The Biggest Winners And Losers Of 2015

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

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Who has been online poker’s biggest winners and losers for 2015?

The names might surprise some, but probably not many of you. The top players in the world are always throwing their money in the pot. Don’t be surprised if their roles are reversed in the following years.

Players like these aren’t afraid to throw around big money. It goes to show that all the excitement in the world of poker isn’t always what’s on television. It’s also online and every person reading this can get a piece of the action.

Phil Ivey is a name that every poker player knows

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He’s one of the best players to ever hit the felt. He’s also this year’s big loser. So far he’s lost almost three million dollars. That’s nothing to sneeze at and every online poker player knows that. It must be nice to have that much money to lose. That in itself would be an accomplishment for most people.

Phil Ivey is certainly one player that has the ability to win it all back. He’s no doubt working at chipping away at it as you read this.

Jens Kyllönen is up for the year winning $1,055,941. The next closest is Viktor Blom and he won $1,045,366. Neither of those amounts are chump change. For the average person those would be life changing amounts of money.

It’s every day business for poker professionals that have dedicated everything they have to the sport. It’s evidence that it really does pay off for some people. Hopefully after the rest of the year closes out, there’ll also be more big winners to report about.

Ike Haxton and Viktor Blom were involved in one of the biggest hands of the year. It all went down at an Omaha table. It was well into the six figures before it was all said and done. The pot was worth $206,499.10 and Viktor Blom won it. It goes to show that you should practice your Omaha game.

You never know when you’re going to be playing against some players with deep pockets. Those pockets can very well mean more profits for you in the long run. It also proves that these guys aren’t playing with scared money. They’re more than willing to put their money into the pot with what these players feel is the best hand.

These numbers prove that it’s not just people playing for pennies online. There are plenty of people playing for some mind shattering pots. It should give hope to every aspiring poker playing seeking to build their bankroll. These players prove that it’s entirely possible to do so. Who knows, you may be next year’s biggest winner. That’s the beauty of online poker.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. You have the ability to live out your dreams if you’re willing to put in the time. Poker is a game that’s easy to learn, but difficult to master. That’s why it takes years of hard work and dedication to take your game to where it needs to be. These players are proof that all that hard work will pay off if given the chance.

The Man Who Brought Down Online Poker

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

danieltzvetkoffPoker players that remember Black Friday may be familiar with the name Daniel Tzvetkoff. For those who don’t know Black Friday happened on April of 2011. Hundreds of thousands of American players all of a sudden noticed they couldn’t access their favorite poker rooms. It wasn’t until later on that day that everyone what happened.

It was going to be something that would change the way Americans play online poker forever. Your ability or inability to play online poker today is directly linked to Black Friday. It changed the online poker world for many Americans and continues to do so to this day.

Daniel Tzvetkoff is the reason why all of this happened!

Basically, he was busted for money laundering and bank fraud. Tzvetkoff was running a company called Intabill which at the time was doing billing for several big poker sites.

It was also said that he stole 100 million dollars. It hasn’t been proven to this day if or how much he had stolen. The general consensus is that Tzvetkoff did in fact steal some money. The exact dollar amount is one’s guess.

Most criminals don’t like to do jail time if they don’t have to. Daniel Tzvetkoff is no different in this regard. Tzvetkoff knew he had some information that the government would quite interested in. Amazingly, he amassed 90,000 incriminating documents about three online poker sites. Those sites were PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. All of which were involved in the infamous Black Friday shut down. It seems that Tzvetkoff was able to avoid prison time by squealing on the activities of those three poker sites.

What is Daniel Tzvetkoff up to these days?

He’s back to Australia and involved in a business of some sort. Who knows if he’s actually stealing money again or anything like that. It’s safe to say that people who work around this guy should walk a straight and narrow path. After all, you never know when he could rat out a person. People like him can’t be trusted and he’s merely out for himself. That’s been evident since the very first second after he was arrested.

What was the impact of Black Friday on the world of poker? It pretty much signaled the beginning of the end for Americans playing poker online. It basically wiped out their ability to play the game they love. This was something that happened like flipping a light switch on.

There were no rumors that something like this was going to go down. Every player woke up to find out they didn’t have the ability to play poker. That would continue for quite some time. It wouldn’t be until some brave sites came out of the woodwork to allow Americans once again to play the game they love.

