Posts Tagged ‘John-Pappas’

Hawaii Dives into Gambling Law with Poker Bill

Game of skill exemption for NLH/PLO, super-taxation for online sites

by , Mar 24, 2011 | 6:56 pm

Only two states in the US have no legal gambling — Hawaii and Utah. Could be just one soon, say supporters and opponents alike of a bill in Hawaii that would specifically legalize Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, live and online.

The bill, which passed out of committee yesterday, looks to make Hawaii a destination for big-time live (and televised) poker events … as well as a potential home base for online sites serving US players … by designating the foundations of Pokerati NLH/PLO as games of skill, not played against a casino “house” and therefore exempt from state gambling prohibitions.

PPA Exec Dir. John Pappas supplied written testimony for the hearing, suggesting that the way this current bill is crafted could be problematically prohibitive, as it seeks to charge $100 million for a server license and impose a 20 percent tax on all wagers while potentially challenging federal law. Pappas, however, did not provide any statement on the economic impact such a law would have on Waikiki vendors selling T-shirts like these:

The Hawaii poker bill — originally written supposedly to provide a tax holiday for buying school supplies — passed out of the Economic Revitalization & Business Committee on a 7-1 vote, and the House Judiciary Committee, 9-3. It now moves on to the House Finance Committee.

(Mahalo Poker Gnome for the heads-up.)

Roadtrip to Repeal: Washington to Washington

Poker convoy lobbies against (anti) iGambling legislation

by , Mar 17, 2011 | 4:12 pm

The PPA flew cross country from DC->Olympia earlier this week so they could rendezvous today with Andy Bloch+Linda Johnson+Jan Fisher and 20 online poker players.

No, it’s not part of the plot line to a poker-politico version of “Almost Famous”.

Unlike the lobbyist-types communing in various state capitals for the purposes of *passing* online gaming legislation, this party is roadtripping to *repeal* the online gambling ban in Washington State.

Read about it via the following presser from PPA (but lol at the word “draconian”):

Poker Players Alliance Members Meet with Washington Lawmakers
Hope to Gain Support for Overturning State Ban on Online Poker

Olympia, WA (March 17, 2011) – Members of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) from across the state of Washington are spending the day in Olympia today to ask their state lawmakers to overturn the draconian state law that makes Washingtonians felons for enjoying a hand of poker on their home computers. The PPA, the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide and more than 20,000 in Washington State, has been leading the efforts in the state to protect players from potential criminalization and provide them with a safe, regulated, national environment in which to play online poker.

“Washington is the only state that makes it not only a crime, but a felony on par with child pornography, for its own citizens to play poker at their home computer. Surely, lawmakers in the state can recognize that penalizing their constituents for opting to enjoy a hand of poker on the computer versus at the casino down the street is not only illogical but ineffective,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. “Our goal with this lobby day is to raise awareness of the incongruity of this law and identify alternatives for legislators to support that will remove this criminalization while providing a safe and regulated online poker market.”

Joining more than 20 Washingtonians in Olympia are three renowned professional poker players – Andy Bloch, Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher. The group of players will meet with at least 45 state legislators to discuss the impact of the state ban and how overturning the ban and supporting federal and perhaps even state regulation of online poker would result in consumer protections for players and millions of dollars in much needed state revenue.

The state law, passed in 2006 and recently upheld by the State Supreme Court, makes it a class “C” felony for an individual to play poker online from their home computer punishable by a $10,000 fine and/or five years in prison. A 2010 poll of Washington State voters found that an overwhelming 80 percent of them disagree with this law, and over half believe online poker should be licensed, regulated and taxed.

“We have the support of the public for overturning this ban. We have the support of the players. We hope that after today, we will have the support of state lawmakers as well and can begin the process of removing the criminalization of the individual players and establishing a safe, regulated online poker market in Washington State,” continued Pappas.

PPA Concedes 2010 Online Poker Fight


by , Dec 17, 2010 | 4:00 pm

If we believe that 50 years from now, poker and online poker will be part of our world, then what went down in December 2010 will be little more than a footnote in an effort that took maybe 5, maybe 10 years to get to the beginning stages of however the 2060 WSOP is run.

In fact, makes me wanna give an assignment to Las Vegas 1st graders and/or 2+2 — crayon drawings of how they see the 2060 WSOP.

