Wednesday, December 03, 2014

On What Happened

“What happened?”

So read the subject line of an email I received a little earlier today. Not the kind of subject line you like to see, especially if your life is complicated by various deadlines and assignments -- like mine, and like that of just about everyone else, too, who’s checking email regularly.

Looking closer, the sender’s name was vaguely familiar, then after I opened it I realized it was one of those regular mailings the Poker Players Alliance send out, I think on a weekly basis. The letter explained how I’d been sent a note recently asking me to contribute to the PPA. As I had not done so, now I was being chastised for not responding to the request to help “protect poker from DC politicians seeking to ban our game” by sending in some cabbage for the cause.

Have to say I didn’t like that feeling the subject line gave me, namely to think for a moment I might’ve lost track of some important assignment or other obligation. Not appreciating that, I found the link to unsubscribe from the mailing list, and did so.

I thought a little afterwards about both the “cause” -- that is, the fight to “protect poker” from those who wish to prohibit the game from being played (online or elsewhere) -- and the extent to which I am obligated to fight for it.

I obviously feel strongly that I should be allowed to play poker when and where I wish, and thus I am also obviously especially dissatisfied that is far from the case at present. I also appreciate the efforts of those who are working to change the current status quo.

That said, when it comes to online poker here in the U.S., it is impossible for me to be at all hopeful about that particular cause either in the near future or long term.

I was mentioning yesterday listening to that poker podcast from seven years ago. So strange to go back like that and hear the discussions and ads all reflecting a time when online poker was mostly taken for granted, with the associated issues (the first big cheating scandal and “ghosting” concerns) seeming like relatively minor problems that could be fairly easily endured while the games continued unabated.

A different world, that. What happened? I guess I more or less know what happened. And knowing that, it’s hard to be optimistic about anything that might happen next.

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