When I was a bit younger I was a big Rage Against the Machine fan (ok, so I’m still a big RATM fan but have to be careful what’s on the playlist when the little guys are around) and one of my favorite Rage songs is Take the Power Back. Take the Power Back is socio-political, like most songs the band has put out over the years, with its message focusing on the current Eurocentric curriculum used in schools. Without detracting from a far more important message, there are many parallels in the song to the way poker is currently ballyhooed by its opponents, which is why I’m calling for poker players to Take Poker Back.
The recent ruling calling poker a game of skill is the chink in the armor that poker players; the chink in the social conservative message that poker is nothing more than gambling; the chink in the armor that can drive the first wedge between these same social conservatives (who will NEVER support poker) and the far larger segment of the population that is uninformed on the game. With the ruling by District Court Judge Jack Weinstein giving proponents of the game the chance to now point to scientific studies as well as a well thought out judicial ruling spanning over 100 pages.
Without getting too preachy, if there was ever a time for poker players to get off their butts and really start lobbying their representatives at the state and federal level, and keeping the story alive on social media. We are at what Malcolm Gladwell would call a “Tipping Point” for poker. The Poker world is perched at the top of the hill with momentum from the forthcoming launch of online poker in Nevada, the aforementioned poker is skill ruling, and the course reversal of the DOJ regarding the 1961 Wire Act, fighting against the pull of a flailing UIGEA bill and a diminishing argument from its opponents.
So what can you do? It’s simple; you can do anything! You can do whatever the hell you want to Take Power Back. Join the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and use their Daily Action Plans to let your opinions reach the ears of your representatives. If the PPA is not your thing then look to FairPlay USA or one of the other pro-poker lobbying groups. If you’re more independently minded then just tweet your 100, 500, 10,000 Twitter followers once a week. The point is, when you’re at a tipping point it’s not just the big, headlining grabbing, wins that matter, it could be the gentlest push that snaps the rope of the UIGEA and the social conservatives trying to stop the current momentum poker has. Your retweet of Rich Muny could be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
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