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Daniel - Poker Journal

U.S. Politics is Quite a Joke

04 Oct 2006

I'm back in Vegas now after doing a couple shows in Toronto on Monday. First up I did OTR with my favorite hockey player of all-time, Wendel Clark, and from there, I did my favorite radio show, the Fan 590 with Bob McCown.

On Off the Record we mostly talked hockey, but when I got to the Fan they knew all about the online gaming bill so they wanted to ask me a few questions about that. I'll share my thoughts on this absurd attempt to invade our privacy in a minute.

On the Fan we talked a little poker, but then spent most of the rest of the time talking about the state of the Blue Jays. The team did exceptionally well this season, but it's doubtful that they'll be able to match that success next year.

After the show Bob invited me over to his place. We talked sports, poker, and even Baccarat if you can believe it. Later I found out that Bob is quite a golfer and told him that I was having lots of trouble hitting the ball recently.

For the first time in a while, somebody gave me a simple explanation as to what was going wrong. I was bringing the club back way too flat. I knew that, but my adjustment was still wrong. I was still coming back flat, but just a little higher.

Bob put a pool cue at my feet and had me extend my arms out straighter on the backswing. Arms first, then at the top of the swing- hands. Then, coming through the ball he had me starting the rotation with my left hip and follow through. I didn't actually hit any balls, but I didn't even have to. I know it's there, it's just a matter of going to the range and I'm all good.

From Bob's place I met with my brother and friends at a place called the C-Lounge. I had a few drinks there and then it hit me. I was just so exhausted. It dawned on me that I hadn't eaten anything all day, and mixing beer, white wine, and vodka cranberry on an empty stomach was a recipe for disaster.

When I got to my mother's place, I decided to make the bathroom my boudoir for the evening. My mother's air conditioning doesn't work all that well and it was the coolest place in the apartment.

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Today I shot some stuff with Boston Rob & Amber. Not sure if you guys all knew, but Fox Reality picked up their show and I'll be appearing on quite a few episodes trying to teach Rob a few things.

We actually got a lot done today. I gave him a lesson at the house and then we headed to the Red Rock casino to play some $2-$5 no limit hold'em.

Within the first round, Rob made some brutal mistakes in two consecutive hands. He blew off $600 totally unnecessarily, but still came out ahead at the end of the session.

Rob has some really good instincts, but his fundamental knowledge is still pretty limited. Hopefully after I get a chance to work with him a little bit more we'll get him playing a little more fundamentally sound.

Tomorrow, I'll be working with Rob again. In the meantime, I'm going to work hard at trying to finish my book, this blog, and crank out a Card Player column that's late... no way???

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Ok, so unless you've been living under a rock you already know that Senator Bill Frist, from here on in known as slimy weasel, was able to pass a Port Security Bill this weekend that also makes it more difficult for banks to fund online accounts.

Before I mentioned it in my blog I wanted to make sure that I educated myself a little bit more on the state of online poker and what this bill means to all of us.

For the most part, I think they can take their bill and shove it where the sun don't shine. An attempt several years ago to discourage credit card companies from funding online gaming accounts may have caused a slight panic, but in the end, companies like Neteller and other third party operators made it easy for customers to fund their online accounts.

What's still a really grey area is what exactly will happen to a company like Neteller. Neteller isn't a U.S. bank so the U.S. government should have no jurisdiction over Neteller accounts. If that's true, then things will continue to be business as usual.

The way I understand it, you will still be able to fund your Neteller account from your bank account. Neteller is NOT an online gaming company. Your bank would have virtually no way of tracing what you do with your funds after you send them to Neteller, which appears to be totally legal as I understand it.

A couple of publicly owned companies have went on record saying that once the bill is signed by president Bush, they will no longer accept U.S. accounts until they have time to fully understand their options.

As for the majority of privately owned sites, it will be business as usual. Frankly, as moronic and intrusive as this bill is, there is really no need to panic. The bill states that banks have 270 days to comply with the law. Most banks, especially smaller ones, won't even have the resources to do that as I understand it.

In a time where Italy recently announced that they will legalize online gambling and most European countries following suit, it just boggles my mind that the U.S. government fails to realize that A) they do not govern the world, B) they cannot put a stop to online gaming, and C) they are costing the American people billions and billions of dollars in tax dollars that they could use to spend on education, welfare... or just building more "pretty" bombs.

The weasel (remember, that's Bill Frist), claims that online gambling is a way in which terrorists go about laundering money. Come off it? How do you say that with a straight face? Weasel, do you have any proof whatsoever that any terrorist group has used online poker accounts to launder money? Any at all?

The weasel is a self-righteous douche bag who has decided to push upon us his moral agenda by claiming that online poker is "bad." Has he ever played poker? Probably not. Does he even understand that it's different from slot machines? Probably not. Does he even realize that many Americans put food on the table by playing online poker? Probably not, and I doubt he cares. He thinks "gambling is wrong" so we all have to have the same view of it as he does.

Now to the important stuff. There is an organization that we all have to support. I don't mean next week, I don't mean when you have some time, I mean right now. Take a few minutes to check out www.pokerplayersalliance.org/

Currently, over 125,000 poker players have signed on to become a member of this important organization. That number needs to get to a million. I know a lot of you guys read this blog, so please, if you haven't signed up yet do it now. This is no Sally Struthers plea, this is serious. The more people we have behind the PPA the more leverage we could have in Washington.

You can become a full member for as little $20. That money will be used to help fight for a very worthy cause. I'm signing up right now, and you should too. Ok, stop reading now... and go sign up.

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