Anyhow, though I still think we (as in “poker”) technically may have one out left, all interested parties seem to be resigned to the notion that 2010 — for all the heartfelt ups and downs we experienced — is not the year for change poker players can believe in. Right now I think our best bet, with all the major-world issues being fought over in DC, would be for a staffer to trip while bringing a bill to Obama and letting a few sheets of paper slip in unnoticed for an accidental signing.

We’ll have to leave it to the mainstream pundits to determine why on earth this shoulda even been a problem when we ultimately brought $60 billion via decent policy to the table — and the people theoretically supporting it controlled all branches of government … one of them being one of the most powerful people in Washington DC. Something doesn’t seem to add up, and I suspect Harry Reid will have a lot of questions to answer but not really as a guy who secured his gig for 6 years. But in the meantime, the PPA, in just its fourth year of existence, has put out the statement below surrendering this round while assessing how to build off a year where they made more progress for poker than ever before seen on a federal level … bringing us closer to those kindergarten dreams of what 2060 could look like:


Weekly Podcast Review

by , | 12:00 pm

DonkDown Radio:

This is the first time that I have actually listened to this show, due to me not being a fan of Podcast that extend past the 2 hour mark. After just listening to this episode it easily moves into the must listen weekly list. This week Jimmy “Gobboboy” Fricke comes in and the discussion goes from poker to Magic the Gathering. Kristy Arnett comes on next to discuss her recent mini-FTOPs win and is put on the spot with this weeks Dirty Half Dozen where things go from R rated to XXX rated. Check out the latest episode at the DonkDown site or subscribe and download it via iTunes.

Final Table Poker Radio:

The guys from St. Louis come back this week to further discuss the Reid bill with John Pappas of the PPA. John sounded a lot less hopeful that the bill will be passed before years end and gives some thoughts on where things go from here. The discussion does move off the Reid bill this week and goes into antes in cash games and the Bellagio heist. If you want to listen to the entire show or catch up on previous show you can either visit The Final Table site or check it out on iTunes.

3 Gentlemen:

Brian Hastings joins the 3 Gentlemen crew this week to discuss the love between him and Isildur. The guys also discuss their sports betting losses over the past week. These guys really like to talk their sports so if that is something that you really would like to listen to then check them out on Cardrunners or subscribe on iTunes.

PPA, #reidbill on Bloomberg Television

John Pappas to “discuss” iPoker

by , Dec 16, 2010 | 9:37 am

PPA’s Executive Director John Pappas will be on Bloomberg TV this morning to “discuss licensing and regulating online poker” per @ppapoker morning tweet.

Will he give details on iPoker’s status on the Hill, or confirm/deny @ESPN_Poker‘s recent assertion that #reidbill is dead?

Watch it LIVE here @ 11:45am ET/8:45am LV ->

Poker Partyline

Update from Pappas, the PPA, et Al D’Amato

by , Dec 6, 2010 | 5:38 pm

Was just writing a post highlighting a few places to bookmark for the week, including:

Everyone seems to be on pins and needles waiting to hear something … when along comes word over the transom from our good-good friends at the PPA, giving the update on where things stand in the halls of a lame-duck Congress as per online poker.

In a nutshell: We’ve been working toward this for five years. Don’t let Harrah’s take all the credit. Hang tight. We’re Blackberrying our asses off trying to get this thing right. Stay tuned, quit yer bitchin’, things change. And, of course, don’t forget to spend whatever political capital you may have telling your Congresspeeps why online poker regulation is the most awesomest thing since America and freedom!

Meanwhile, I set up a specific Pokerati tag for “UIGEA Repeal” so you could follow the most timely best from all Pokerati’s well-informed contributors as they posted … but alas, have since discovered a rather key error in that, technically, this unofficial Harry Reid Poker Bill wouldn’t repeal the UIGEA, but rather would strengthen it … still hopefully to the poker world’s liking, obv.

UPDATE: Indeed, Al D’Amato and the PPA are calling on YOU to contact your US senators. Assuming you believe in the overall cause of guaranteeing American freedom and much needed tax revenue via proper regulation of online poker, as espoused by D’Amato in the email blast titled “Tell your Senators to Support iPoker Regulation TODAY!” … click here to give online-poker proponents some numbers to bargain with when negotiating with other special interests.


