The Poker Players Alliance will hold a rally and press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol building at 1230 EDT next Tuesday as part of its D.C. fly-in to encourage licensing and regulation of Internet poker at the federal level.
All poker players in the D.C. area or who are coming out for the fly-in are invited to take part in the rally. PPA executive director John Pappas teased that there might be good news to announce about progress on the congressional level.
Greg Raymer, the 2004 World Series of Poker main event champion and a member of the PPA board of directors, will be attending the rally. Pappas said he hopes a few Congressmen friendly to the cause might come out, as well.
The PPA also will be holding a reception Tuesday evening that will include some card tables for playing poker. More details on the reception will be available at the rally.
The PPA is flying out 30 of its state directors to join its D.C. staffers in meeting with federal representatives throughout the day. PPA members are encouraged to set up their own meetings at the local state or D.C. offices of their Congressional representatives for Tuesday. Here are the PPA instructions on how to schedule such meetings. The PPA asks that anyone who secures a meeting let it know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, two players with prominent ties to Full Tilt Poker, have stepped down from the PPA board. Pappas said there has been no decision made on if or how they would be replaced.
"They were unable to dedicate the same amount of time and energy to their board responsibilities, and thought it best to step down," Pappas said.
Much of the PPA's funding comes from the Interactive Gaming Council, a trade organization that includes Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars as its leading members. Pappas said the severing of ties with two of Full Tilt Poker's representatives had no reflection on the future of PPA funding.
"Our mission is clear," Pappas said. "It's not to get Full Tilt or PokerStars a license, it's to get players an established and licensed place to play. We don't see it as an issue right now. If it is going to be an issue, certainly player contributions will become much more important to our organization."
Being able to cash out funds from Full Tilt Poker following the Black Friday indictments is one of the biggest concerns facing poker players, and this has not escaped the PPA's attention. PokerStars made its payouts at the end of last month.
"We've had discussions with key people associated with Full Tilt to express the concern of the players and indicate that the PPA desires all poker sites to fully refund money in a timely fashion," Pappas said. "We received assurances that this is their intention and that it is what they are working toward."