Random Thoughts: Bureaucrats Edition
It's time for another edition of Random Thoughts, our commentary on the poker world where each paragraph might be wholly unrelated to the ones before and after it.
While the poker world may not have realized it, a bullet was dodged in the recent U.S. elections. Republican Senator from Nevada, Dean Heller, just barely won his bid for reelection. Why does this matter to poker? Heller is a key piece of Senator Harry Reid's mission to pass legislation legalizing and regulating online poker. If poker has any chance of being legalized at the national level this side of 2014, it needed Heller to win.
online poker 468x60
Another solid win for poker came in the form of an Obama reelection. While it's downright silly to equate Obama as good for poker, he is a needed component to the Reid agenda. With Mitt Romney in office, poker would have been drawing dead on seeing a federal bill signed into law before 2016. Its chances are still slim as it is, but it's nice to have outs.
My girlfriend recently met yet another one of the poker playing souls whose acquaintance I have gained through this crazy game we all love to hate. After the encounter, she hit the nail right on the head when saying, "poker players all dress and look like such slobs!" I couldn't help but laugh because, for the most part, she is right! On one hand, its excusable to dress in gym shorts and a t-shirt in any profession that affords you the chance to do so. However, on the other hand, poker has a crisis of professionality. The game could badly use some charismatic, organized individuals to help create a better image in the minds of outsiders. Banking or financial trading is seen as "prestigious" in society because it's ran by suits. Poker, however, is viewed as a fringe activity. But at its core, playing poker or making financial decisions as a trader are fairly highly correlated professions. If you have any reasons to suspect you'll be on television playing poker anytime in the future, do the rest of us a favor and put on a collared shirt please! The dream of poker being embraced by the mainstream is not dead yet, but it needs some help.
As Full Tilt Poker's operations have re-launched, U.S. players remain without a clue from the DOJ as to how they will get their money back. It's government, so you don't expect an expedient process, but some indication from authorities in charge of repaying Full Tilt's U.S. customers would beat silence. One would imagine the hold-up must have something to do with getting all of the red tape together in order to levy as many taxes as possible on Full Tilt cashouts. Will the DOJ involve the IRS in repaying Full Tilt's U.S. customers? It's a nightmare scenario for many players and one that is totally possible.
By the way, if you aren't following Black Friday Chad on Twitter, you are missing the best poker-related reason to heat up a bag of popcorn and enjoy a couple of hours of entertainment in 2012. God knows the WSOP Main Event Final Table was not that opportunity.
We found out what all the cool kids are playing these days. Not because we are cool kids but because we accidentally stumbled into one of their secret "cool kids" meetings recently. They're playing open-faced Chinese poker. The game is dealt one card at a time at which point one must determine where to assign that card to their overall Chinese poker hand. It sounds challenging as hell and one would imagine anyone who plays it optimally (Shaun Deeb, probably) enjoys a fat edge.
Does anyone know from where the enigmatic, poker-playing personification of the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man, Dan Bilzerian, got his money? The life he appears to lead would require a bottomless supply of greenbacks. Someone on his Facebook wall recently summed it up pretty well, "What did you win the fucking lottery or what? Your (sic) like a modern day Hue (sic) Hefner?" What is your secret, Dan Bilzerian?!
Last week, Howard Lederer filed a court motion to dismiss all of the civil charges he is currently facing by the U.S. government. Lederer is asking the court to dismiss the entire $42.5 million lawsuit against him. Lederer is trying to use the Lawrence DiCristina ruling that poker is a game of skill in order to convince the court he was not running an illegal gambling business with Full Tilt Poker. This man should write a book on how to be audacious. He buys a $150,000 car after Black Friday, sits in poker games in Las Vegas as if he isn't the scorn of the entire community, and now asks a U.S. court to dismiss their (highly reasonable) charges against him. Lederer is shameless and unaware to the point that one should credit him as skillful at those abilities.