Posts Tagged ‘progressive politics’

Re: Andy Bloch returns to Rio to defend Internet freedom

It’s about more than just poker, but poker important part of it

by , Jul 23, 2010 | 10:16 am

Thursday morning at the Rio, Andy Bloch was part of a panel at Netroots Nation titled Internet Freedom: Protecting Rights in the Digital Realm. Many in the poker community have heard Bloch’s points about how the government is infringing on the freedom of poker players (UIGEA), but to most in the audience, it was new information to them.

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom (Photo by BJ Nemeth)

Bloch stated three reasons why they should care, even if they’re not an online poker player: Basic freedom, the implications and side effects a ban on Internet gambling would have and how it could move to other areas of the Internet, and that people need to be organized and actively defend their rights. Bloch related a story about how he was playing a $1 SNG online (not mentioning Full Tilt Poker, but he was wearing a PPA patch) with an individual who was visually impaired. He stated that the person he was talking to, and others like him, would not be able to play in a brick and mortar casino. He also described how the UIGEA was passed in the middle of the night in 2006, attached to a must-pass bill. At the time, the PPA and poker community weren’t as mobilized as they are today in the effort to regulate Internet gambling.

The other two individuals on the panel, James Rucker of discussing net neutrality and Amelia Donoley of the Center for Media Justice discussing how Internet freedom affects migrant and Latino communities. Most of the audience questions (which were difficult to hear on the video) appeared to be geared toward the net neutrality issue, with the fear that big corporations would control the flow of the Internet, forcing out smaller companies and non-profit groups. Andy stated that there are big corporations supporting net neutrality, as well as to help regulate online poker.

At the end of the panel, each panelist had one final opportunity to promote their efforts. Bloch brought out a poker chip with a bar code to enter into a drawing for an Ipad. The other two panelists seemed impressed with his offering as they each picked up a chip. To watch the hearing, it’s available below:

Bloch returns to Rio to defend Internet freedom

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 8:29 pm

Andy Bloch played over 30 tournaments at the Rio during the WSOP this summer, but he’ll make one more visit to the Rio Thursday morning as part of Netroots Nation (formerly known as the YearlyKos Convention). Netroots is a gathering of progressive voices to help better influence public debate on a variety of issues taking place at the Rio through Sunday, July 25th. An example of what you can expect during the weekend include these panels: Tweeting the Revolution: How Hip-Hop Transformed 140 into 360, Deepwater Disaster: Response and Recovery on the Gulf Coast and Bringing the Snark after Winning Elections. A variety of social events include a poker tournament sponsored by the PPA on Friday evening at Buzio’s.

Bloch will be part of a panel entitled Internet Freedom: Protecting Rights in the Digital Realm in a section of the Brasilia Room, home of the Bad Beat Bar during this year’s WSOP.

The description of the panel:

Freedom must be protected everywhere it is threatened. The FCC has an opportunity to protect Internet users from telecom interests seeking to exploit them. This session will dissect the fight for an open Internet to this point and share strategies for building grassroots support to achieve real Internet Freedom.

The description of Bloch mentions his work with the PPA as part of a grassroots effort to protect the rights of poker players live and online. How much of that will be mentioned during the panel is unknown, but you can watch the discussion from 10:30am-11:45am PT on