Friday, February 01, 2008

Presidential Poker

Presidential Poker“What?! Did you hear that . . . ?”

Spoken by an animated Vera Valmore to me. Someone was yammering on the dummy box about something or another. Presidential campaign-related applesauce. I put down the paper.

“Whazzat?” I asked.

“McCain just said we are facing a ‘transcendental challenge’ in the twenty-first century,” she said, her voice still tinged with incredulity. “A ‘transcendental challenge’!”

“Oh, yes. Of course we are,” I replied sarcastically. Nonplussed, Vera pressed on.

“But he said that on the Straight Talk Express!

Been watching the debates here lately and following the campaigns as they ramp up to so-called “Super Tuesday” next week. Then it’ll only take nine more months to birth us a new leader. We should all start experiencing morning sickness sometime this spring.

I recall the elections in 2006 and remember writing something here about the so-called “Poker Vote.” You’ll remember those elections took place within shouting distance of the UIGEA being signed into law, and a lot of observers in the poker world (perhaps a bit too eagerly) attributed the outcomes of certain races to have been meaningfully influenced by ire caused by the UIGEA.

In that November 2006 post, I did a short Q & A about what effect a Democrat-led House and/or Senate might have on efforts to repeal the UIGEA (or pass legislation to counter its effects). My conclusion there was that it didn’t matter that much whether or not the Dems won themselves a slight majority -- which they did, in both the House and the Senate -- we probably weren’t going to see much leeway in the near term. And we haven’t.

In 2008 all the focus is on who is going to lead the Executive branch, and as the stump speeches and debates roll along we see the occasional thread popping up here and there speculating about which presidential candidate would be best for proponents of online poker.

Here, again, I have to say it doesn’t matter a whole heckuva lot who wins in November. Obviously a Democrat would be less likely to veto any legislation (such as Frank’s IGREA) that somehow made its way through both the House and Senate. But as we’ve discussed before, the prospects for that are still somewhat dim at the moment -- never mind whether we actually even want such legislation to be made law.

Did see that bit on the Colbert Report earlier in the week where Charles Nesson -- the Harvard Law School professor who strikes me as the second-coming of Timothy Leary -- spoke about online poker and suggested getting the presidential candidates together to play against one another.

Pure fantasy, of course. Still, I think we all know how it would go . . . .

After a hour or so fussing over seat assignments, they’d finally get the game underway. For the first couple of rounds all would fold without looking at their cards, giving the big blinds walks. Then the bluffing would begin, and pretty soon the less savvy candidates would find themselves crippled and forced to go all-in with trash.

Once down to heads-up, endless discussions of chopping would bring the action to a standstill. That’s when the candidate with fewer chips would storm away from the table, formally protesting the match as unfairly rigged in favor of his opponent.

We’d have a winner, then. But no one would be all that happy.



Blogger cheer_dad said...

I personally think that in a Presidential candidates' poker game there would be more prop bets than even Eli Elezra could shake a stick at!



2/01/2008 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of presidential poker,, my editor asked me to write up a story about the current candidates and their stances (or lack thereof) on online poker:

2/02/2008 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know McCain is pretty old. His hearing may be going. Maybe he thought he was on Star Trek Express.

2/02/2008 6:22 PM  

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