South Carolina Supreme Court Hears Poker’s Case

PPA attorneys argue personal freedom, private residence AND skill

by , Oct 19, 2010 | 2:49 pm

The PPA speaks out on the South Carolina Supreme Court’s game-of-skill hearing, where they helped provide legal counsel for the five players contesting their misdemeanor illegal gambling convictions.

This case has nothing to do with casinos or video poker.  This case is about the freedom of adults to play a game of skill, like poker, in their own home and that is it.

– John Pappas, Poker Players Alliance

Fair enough. But it does stand to set precedent and interpretation that other states will at least look at upon (finally) recognizing their own old gambling laws may not really work in today’s day and age.

Sure, we all know that poker is a game of skill and therefore Truth is on poker’s side here, but that may not be the deciding factor when all is said and done. Likewise, the private residence argument could ring a bit hollow because we all know the difference between a self-dealt home game and a for-profit poker room.

But regardless, clarity in and of itself could be a worthy end-result, no? Is it legal to host a weekly sit-n-go and take a “rake” for pizza and beer? What about to pay for nice tables and utilities? Professional dealer maybe? Would it make a difference if you operated as a non-profit? And If an undercover cop wins the bad-beat jackpot, do they have make-up in their backing deal with taxpayers?

Obviously, the South Carolina Supreme Court won’t be making such scenario-specific determinations. However … assuming they don’t just kick it back like Kentucky and Washington did (saying essentially, “eh, not our call”) … this court is being asked to decide, ultimately, just how far the government’s reach extends when dealing with a game of skill played for money … and that’s a question powerful people are wrangling with in different jurisdictions all around the world.

If you haven’t already, help Pokerati determine where poker falls on the spectrum of luck vs. skill here, and read below for the PPA’s official take on today’s important poker activity in South Carolina:


Congress Back in Sesh

HR 2267 in gear but waiting for 2268, election and lame ducks

by , Sep 14, 2010 | 7:00 am

(WASHINGTON DC) Both the House and Senate reconvened yesterday on a crisp bright fallish day in the Beltway.  After a summertime recess spent allowing members to return to their home districts, it’s time for Reps and Senators to get back to doing all the things they do in the *public eye* — and that doesn’t mean just appearing on Jay Leno.  

This will be the first opportunity for HR 2267 to take those *many* next steps on the legislative grind  to Obama’s “final table” since it passed through House Financial Services committee over six (!) weeks ago. It is also the last window for anything to happen before the November election; however, this window will close on October 8. That’s about 20 days from now, folks.

So what’s going to be happening, if anything?


High-Brow* Poker Wonk Fest

RE: This Week in Poker This Week

by , Aug 4, 2010 | 6:32 pm

Amazing. Didn’t think it could be done. Yet the entities at Wicked Chops keep getting better and better at this whole video talk format, and if you look/listen closely you might start to believe that they’re actually not unintelligent, uninformed, uncouth sexist, racist wankers. Clearly WCP’s marketing department must be going ape-shit over this travesty and calling for someone’s firing if “the entities” are gonna go on-air every week and disgrace the Wicked Chops brand.

For those of you who didn’t see it — or get to watch in full — here’s an hour and 40minutes of the masters of poker low-brow taking on the headier issues of the poker day … with their special guests this week Annie Duke, John Pappas, and me … joining the crew for my first ever video Skype at 53:00 if you’re short on time and have to get right to the good stuff.

Also fans of @JessWelman will wanna be sure to check out the early part of the show, where she makes her debut appearance delivering news briefs and tackling matters of poker pop culture such as Beth Shak’s forthcoming season on Miliionaire Matchmaker.

* Seriously, not sure what I kept looking at way up in the sky. Video-chat clearly adds 10 pounds.

Tune in to This Week in Poker This Week

by , Aug 3, 2010 | 11:58 am

Really you should probably tune in every week … but especially this week, as yours truly takes his talking head to a new level — joining the dudes from Wicked Chops, the PPA’s John Pappas, and Annie Duke. (I’m pretty sure I’m the Skype video-chat guy with Annie in studio.)

