Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Friday, February 23, 2007

Guilty By Association

If you play on Full Tilt, you will probably have received an email encouraging you to join the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). By encouraging I should really say bribing - basically you'll get a bonus according to what level you sign up at, for example in effect you sign up to the PPA, Full Tilt gives the PPA $40 and you $60 (after playing out the bonus).

This sounds great, but there are a few things I'd like to draw your attention to before you take this up. Think about this for a second. Is it really onside to give people money to join and then trumpet how many members you have ? Gary Carson is extremely sceptical about the organisation, and whatever you think about Gary (I think he rules myself, but you know how cynical I am) he's done his homework. Carson's position is that playing online poker in your home isn't illegal in the US (or at least this isn't clear yet), and nor is placing a sports bet (it's the banks and operators who are being chased down). The PPA are basically saying "yes, we admit it's illegal, but give us an exemption". Or, to take it further, "fuck sports bettors, just let us off". This seems to miss the point that a lot of poker players also bet sports. I also have to laugh when an article says that the PPA's argument is "The Gutshot defence" of skill vs. luck, while failing to point out that Gutshot lost, fairly comfortably.

Carson also links to a post on 2+2 where Mason Malmuth had the PPA independently reviewed, in order to determine whether 2+2 should openly support the organisation. The short version is, following the review, they don't.

Please do at least read Carson and Malmuth before joining. If you still want to join, then fine. I'm going to pass. I'm fairly suspicious of "players' organisations" to start with. Remember the WPPA ? Ask Felicia about it if you don't.


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