Hopefully this negative will be turned into a positive. It’s clear that Americans want to play online poker. That in itself should be enough motivation for governments and businesses to come together to find a solution. It’s not going to be easy and they won’t do it without pressure. It’s why every online poker player needs to be active and vocal when it comes to promoting the sport they love to play.

Who Are The TOP 5 Online Poker Money Winners?

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Everyone knows there’s money to be made playing online poker. What most people don’t know is how much money the top guys are making. Here we’re going to tell you the top five money making online poker players.

A few of these names you’ll recognize as being top of the line pros, while others are more in the woodwork so to speak. The bottom line is, there’s money to be made online and these guys are the proof. They’re making big bucks and that means there are quite a few others that are as well.

1. Who’s First? Phil Ivey

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Phil Ivey is a name that almost every poker player is familiar with. He’s won a whopping $19,242,743. Your computer screen didn’t just break on you. The numbers your eyeballs just read is correct. He has won over 19 million dollars playing poker. It’s a staggering amount of money but, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Phil Ivey is one of the best players to ever play the game of poker.

2. Patrik Antonius

Patrik Antonius has won $11,315,549 playing online poker. He won a huge $1,356,947 pot playing against Swede Viktor. It’s hands like these that will make any person think twice about online poker. There are poker rooms in casinos that have never seen action like this before.

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Every player out there dreams about being in a pot this big. Usually that dream has them turning over the winning hand and jumping up and down. The flip side of that is true when people have nightmares about playing poker. Needless to say, neither of these players aren’t afraid to put their money in the pot when push comes to shove.

3. Phil Galfond

The next player on our list is Phil Galfond. You’re more than likely not going to see him playing in any televised tournaments. He seems to focus mostly on his online play. Galfond also has several online ventures that involve poker. Chances are you’ve seen his name floating around at instructional websites. Galfond is more than a great player, he’s also a fantastic teacher as well.

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Phil Galfond racked up $10,035, 683 in online winnings. He’s the guy you want to learn from when it comes to cashing out big.

4. Di Dang

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Di Dang is another person that you’re not going to see often at live events. He recently opened a restaurant and also works with Phil Galfond as a poker instructor. Di Dang has won $7,411,127 playing online poker. He and his brother are both well known in the world of online poker. This guy is proof that you can also have a life outside of poker. As a restaurant owner, professional poker player, and instructor he’s juggling more in a day than most do in a week.

5. Daniel Cates

The last player we’re going to talk about is Daniel Cates. He’s won $7,299,700 playing online poker. That’s certainly not an amount of money to sneeze at.

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It should be noted that Cates is someone that often plays on the live tournament circuit. You never know, he may just end up playing at your table. That’s what makes poker a sport like no other. Everyone has a chance to play against the top professionals when they play in a tournament.

There you have the top five biggest online poker players. Hopefully each and every one of these players will give you motivation to improve your game. There’s plenty of money to be made out there. It’s just a matter of you taking the game seriously and putting forth the effort to take your game to the next level.

Online Poker Legislation from Regulated States – 5 Lessons To Be Learned

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

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Three states have currently legalized online poker. Those states are Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Here we’re going to discuss the top five most important things online poker legalization has taught us. There has been a few ups and downs along the way. No legalization process is totally without its hiccups.

Online poker is here to stay and it’s only a matter of time before more states legalize it. The important thing to remember is that legalization brings regulation with it. Legalization gives the government and regulators an opportunity to look under the hood and make sure everything is legit. It’s for this reason alone that everyone should be in favor of legalizing poker online.

Starting From Scratch Can Be Next To Impossible

There are many reasons for this and we’ll discuss a few of those. First off, poker software isn’t exactly easy to create. It takes quite a bit of investment in both time and money.

Building anything from the ground up when it comes to software requires a diverse team. You also need to have the ability to tap into an existing group of players. Without this, no one will have anyone to play against. After all, you’ve got to have an opponent when playing poker. This is why it’s important that people can play against opponents in different states and even other countries as well.

Players need to have the option to play other games. We have to remember that profit is important and businesses need it to stay alive. This is why gambling sites need to be able to offer more than just poker. They should be able to offer anything from slots to sports betting. Fantasy sports betting is big right now and they should be able to get in on the action. It’ll ensure that us poker players will have a place to play a few hands.

