances by Phil Hellmuth and Jeffrey Pollack as The Commish.