If there’s one thing the Poker Players Alliance has been trying to teach Americans who wish to see online poker regulated in their home states, it’s that their voices matter. And the more voices that speak together, the louder they will be heard. But some industry analysts fear that having access to bountiful tournaments from offshore operators is hampering the progression of internet poker regulation in the US.
The most significant example is the $1,000,000 GTD poker tournaments that have occurred on several occasions this year on the Winning Poker Network. WPN is one of the few networks that continue to accept American players from most states, and needless to say, its $1 million guarantees are extremely attractive to players who are starved for such lucrative opportunities.
Last week, WPN held one such event, drawing 1,939 players to the virtual felt to compete for the 1st place prize of $200,000. The $500+$40 buy-in brought the prize pool to $969,500. WPN ladled in the extra $30,500 to cover the overlay, but still collected a $47,060 profit in the process.
Just recently, WPN announced it will host a flurry of these massive, Million Dollar Sundays in the coming weeks. One will be held in late September, with four more to follow in October.
Generally, such tournaments are great for the online poker community as a hole. The operator benefits, the players benefit, everyone is happy, right? Well, not necessarily.
On the one hand, yes, it’s great that most Americans still have an online poker destination they can trust. The Winning Poker Network accepts all Americans except those in the legalized states of Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, as well as Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Washington, where online poker is specifically prohibited by state law. But playing on WPN could be distracting players from the true goal.
What the majority of online poker fans want is for their home state to regulate online poker, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Regulation across all states is the eventual goal, with interstate networking permitted to build player bases to a size comparable to what players experienced prior to the Black Friday of 2011.
The only way to make that happen is to concentrate on delivering that message to state and federal government offices. The PPA has been urging internet poker enthusiasts to contact their local representatives, make their voices heard loud and clear. But too many players have become acquiesce to the stimulants of offshore operators like WPN to bother beseeching their representatives.
Let’s not forget, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) is still on the table in Congress. If this piece of legislation passes, online poker regulation will be wiped off the menu altogether. Even players in states where it is currently legally may lose their right to play. It could also result in federal prohibition, eliminating the right for members of 43 states to play on WPN.
So for those of you who are taking part in the WPN $1mm guarantees, there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, so long as you continue to support the movement for regulation in the US.