Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Not Very Modest Proposal

UPDATE - DIGG this post and help spread the word!

With all apologies to Jonathan Swift.

Now, in the winter of our discontent, it's time to stop talking. Some small number of people have expressed agreement with my proposal to fix the UIGEA problem (the problem, of course, is the very existence of this onerous restriction on our personal freedom). Of course, as poker players, we are a sedentary lot. No where is the principle of Newton's First Law in greater effect than in the hearts of the American people. This country is very definitely a thing at rest, and has an unfortunate tendency to remain at rest.

Talking is not an action. Writing, no matter how well it is done, is not an action. Only taking action is an action. And now it is time to take up arms against this sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.

It seems I will owe apologies to more than one dead writer (and one dead physicist) before this post is finished.

This is our action - collective, decisive, and unified inaction. I hereby call upon all my friends that play poker on the internet to boycott all internet poker for three days. I would like for you to join with me in declaring Friday, February 9th Black Friday - the day Internet Poker stood still.

From Midnight on February 8th (EST) through Midnight on Sunday February 11 (PST), do not play any internet poker.

The poker sites have the money to fight this bill, but they aren't pouring enough of it into the Poker Player's Alliance to make our voice heard. If all American poker players (and anyone not in the US who would like to join in) took the weekend off, it would provide a clarion call to poker sites to take some of our hard-earned rake and throw more money at this problem until the UIGEA is repealed.

No carveouts. No exemptions. Repealed. If there's ever been a time in our country when money talks, and BS walks, it's now. If we collectively withhold our rake for three days, including the evenings with the highest traffic of the week and the Sunday major tournaments, the sites will see that we are serious in this effort and will be forced to take us, and this issue, more seriously.

Three days with no Americans playing anywhere on any internet poker site. Maybe sites won't care. Maybe they feel that they can survive without the American market. Well let's band together and show them exactly what the future holds unless they step up and fund the Poker Player's Alliance with every nickel they can spare. Money can absolutely turn this problem around, and if you don't believe me, ask how many internet horse betting sites or internet lotteries are facing issues from the UIGEA.

Spread the word. A frontal assault on the email boxes and websites of poker sites may be ineffective, but a viral attack will certainly get their attention. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell folks in the chat boxes on web sites. Link to this, reprint this, post it over the urinals where you play Pub Poker. But let's get together. For once.

UPDATE - Shelto left the following comment - "I'd like to see a complete poker boycott for that weekend. I don't want casinos to benefit from online's demise. I suspect that their lobbying efforts have contributed to the mess we're in now. " I agree, let's go bigger. Take the weekend off completely from poker. Harrah's was a major contributor to Bill Frist's war chest, so let's put our feet on the path and walk out of every casino's poker room that weekend as well.

Anyone, anywhere is welcome to link to or repost this article with attribution, and preferably not for profit.


Shelto said...

I'm with you. I've been reading you for a couple weeks now and I like what you say. I'd like to see a complete poker boycott for that weekend. I don't want casinos to benefit from online's demise. I suspect that their lobbying efforts have contributed to the mess we're in now.

Pokerwolf said...

Link to this article submitted to Fark. If it's not greenlighted for the main page, at least the paying members will see it.

biggestron said...

Great idea J! Bill Rini has sent it to Digg. Everyone should go there and Digg it up to bring it above poker bloggers notice and into the internet 'mainstream'

BadBlood said...

Sure....wait til I qualify for a FTOPS and then start this boycott. Thanks. :)

Chipper said...

Rather than a complete boycott (which would only work if we got huge participation in), why not approach the poker sites with the following proposal:

We, the poker players of America, would like to have several online poker tournaments hosted by you for the sole benefit of having proceeds given to the Poker Players Alliance in an effort to boost support for efforts against the unjust UIGEA. The tournaments would have all of the tourney fees and a portion of the prize money donated to the PPA. I think you'd get a lot more participation from the online players that way rather than tell them to watch movies or "get a life" for a weekend.

Falstaff said...

But those tourney fees and prize pool dollars are OUR money, that WE are paying to the sites. Where are the dollars that the SITES are putting towards this fight?

It's easy to give away a tiny piece of your profits, when you're still making money hand over fist. This idea is to make a loud and strong statement that they will lose ALL of our money if they don't step up to the plate and put some of THEIR money into play fighting these regulations.

Easycure said...

This is an idea I posted on StB's site:

To make it even more pronounced, we should encourage as many people as we can find to play right up until midnight on February 8th; then at midnight, everybody drop out off the websites at the same time. Then reverse the situation at Midnight on Sunday February 11 (PST)....right at midnight, everybody start playing again.

By doing this, we will accentuate how many people/players they are actually missing.

YouJoking? said...

yea great order to be able to play poker freely wherever and whenever we want, we should...not play poker?
Hey maybe if enough people boycott, the sites will shut down and our fight will become useless anyway! Great idea bud, bite the hand that feeds.