Will Online Poker Win in the End?

Winning in the end

People love playing Texas holdem hands in cyberspace. That is a given, and one of the few things that most people across the cultural spectrum agree on. The problem for many people is that playing online poker in the United States is technically illegal. Theoretically, this would leave the only option live gaming as the only option for who enjoy playing Texas holdem hands under casino conditions. Despite the internet poker law, American poker players are getting their fill of holdem poker at FullTilt, PokerStars, and Doyles Room. The same US officials who argued so vehemently that online gaming and internet holdem was a moral curse, are ignoring all the online Texas holdem hands being played in their country like a bald man who refuses to acknowledge his hairline is now by his ears. So why are the very people who put the internet poker law (well actually a law regarding credit cards and other entities not being able to legally process payments for online gaming sites) now taking a “nothing to see here” attitude towards online poker sites that are openly challenging them? According to the new issue of “Forbes”, the government may be afraid to take on the online poker and internet gaming industry because they are afraid they will lose if the whole thing goes to court. In short, all the antics when the internet poker law was originally passed were simply a bluff (to borrow a holdem poker term).

Poker players were justifiably enraged when the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act became law. The “for the children” argument was a weak reason to bar somebody from playing Texas holdem hands online. It also showed that lawmakers were about as dumb poker players who slow plays a pair of pre-flop aces in holdem poker. All the law really accomplished was removing the sites with less of a spine out of the American market and surrender the online poker market to such holdem poker giants as PokerStars, FullTilt, and Doyles Room. Mr. Brunson has taken a very casual attitude toward the whole thing. He has been quoted as saying "I don't have a problem with the Justice Department, and I hope they don't have a problem with me.” PokerStars was a little less folksy and they are almost daring the Justice Department to take them on. They have solicited opinions from five different law firms and are convinced they are standing on solid legal ground. For now they will continue to offer their services to online poker players. Well that or they are taking a page from the holdem poker players who frequent their site, and their bluffing. Either way, the government seems paralyzed on the topic.

Enforcement of the internet poker law is supposed to start in the summer. This may not happen, and people will probably still be playing Texas holdem hands online next Christmas. Most members of the American congress are scrambling to save their jobs from an enraged electorate, many of whom play online poker. On top of that, Barack Obama’s popularity has slipped to the point where he is only slightly more liked then O.J. Simpson. Coming against poker players by aggressively enforcing the internet poker law would be political suicide. There is a pretty good chance that nothing will happen this summer, and that poker players will win against this bad legislation in the end.

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