Reid bill could have hurt more than helped
Re-printed courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.
A commentary by Christopher Cosenza
Garth Brooks has a song called Unanswered Prayers, and in it he thanks God for not giving him what he had prayed for in the past because if God had, then he wouldn’t have what he has now.
The online poker world almost had one of these moments last month. Harry Reid, the Democratic senator from Nevada, very nearly pulled off the Herculean task of getting an online poker regulation bill put to a vote as part of bigger, must-pass legislation during the lame-duck session. It would’ve answered a lot of poker players’ prayers, but as Garth would point out, that’s not always such a good thing.
When players heard online poker regulation might actually get introduced there was joy on Fifth Street. But upon further review this bill smelled as fishy as a postflop check from an under-the-gun raiser. Yes, we all want online poker to be regulated; no one likes legally participating in a game that’s thought of as an illegal industry. But at what cost, and at who’s expense?
For the uninitiated, everything that happens on Capitol Hill comes with a catch. In this case, Mr. Reid nearly snatched an opportunity to pay back his IOUs to MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment for their contributions to a re-election campaign that saw him squeak past Republican challenger Sharron Angle.
And wasn’t Reid an opponent of online poker once? Funny what money can do to a politician’s views, isn’t it? Once the big boys decided they wanted a slice of the Internet pie it suddenly became very important to Reid to get online poker regulated, and regulated just for his interests. But more on that later.Think back to when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was attached to the SAFE Port Act in 2006. Weren’t you about as livid as Phil Hellmuth Jr. after getting his kings cracked by 10-7 offsuit? How could these politicians attach something so clearly thoughtless and ineffective to such an important bill at the stroke of midnight during the last session before an extended break? Oh, wait, that’s how politics work. It’s disgusting, and it’s sad. And that’s exactly what Reid was trying to do. The old “good-for-the-goose-good-for- the-gambler ” strategy.
An Interview with Jerry Yang - Celebrity, Family, and Charity
“You’re not going to believe this,” came the voice on the other end of the line, “I missed my bus”.
“You’re kidding?” Kirk Fallah, the creator and producer of Windy City Poker Championship, was distraught. His face fell. “Jerry missed his bus,” he relayed to the crew.
Jerry Yang was born in Laos, and escaped with his family to Thailand when his home country fell under Communist rule in the 1970s. Life didn’t get much easier, as his family spent four years in a refugee camp, where they faced more adversity than most of us can imagine. At the age of 13, Jerry came to the US, and the rest of his story began to unfold. In 2007, Jerry Yang won $8.25MM and the championship bracelet when he took down the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.
On this particular weekend, three years later, Jerry headed 2000 miles east to attend the Chicago Memorial Police Foundation poker event, and also to benefit the charities involved with Main Event Charity Games, and a number of upcoming episodes of Windy City Poker Championship.
When Kirk received the unfortunate phone call, Jerry had headed an additional 80 miles east, to the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI. The humble champ opted to take the casino’s complimentary shuttle, and while monitoring the return schedule, based his timing on “Chicago time”, not realizing that Michigan was an additional time zone east (later). Now the champ missed his ride, and the TV production was on hold.
Fortunately for all involved, a member of the show’s crew headed out to pick up Yang, and a couple hours later we were back in business. Later in the day, I got to sit down with the Champ. Here's what we talked about:
Are You Getting Paid to Play Poker? You Should Be.
Do you win or lose at the electronic poker table? These days, the soft players are few and far between, and being a better-than-breakeven player is harder and harder.
Do you lose money over time? Break even? What if I told you that you could make a ton of money by breaking even online? How about if I told you that you could actually be a long-term loser playing online poker and still come out ahead? All for money online poker sites take a small percentage of every pot played in their electronic room. This fee is called a "rake". Chicago Poker Club has arranged for you to get some of that money back as much as 25%-30%, or more!) when you play online. Its called "Rakeback", and it allows breakeven, and even small losing players to come out ahead.
We, at Chicago Poker Club, don't necessarily advocate playing online poker. In fact, we know that it is illegal in some parts of the U.S. and in parts of the world, and the rules are constantly changing. So, we must first tell you to check your local laws before considering playing online.
Once you have done your diligence, and made the decision to play poker online, make sure you're getting some of that rake back, as rakeback!
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