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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

PPA Announces National Poker Week Set for July 19-25

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The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) recently revealed that its membership has grown to more than 1.2 million members, and there is no better time than during the World Series of Poker to get the organization’s base involved in a very important process. And with its constant presence at the WSOP in Las Vegas, poker enthusiasts are learning the importance of communicating with their political representatives to express their interest in pushing pro-poker legislation through Congress this year.

It was on June 22 that the PPA then held a morning press conference to announce one of its biggest initiatives of the 2009 year. National Poker Week will be held from July 19 through 25 and include many opportunities for PPA members to get involved, with initiatives beginning now to end during the big week. In Vegas for the announcement were PPA chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, Nevada Representative Shelley Berkley, PPA Executive Director John Pappas, and poker pros Greg Raymer and Linda Johnson.

While all of the speakers at the press conference stressed the need for poker players and their friends and families to get involved to push Congress to support Barney Frank’s recently introduced legislation entitled the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act of 2009, the announcement at hand was regarding National Poker Week. The point of the week will be to inundate local, state, and federal government officials with letters and phone calls of support for pro-poker legislation. But there were several initiatives disclosed that will further that goal.

The first involves a new website called www.PokerPetition.com. (Note: If you are a PokerStars member, please read this article for a link to the same petition that will qualify you for a freeroll).  Everyone who supports poker is asked to visit the website and sign a petition that will ultimately be delivered to President Barack Obama during National Poker Week. As of the penning of this article, more than 64,000 people have signed the petition, and it looks to be on point to hit 100,000 before even the end of the 2009 WSOP.

The second centers around a website called www.MyPokerStory.com, an internet location to which people can submit videos that detail their own involvement in poker and why legislation is needed to support the game. Some of the videos will be compiled to show to members of Congress, and anyone is encouraged to submit their videos through the website or record them at the PPA booth at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. There will also be a drawing to win a Las Vegas vacation for all those who submit videos.

Lastly, the website www.NationalPokerWeek.com will be the place to go to find information about activities scheduled for the week of July 19-25. One of the highlights of the week will be the travel of numerous PPA members to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress. Not only will supporters like D’Amato and Berkley be in attendance, but more than 35 PPA state directors are scheduled to make the trip, as well as several poker pros like Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, Howard Lederer, Dennis Phillips, Linda Johnson, and Jan Fisher. Anyone is welcome to join the lobbying group by contacting their state director to make arrangements to meet with their individual Congressional representatives in D.C. during that week.

D’Amato noted, “Our members - the poker players of America - are our best advocates to protect the future of poker. National Poker Week, with events in Washington, D.C., and across the country, is the PPA’s way to make it clear to my former colleagues in the U.S. Congress that poker is important to voters and is here to stay.”

During that week, there will also be a charity poker tournament held at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to raise funds for the USO. Most of those making the trip to D.C. are scheduled to play alongside wounded members of the Armed Forces and members of Congress. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the USO.

For more information and links to the websites, visit www.ThePPA.org. The future of poker is in our hands, and it is time to make our voices heard!

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