Americans are more interested in aliens than their right to play poker. That is the impression the Obama administration is going to come away with from its "We the People" petitions unless poker players quickly become active.
The petition to license and regulate Internet poker on the official White House website hit 5,000 signatures in its first three days but has sputtered since and now sits at just over 8,000 signatures.
A petition to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race" has passed it by. The alien petition has more than 9,000 signatures, 23rd among petitions. Poker is 26th. A petition to legalize and regulate marijuana leads the way with more than 53,000 signatures.
"There's millions of poker players out there and I have to say I'm a little disappointed that not many have taken this simple action," said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance.
The PPA sent out multiple emails on the petition to its activist list, which includes more than 100,000 people. The PPA had hoped to get at least 15,000 signatures. That still may be possible, though players will have to rally before the Oct. 22 deadline. Rich Muny, the PPA's vice president of player relations, urged poker players who have signed the petition to email it out to friends and family to get as many signatures as possible.
"We the People" began Sept. 22 as an opportunity for Americans to get their voice heard by the Obama administration. Originally it was required that petitions get 5,000 signatures within 30 days in order to get an official response from someone within the administration. That threshold has been raised to 25,000 signatures, though the poker petition already qualified by hitting the 5,000 signatures before the figure was raised.
Signing the petition requires taking a couple minutes to get a whitehouse.gov account, providing your real name and a working email. Only a first name, last initial and location of signers are shown on the petition.
Poker players may have become complacent after hitting the original target number in impressive fashion. Although the poker petition will get acknowledged no matter how it does in the final stretch, it won't garner much respect from the administration when it is so far under the new threshold and behind even UFO conspiracists.
There are four petitions already over the 25,000 mark. If everyone owed money by Full Tilt Poker signed the petition, poker would be well ahead of all others and would really catch Obama's attention.
After saying during his campaign that he considered himself a pretty good poker player, Obama's presidency has seen the collapse of online poker, and the U.S. The Department of Justice, under his administration, has gone after online poker even more aggressively than under the administration of George W. Bush.
Through Black Friday and all the troubles poker players have faced over the past six months, Obama has never acknowledged the issue. This is a chance for poker players to get the Obama administration to make its first ever comments on online poker.
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