The Online Poker Industry Needs To Set Realistic Goals

It’s going to take awhile for online poker to catch on where its legal. No company should be surprised if growth is slow in the beginning. It’s important that both companies and investors realize this.

Legalizing online poker isn’t like turning on a faucet that pours out money. The money will come in time as the amount of players increase. It’s going to take awhile for players to feel like they can trust poker sites. Trust is earned and not handed to anyone on a silver platter.

With today’s technology it’s possible to prove someone’s age. The argument that online poker should remain illegal because children can play it is absolute hogwash. There are proven effective methods to ensure that children don’t gamble online. The truth is, this is just a scare tactic used when the other side has no other arguments. Children can be protected and adults should be given the ability to play poker if they so choose.

Regulation Takes Time

Lastly, everyone should remember that regulation takes time. Legalizing online poker isn’t like turning on a light switch. Even once it’s legalized it will be some time before you can play online. There’s an entire process that has to take place both on the government side and business side of things.

Governments are often slow and can take what seems like forever to get things done. Don’t lose hope and always stay focused on the game you love. Every person reading this deserves to have the ability to play poker at home online. The only way we can achieve that is by continuing to move forward on this issue that means so much to us.

Online Poker Strategy Tips

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

online poker strategy tips

Many people feel that the online poker strategy differs from that of a casino.  The main difference is that you can’t see the person.  You’re unable to tell how they react when playing.  This is different and for some people it makes online play more difficult.  The truth is, it shouldn’t.  Playing online for most people should be similar as in a casino.  Especially if you’re the type of player that’s constantly losing their money.  It won’t matter if you’re chips are going to a real person or someone over the internet.  You’ll still end up broke and wishing that you folded your hand.

Always make sure to study the other players.  Not doing so is a mistake that a lot of new online players make.  They think there is no information to be gained since it’s all online.  Just because you can’t see tells doesn’t mean there’s nothing at all to be learned.  You can learn quite a bit about online players by studying now they play.  Many poker rooms even allow you to make notes about players.  You’ll want to take notes on each player so you can remember their playing style.  This will come in handy if you see the user again down the line.  It’s not uncommon to see a player at several different tables at a tournament.  Your notes will be much needed information that you’ll use as you progress through the tournament.

Don’t try to bluff every hand.  It can be easy to do when playing online.  You think the other player isn’t able to tell when you’re bluffing or not.  The problem is, you don’t know what the other player’s cards are.  They very well may have the nuts.  All you’re doing is being a fish on a hook.  The only thing you’re doing is reeling yourself in.  Your opponent doesn’t have to do a thing when you’re over aggressive.  Take it slow and allow your opponent to slip up from time to time.  You can’t possibly have the best possible hand every time.  It’s when you least expect it that someone will come along and bust you while you’re trying to bluff.

Keep the drinking to a minimum when playing online.  Nothing is better than knocking back a few beers while playing poker.  Especially when all you have to do is go to your refrigerator to get those beers.  It can be easy to drain a few too many bottles of suds while playing poker.  A beer or two may help you relax and enjoy the game.  Anything more than that and you’re asking for trouble.  You’ll make stupid plays when drunk.  That will result in you losing lots of money.  It never goes the other way when you’re drunk and gambling.  Rarely if ever will you come out ahead while playing three sheets in the wind.

The best advice to any novice online poker player is to have fun.  Enjoy the game and have yourself a good time.  Very few people will ever be able to make a profit playing poker online.  It’s a game of chance and that’s the way you should look at it.  That’s why having fun is the most important thing.  Enjoy playing the game and you’ll be rewarded by having a good time.  Always try to keep your losses to a minimum and never play drunk.  You’ll totally regret it the next day if you do.

Here’s a nice story from one of the guys at the school of cards about how he got into playing poker, inspiring:

Texas Hold’em Poker Online

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game currently being played.  There are countless casinos offering this game all over the world.  It can also be played online at a wide variety of poker rooms.  There is no shortage of places for people to play Texas Hold’em.  Finding a table is always as easy as pointing and clicking.  It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, you’ll always be able to find a cash game or tournament to play in.

