Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Open Letters to Jimmy Duncan, Bob Corker, and Lamar Alexander

Mr. Duncan,(Sen. Alexander, Sen. Corker)

I play poker. I also vote.

In 2006, under cover of darkness, Sen. Bill Frist attached the UIGEA to a port security bill.


Because he didn't have the votes to get it passed in open session of the Senate.

It was an unpopular bill, unsupported by the majority of Americans, but Sen. Frist decided that he knew better than his constituents, so he used strong arm tactics and back room politics to get it passed. Those tactics will be remembered and will come back to haunt him when he runs for governor.

Do you also believe that you know what's good for me better than I do? Are you going to try and protect me from myself?

That's not your job. It is the job of government to protect its members from the actions of others. It is not the job of the government to protect its members from their own actions. That's the difference between being a citizen and a subject. You are not my caretaker; you are my representative.

Although you voted in favor of H.R.4411, I ask that you support HR 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act, that clearly exempts the great game of poker from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). Poker is a game of skill; while there is a component of luck involved, there's luck in every competitive endeavor. The key factor is whether skill wins out over luck over the long haul.

Take NASCAR for instance. Drivers are competing for a cash prize, and their ability to win depends primarily on their skill at maneuvering their car around the track. But how many times have we seen one of the top drivers get caught up in somebody else's accident, and lose all chance of winning? How many times have we seen a driver lose a lap because he was trapped in the pits when a caution came out? Luck determined his outcome for that race, but over time, a top driver's skill will overcome any bad luck he may have, and he'll win a championship. Just ask Jeff Gordon or Richard Petty.

It is exactly the same with the game of poker. Luck determines the cards you are dealt; over time, every player will get the same good hands and bad hands. To win consistently, you must have skill. You not only have to be able to evaluate the worth of your hand, you must be able to evaluate the worth of your opponent's hand. This is a skill that takes years of practice to refine, and it's why the same names keep showing up at the top of the money winners list year after year.

Poker, like racing, is a skill game; it's not gambling.

I also ask that you support H.R. 5767, recently introduced legislation that places a moratorium on the enactment of the badly flawed UIGEA regulations.

As regulations to implement UIGEA come close to their effective date, our nation's financial institutions are warning the Congress that these regulations are unworkable. Louise Roseman of the Federal Reserve testified that it will be very difficult to enforce the law "without a more bright line on what is included as unlawful Internet gambling". Even if this "bright line" were defined, however, she stated that payment systems are not designed to perform this type of function. Representatives from the American Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and Wells Fargo fully concurred with this assessment. Dozens of other banks have submitted similar comments to the Federal Reserve and to the Treasury Department. The principal comment of the American Bankers Association is a concise summary: "We maintain that the UIGEA is a fundamentally flawed response to those challenges."

I encourage you to cosponsor H.R. 5767. Banks should be responsible for managing their deposits and their loan portfolios, not for policing the behaviors of Americans in their own homes.

I also encourage you to support HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act that regulates online poker via stringent licensing regulations for poker site operators.

These safeguards will work - the June 8, 2007 House Financial Services Committee hearing on Internet gaming proved conclusively that Internet poker can be effectively regulated. Note that neither HR 2610 nor HR 2046 forces any state to permit online poker, as states can opt out if they wish.

What's most important to me is your support for my rights. Please respond to this letter and let me know if you will support my freedoms. I will be watching your actions on this issue closely. I hope that I, along with my nearly one million fellow Poker Players Alliance members, can count on your support.

Thank you for your consideration.
Posted by Rich
Poker • (2) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

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'I play poker. I also vote.'

You do? Funny, I've invited you and you never show wink
Posted by SayUncle  on  04/29  at  02:33 PM

I showed once.

And you took me so deep out into the boonies I I started hearing banjo music!*grin*
Posted by rich  on  04/29  at  03:07 PM

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