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Daniel - Poker Journal

In Response to Mark Kreidler

06 Mar 2007

I saw a link to the following article in the FCP forums recently and was left confused after reading it: D'Amato Shows Poker Face.

Before writing this piece I doubt that Kreidler did much research. About the PPA, he says, "a group you've never heard of that nevertheless is committed to doing God's work by protecting the rights of card players everywhere to lose money online."

Nowhere in his column does he make mention of the many players that make their living through playing online poker. The piece just gets worse from there. He quotes D'Amato as saying that you don't have 70 million people participating in baseball. Then, he goes on to infer that D'Amato is being dishonest by saying that a recent PPA release mentioned that only 23 million people play online poker.

Not sure if you are aware of this Mr. Kriedler, but you can actually play poker in casinos in America, at your home with friends, as well as the internet. When you add that figure up, about 70 million people in this country play poker.

Mr.Kreidler then went on to write, "meaning Al has a bunch of Friday night garages to fill if he's going to get his sport up to 70 million nationally. But why let all that cigar smoke get in the way of a good story?" The truth is being distorted, but it's not D'Amato thatĎs doing it, it's being done by a writer who knows very little about the passion people in this country, and across the world have for poker.

What's most offensive about this piece is that there isn't even the slightest hint of objectivity. For example, he write, "As they see it, poker is a game of skill and chance, which therefore entitles Al to call it a sport, which blah blah blah -- you can see where this is going."

Kriedler's insensitivity to this issue is offensive to anyone who loves the game of poker. Nowhere does he discuss the fact that your rights are being infringed upon. Nowhere is there a mention of the shady dealings that were necessary to see this bill get passed.

It gets worse, he then goes on to write the following, " D'Amato also raises a point with which American history is likely to agree, even if it's comically misguided here. "Prohibitions don't work," he said in the PPA's news release. "They only create unintended consequences."

Just like liquor, in other words. Well, drinking, gambling  you get the idea. Try to ban card games online, and they'll only start playing poker in somebody's living room late at night, buying their own chips or using makeshift materials like pretzels and M&Ms as token "money." Where will the madness end?"

Does Kreidler really not comprehend what unintended consequences entails? I don't think he does, because either he didn't do his homework, or just doesnít understand the internet landscape. To enlighten you, Mr, Kreidler, by not allowing reputable online companies to do business in the U.S. you will attract the wrong element. You turn the internet into a wild west of sorts, rather than regulate it, tax it, and govern what would ultimately be a very profitable decision for the U.S. government.

What Mr. Kreidler fails to understand is that online poker isn't going anywhere. There will always be ways to fund online accounts, so while they can make it harder to play by putting pressure on companies like Neteller, they won't put an end to online poker in this country. In fact, the bill that was passed doesn't make playing poker on the internet illegal for the player.

What journalist hears a man say there are 70 million poker players in the U.S., and then tries to argue that by saying only 23 million people played online poker last year? Then goes on to basically insinuate that DíAmato is a liar. Mr. Kriedler, don't you see the holes in your article? Did DíAmato say that 70 million people play online poker, or did you make a boo-boo? Which is it, because based on what you wrote, you come off though you really donít have a clue what you are trying to say?

Thatís all. Just letting you know that I read your work and canít say that Iím a fan of the fact that youíve patronized me and about 23 million others in this country by saying, ďD'Amato rallies to the defense of those brave and heroic online gamers, who evidently need protecting in the form of Congressional legal re-interpretation.Ē