HR 2267 will be the topic du jour … looking forward to it for sure! Say what you will about Annie Duke (I generally do, both good or bad), but she’s one of the few big-wig pros with whom I can engage in an intelligent conversation about hefty and heady matters. The others tend to either be so caught up in their own world it’s at best a 1.25-way convo, or they say little more than what their keepers (or kept) are putting out in press releases. You don’t have time for that!

More info about today’s show here … which is also where you can pass on the questions you’d like Annie or the WCPs to theoretically address. (I’m telling you now, it’s hit or miss with me today, as I likely won’t be listening so much as I’ll be tending to my hair in the little Skype video chat square.)

Also making her debut on the show will be Jess Welman, my very favorite Poker Beat cohort who happens to be a 20something red-headed female.

Uh, hairy times … not just because Wicked Chops is making a big leap in confronting their their long-held follicular prejudices — I guess we all were a little inspired by Chesea Clinton’s wedding — but also because there’s a lot to discuss about poker, politics, online gambling, and a shifting mutibillion-dollar industry … all the stuff that matters occasionally at the very bottom of a mainstream news budget.

Should lead to some top-quality discourse and debate. Or if we’re lucky, one of us will start throwing chairs.

T.W.I.P. streams live at 4pm PT here.

PPA Lays Out Last-Ditch Effort to Spare Online Poker from UIGEA Deadline Day

by , May 12, 2010 | 4:34 am

Witht the June 1 enforcement deadline fast approaching, PPA Executive Director John Pappas lays out a new strategy for dodging the UIGEA:

They’re sending a petition around Congress requesting an exemption from the UIGEA for online poker and “peer-to-peer” games. Procedurally, this is similar to what got us that first six-month delay. And while it seems like a bit of a hail mary — starting off with just 22 signatures — if the PPA pulls this off it could be huge. Just guessing a bit here, but an exemption for poker, an ex post facto carveout essentially, seems like it would be a serious reversal of power akin to a middle pocket pair turning a set against an Ace-King that connected on the flop.

Haven’t spoken to anyone about this yet, but I think the big telltale sign here will be whether or not Harry Reid gets on board. He’s the guy other Dems (like my rep, Dina Titus, who recently signed on as a co-sponsor to the stalled Barney Frank bill) often look to for direction. Supposedly the rumors we’ve been spreading about his support for online gambling (and a possible poker-only bill) have been “greatly exaggerated”. And if you recall, his longtime big supporters at the American Gaming Association want more online gambling for sure, but only after this June 1 D-day passes.

Internet Casino Expoing

by , Jan 30, 2010 | 4:38 am

Some pokery political types are in London right now for the International Gaming Expo. Figure out for yourself why there might be foreign interest in the likes of the Poker Players Alliance, right as this bill gets ready to go into “mark-up”. Our pal J. Todd is there and he tracks down PPA Exec. Dir. John Pappas to talk about the 2010 Barney Frank bill, what’s the strategy behind it, and what makes it different from previous online poker legislation.

It’s apparently all gonna be twitter-based this go-round —

Good interview helping mak sense of it all: Inside Deal – Season 2 Premiere w/ Joe Cada and John Pappas

by , Jan 26, 2010 | 1:13 pm

The Inside Deal makes its to its second season on with Joe Cada and John Pappas appearing on the show.

Semi-historic Vote Coming Up

How a Bill May or May Not Become a Law, Part 249

by , Jan 17, 2010 | 1:26 am

The PPA is giving a heads-up that they’ll be needing your help in coming weeks. Apparently, Barney Frank’s HR 2267 will be coming for a committee mark-up vote.

If I remember correctly, mark-up is where the committee votes yay or nay on moving the bill forward, but everyone, regardless of how they’re voting, gets to pipe in with what elements they’ll need to see in it to vote for it on the floor. So you know, maybe some sorta protection for the kids has to be included, or money for the Indians … that kinda thing.

Here’s PPA honcho John Pappas letting you know that anti-anti-poker legislation — a licensing and regulating bill — is indeed moving forward in 2010:

Poker 2Nite – Episode 3

by , Dec 3, 2009 | 4:26 pm

Here’s this week’s episode, discussing the delay of the UIGEA, an interview with John Pappas of the PPA and other stuff. Parts 2 and 3 appear on the next page.