Thursday, July 12, 2007

Three Headaches

Need . . . aspirin . . . now . . . Gimme that bottle. Damn cap! Three should do it. One for each headache I’ve gotten this morning.

Headache No. 1: UIGEA Regs May Come Sooner Than Later

If you happened to have come here looking for “270 Days Later: The UIGEA Today,” scroll on down. Or click here. Speaking of, there’s a slow-moving thread over on 2+2 that includes some information suggesting that we might actually see those regulations fairly soon. A couple of posters emailed a fellow named Steven D. Laughton, of the Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance), and according to Laughton -- whom I suppose knows something about it -- the UIGEA regulations will “hopefully published sometime this month.”

No telling, really, whether “hopefully” means we’ll see the regulations by the end July or not. As poster Jestocost explains, whenever the regulations are made public, there will be a comment period, then (probably) another deadline issued by which time the banks and credit card companies will be positutely, absotively required to start enforcing prohibitions against clients’ transactions with online gambling sites. (Jestocost posts fairly regularly in the “Legislation” section of 2+2, and does appear to be somewhat in the know, occasionally breaking UIGEA-related news over on his blog, The Slag Pile.)

Let me add my own “hopefully” and say I’d rather those regulations come much later than sooner. As I mentioned in “270 Days Later,” forces opposing the law are hardly in a position as yet to call any big raises from UIGEA-proponents at the moment.

Headache No. 2: Poker Haters (Again)

Headache No. 2 comes via CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel, who decided this week to use the World Series of Poker as an occasion for another dubiously-informed anti-gambling rant. In essence, Doyel finds gambling an utterly destructive force with no redeeming value. “Freedom is cool,” says Doyel. “Gambling is not. Freedom to gamble is like freedom to inhale crack or inject heroin. You may enjoy it once or twice or a hundred times. You may be that one unlikely person impervious to its evil lure. But in most cases the addiction will eventually win.”

My guess is that over the course of his life Doyel’s experience with gambling (never mind poker) is probably only slightly more extensive than his experience with heroin or crack. It is especially lamentable, of course, that he chooses to consider poker the equivalent of playing the slots or other forms of gambling that do not involve skill or strategy. And for him to target the World Series of Poker -- which he calls “a celebration of the sad and stupid” -- is just plain mean. And sad. And stupid.

Doyel’s screed has so far inspired an active 2+2 thread as well as a smart commentary from Change100. For me, I consider Doyel’s argument to be coming from the same “poker-is-not-a-sport” mindset that I believe inspired Mark Kreidler’s attack on poker over on the ESPN site back in March. My response to Kreidler explains my idea that these sports columnists hate to see poker taking up precious column inches (and/or bandwidth) in the sports section, and thus occasionally feel it beneficial to lash out against poker every now and then.

Headache No. 3: Guinness and Nothingness?

Finally, the last headache came when I saw Guinness and Poker had apparently been hacked and deleted. Iggy put up a brief hands-in-the-air, “wtf” post last night. I do hope all is well over there and his four-plus years’ of uberposts are preserved somewhere where they can be recovered.

Okay. Feeling a little better. Looking forward to Day 3. The money bubble bursts tonight. Close to 800 players remain, with the top 621 spots getting paid. Meaning a good number of folks are gonna be requirin’ some post-knockout aspirin themselves.



Blogger Erwin Blonk said...

Poker has survived longer than most sports or pastimes. It has been in the underground and came out. My pet peeve with the likes of Gregg Doyel is that they approach a subject completely uninformed. But that seems to be just alright, not only nowadays but through all of the existence of humankind. Why be rational, logical or methodical? Why study on anything? Just follow your gut feeling and your emotions, follow your heart...... right, that´s exactly the crap that has been causing suffering for ages.
Think logical, be free..... now that´s a T-shirt slogan right there.
I´m not even going to try to reply to him because there is no argument in his article. Making a bullet-list of random rants does not make it an argument.
OK, back to the pokertable.

7/13/2007 5:22 AM  
Blogger Erwin Blonk said...

Sorry about commenting twice but I just read the piece again and I can shoot holes in it about every five words. This is not an article, this is a rant where he wrote down every single thought the moment it entered his mind. I again make my case for logical, structured thinking. Had he done that he might have come to comparable conclusions but there would be something to read in there. Now it´s more like ´I just don´t like it for some reason, let´s make up an excuse and bomb the hell out of it´. Then again, such seems to be the way of the world, following by leader´s example.

7/13/2007 5:33 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

I agree, Erwin (re: Doyel's rambling wreck of an editorial).

Good news -- looks like Iggy's blog has been recovered!

7/13/2007 11:28 AM  

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