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John Pappas Steps Down as Executive Director of Poker Players Alliance

John Pappas leaves the PPA
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  • John Pappas of @ppapoker resigns after a productive decade-plus as PPA Executive Director

Long-time Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas will be stepping down from his position at the end of February, according to a press release published on Wednesday. A direct reason for the leadership change was not given in the press release.

Pappas: "I am proud of the work I have done with the PPA board of directors and the amazing PPA staff to bring us to this point."

Pappas led the poker and internet gaming advocacy organization for more than a decade, a challenging decade for the industry highlighted by Black Friday in 2011 and the lasting effects that followed.

The PPA is comprised of over one million members from around the U.S. including online poker players, live players, and poker enthusiasts dedicated to protecting players’ poker rights and promoting the game. Among PPA’s list of accomplishments under the leadership of Pappas, perhaps most notable are a few of the organization’s tangible results from that time period, including:

  • Drove over three million constituent contacts to lawmakers through email, phone calls, visits and social media
  • Played critical roles in four states that have legalized iPoker and laid groundwork for more
  • Over $120 million returned to players from Black Friday

The four states refer to Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and the most recent addition, Pennsylvania, which joined the ranks in October 2017.

These three triumphs provide the major sense of accomplishment of the nonprofit membership organization that has had to cope with a significant reduction in funds from the internet gaming industry in the past several months.

“John is a tremendous leader and a true professional. Under his guidance, PPA has emerged as a policy advocacy and the grassroots powerhouse in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country. For almost a decade, he has been the political voice and face of the poker community and regulated internet gaming advocates. He leaves the organization in a strong position to continue to ensure that consumer voices drive the internet gaming debate,” stated the PPA’s longest serving board member and former chair, Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson.

Shifting Leadership Structure

Pappas will continue to serve in a strategic advisor role on the board of directors, with current Vice President Rich Muny taking over the position of PPA President. As he relinquishes the reigns, Pappas reflects on his productive time leading the PPA and is more optimistic than ever about the future of the cause he has helped spearhead ten-plus years.

Muny: "I am honored that the PPA Board of Directors and the poker community have entrusted me with this role."

“There has never been greater momentum than right now for the advancement of sensible internet gaming policy in the U.S. Whether lawmakers are considering poker, casino gambling or even sports betting, a strong and organized grassroots effort will be critical to legislative success. I am proud of the work I have done with the PPA board of directors and the amazing PPA staff to bring us to this point. I will miss working for the poker community on a day-to-day basis, but I am confident that the PPA will continue its great work with Rich Muny at the helm,” said John Pappas.

Muny is ready to carry the baton in the continued fight for online poker in the states.

“I am honored that the PPA Board of Directors and the poker community have entrusted me with this role, and I join my fellow board members in thanking John Pappas for his decade of outstanding leadership in the fight for poker,” said incoming PPA President Muny. “I look forward to leading the poker community in this fight, building on the terrific successes of 2017.”

Also mentioned in the Press Release, the PPA is undertaking a campaign surrounding new public policy forming around sports betting and is currently gauging its importance to PPA members. The survey that PPA is emailing to its members can be found on their new webpage dedicated to sports betting legislation.

John Pappas Steps Down as Executive Director of Poker Players Alliance 101
John Pappas (left) and Rich Muny (right) with Sarah Herring at the 2013 WSOP

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