Poker Alliance Reveals New Website and Advisory Board
One could say that 2018 was a year of adjustments for the Poker Alliance. It started the year as the PPA (Poker Players Alliance) but with more financial troubles than at any time in the past decade, and it ended as the Poker Alliance, a new group financed by Poker Central.
More than six months after Poker Central took over the organization and appointed Mark Brenner as its president, there was really only one issue (voter approval for gambling issues) in one state (Florida) on which the Poker Alliance had been focused. And that failed November effort remained front and center on the group’s website through the end of the year, not replaced by any updates about the Michigan bill passage and gubernatorial veto that dominated online poker news in late December.
The advocacy group seemed intent upon being transparent and welcoming of participation from the poker community in its efforts to support pro-online poker legislation in the United States. Brenner said as much in an interview with us in late July and reiterated that message in October.
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) June 27, 2018
The Poker Alliance then focused on an important gambling-related vote in Florida from late October through the mid-term elections in early November, but there were no new messages, focus, or goals emerged thereafter. The only exceptions were social media messages about a few states’ actions regarding online poker and gambling legislation, but nothing ever appeared on the organization’s website, in the form of actionable items, or via press releases.
However, the first week of 2019 have introduced a few changes that indicate an effort to provide more updated information regarding the Poker Alliance’s advocacy for the game of poker and those who play it.
Logo and Website Changes
While the message of the Poker Alliance is more important than the organization’s website, the latter is where many poker players and fans obtain their information about the latest happenings in the industry with regard to legal poker issues.
Sometime during the first week of January, the theme of the #FoldOn3 campaign opposing Amendment 3 in the November 2018 election finally disappeared from the homepage after two months. In its place is now a new logo for the Poker Alliance and new website design, as well as easy ways to sign up for mailing list updates. The homepage also divulges that its sponsors are Poker Central and PokerGO.
New year, new look! Check out the new https://t.co/Tw69UapQk4 and tell us what you think.
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) January 8, 2019
The “take action” page displays a new graphic but, at the bottom, reads, “Check back later! PPA does not have any active campaigns right now.”
Advisors Negreanu, Koon, and Ho
A new bit of information on the Poker Alliance website reveals that there is an advisory board. The organization shows that Daniel Negreanu, Jason Koon, and Maria Ho are the three advisors.
All three poker pros have extensive histories in poker, having played professionally for many years and accumulated numerous victories and honors through their efforts on and off the felt. Each of them possesses extensive knowledge of the game itself.
Negreanu has long been politically active, from attending fundraisers for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign to advocating for social justice issues. He may have also lobbied for online poker at one time. And it is likely that he stays up to date on a range of legislative issues pertaining to everything from online poker to sports betting. It is also notable that he was one of the original investors in Poker Central and continues to be involved in the company.
Koon and Ho have appeared on Poker Central shows and features numerous times, as players and commentators. But their connection to Poker Central beyond that is unknown, as is their experience with online poker-related legislation and legal issues.
Even so, there is little doubt that the trio of pros will advocate well for the game at any level.
Hopes for Greater Involvement
When predicting the state of online poker in the US in 2019, this author was not filled with hope, mostly based on the dismal showing for legalizing online poker in 2018. States failed to act, and online poker was left on the sidelines while sports betting thrived. And the noticeable lack of the Poker Alliance in the halls of state legislatures where it was most needed for online poker was discouraging.
Previous interviews with Brenner inspired enthusiasm, but the lack of actions in the past six months countered that faith in the Poker Alliance, especially when a request for information about the group’s goals and potentially active states in 2019 went unanswered. However, there is hope that an updated website, more timely social media posts, and an impressive advisory board indicates a positive direction for the Poker Alliance this year.
Getting it done in New York wasn't easy before and it wont be now, but we stand ready to advocate for you! https://t.co/ZIgjnrl4KN
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) January 8, 2019
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