Sign Up for the Poker Players Alliance at the WSOP


If you’re perusing the halls of the Rio at the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP), be sure to check out the booth belonging to the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). In fact, the one million member strong lobbying organization for the poker industry may be your chance to land a seat in the Main Event, which kicks off on July 5th from the Rio in Las Vegas. The PPA is also doling out brand new Apple iPads, which are sold out in many stores across the United States. Let’s check out how the PPA is making waves at the annual tournament series this year.

Nearly 100 poker players per day are taking an active interest in the PPA’s booth, with about 30% of them signing up to become members, according to PPA Membership Director Bryan Spadaro. Many have approached Spadaro and his staff asking what the fallout of the June 1st compliance deadline of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act(UIGEA) regulations has been. Others have sought more information about the major pro-poker bills in Congress.

While you’re at the booth, you can pick up a PPA patch similar to the one worn by Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (pictured) when he won the $50,000 Player’s Championship. PPA Executive Director John Pappas told why the drive to wear the organization’s patches has grown: “The player community, particularly the pros, recognize that our mission will help their bottom line and build this great game. Everyone benefits from them. We’re seeing more buy-in for the PPA and people will show their support by wearing the patches. Hopefully, that’ll rub off on other players.”

The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have, so far, opted not to extend a six-month delay in industry compliance with the UIGEA. However, a petition sent by the PPA encouraging the two government bodies to exempt peer-to-peer games remains outstanding and could potentially be acted on by October. Separate letters from Democrats and Republicans in Congress served to support it.

The PPA has over one million members, many of whom are online poker players in the United States. With deposit issues arising with Netspend and major credit cards, Pappas told what the feedback has been from players following June 1st: “I’ve heard it’s business as usual for most people. We haven’t been getting a lot of complaints from our members saying they haven’t been able to use the systems they’ve used in the past to deposit onto online poker accounts. As we predicted going into this, the impact of the law isn’t going to be as severe as people thought it’d be.”

PokerTimesent an e-mail to affiliates saying that the site would no longer take U.S. action after June 1st. However, the mass exodus from the market similar to the one that occurred following the implementation of the UIGEA four years ago has not yet occurred. Meanwhile, the PPA has been keeping an eye on legislation introduced by New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak that would legalize internet gambling within its borders. The PPA remains cautious about endorsing the bill, which may result in low player counts on new sites run by existing casino licensees like Trump and Harrah’s.

Down the Eastern Seaboard, July 1st will mark a monumental date for poker players in Florida, whose lawmakers recently voted to expand the game’s footprint. Buy-in and pot size limitations will largely be gone, which could build the popular tourist destination into a poker Mecca. Pappas explained the PPA’s role in Florida: “We have served as an advisory council to Florida gaming officials to get the players’ perspective of what they’d like to see. We’ve met with them and the PPA is in the process of creating an advisory board that would provide input as needed.”

Corey comandr_coolBurbick (pictured) leads the Sortable Rankingsfor Florida with 8,500 points at the time of writing. The state’s crop of live pros includes Mizrachi and Team PokerStarsPro member Jason treysfull21 Mercier.

Visit the official website of the PPA to learn more. Don’t forget to sign up for the organization while you’re in Las Vegas.