It's seldom that you see Anthony Sandstrom, a.k.a. Tuff Fish, win anything. Over the years, Sandstrom has become the poster child for brutal poker suckouts which are prominently featured in his self-deprecatingly funny YouTube videos. Knowing his track record, it's hard to imagine that he will river a winning hand in his latest battle to win a referendum to establish state-run online poker in California.
On July 27, Anthony Sandstrom was granted the right to circulate a petition which aims to establish a state poker online gaming agency in California. Sandstrom would need to collect 430,000 names in four months before the initiative could be accepted for inclusion on a statewide ballot. The collection of names is not the only impediment that Sandstrom faces. California card rooms are not particularly anxious to give players a stronger legal foothold to exercise their option to play poker from home. And some beneficiaries of California's current state gambling operation, the California Lottery, are not enthusiastic about the potential competition for citizen's state sponsored gambling dollars.
This is not the first time Sandstrom has attempted to clear the way for legal, regulated, state-run, online poker in California; Sandstrom withdrew a similar initiative in April 2007. Sandstrom's latest plans have already drawn the notice of mainstream officials, with decidedly mixed returns. A Bay Area newspaper contacted California Federation of Teachers spokesman Fred Glass, who said, "A pox on the [Sandstrom] initiative." The CFT, as noted in that story, receives some funds from California's state-run lottery.
Will Sandstrom fold again before the river? Is he drawing dead? Or will he finally scoop the regulated online poker pot? I guess we'll have to wait for the video.