Texas Hold’em Poker Online
The reason why Texas Hold’em has become so popular is because it’s easy to learn.  All it takes is a few hours to learn how to play the game.  The rules are fairly simple and even a beginner can lose all their money in no time flat.  Which is what happens to many new players who step up to the table.  It’s for this reason that beginners should play in tournaments.  You’ll get the most bang for your buck and you can’t go totally broke.  That is unless your blow your whole wad on one entry fee.  Play only those that have small buy-ins when starting out.  This is the best way to maximize your bankroll as a beginner.

Gamblers like the ability to bet the amount they choose at any given time.  This is another reason for the explosion in popularity that Texas Hold’em has experienced.  The ability to go all-in on any hand means there’s always the potential for action.

It’s important to realize there are different types of poker players.  Not everyone is sitting at the table studying the game like a brain surgeon.  There are people that just want to have a good time and gamble.  They view poker like others do slot machines or lottery tickets.  It’s a pure gamble and they could care less what the outcome is.  Just as long as they have a good time putting their money at risk.

The ability to play Texas Hold’em online is probably the biggest reason of all that the game is so popular.  The internet makes gambling much easier and exciting.  You don’t want to wait around all day for a home game to take place.  Who knows if there’ll ever be enough players show up to get a game started.  You also don’t have to drive to a casino and play there.  That’s inconvenient and it’s possible you don’t even have a casino in your area.  For many players the only choice they have is online poker.  The fact that most people own computers these days and the internet is as affordable as ever makes online play extremely attractive.

Gambling has existed since the dawn of time.  People have always found creative ways to lose their money.  Texas Hold’em is just today’s fad for doing so.  There’ll be something else to come along that will dazzle people, which is what fantasy sports is attempting to do.  As long as you’ve got money in your pocket to gamble with, someone will find a way to make it all possible.  Never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.  Unless you’re about to get a divorce and the old hag will get half of it.  The sky is the limit then.  Go all in with a junk and hand ride it into the sunset.

The World Series of Poker – Still Going Strong

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

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The World Series of Poker has been going strong since 1970.  It wasn’t until 2004 that the average poker player knew of it.  That’s because it was broadcast on ESPN and Chris Moneymaker had won the Main Event.  He wasn’t a well known poker pro and his style of play was extremely amateurish.  The idea of an amateur online player winning the biggest prize in poker caught everyone by storm.  All of a sudden everyone was interested in this poker event and in the game in general.

Most people think that the World Series of Poker Main Event is the only tournament.  The tournaments have grown in number and locations.  Today there are World Series of Poker tournaments held all over the globe.  You don’t have to live in Las Vegas to hit the felt at one of these tournaments.  It brings the game to you if you’re away Las Vegas and don’t have the ability to go there.

This is the last part of World Series Of Poker Main Event 2014:

The Main Event is the big tournament that everyone is concerned about.  It’s what ESPN routinely shows throughout the year.  Don’t be surprised if you come home stumbling after a night of drinking to find poker on television.  That’s usually when they put poker on.  It seems poker is shown on TV when it’s a choice between it and the Ironman Triathlon.  Don’t be surprised if the Ironman Triathlon gets a better time slot.  That is unless it’s the November 9.

Up until a few years ago the entire tournament was played from start to finish.  Now the final 9 players play at a final table in November.  This drags out the tournament for several months and some say it gives weak players an unfair advantage.  A player can brush up on their poker skills during this time and become better.  They can also rest up and make sure to eat a healthy diet.  Two things that most players don’t get to do while the tournament is on going.

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The popularity of poker remains strong and it’s largely because of the internet.  This has translated into the World Series of Poker being the place to be for players.  Winning a bracelet is as important to a poker player as a championship is to a professional athlete.  Taking the World Series of Poker on the road has only increased it’s visibility around the world.  It’s because of this aggressive marketing that the events will continue to remain relevant.  It’s truly the ultimate player experience for every poker nerd out there.

It’s never too early to begin making reservations to attend next year’s World Series of Poker.  The good hotel rooms go fast.  It’s why you’re going to want to make sure you book yours as soon as possible.  By doing so you’ll ensure that you too can be a part of this world famous poker event.  Every poker player out there should play in at least one tournament at the World Series of Poker.  The Main Event is a bit pricey, but there are quite a few other tournaments that are cheaper.  You can spend a few thousand on your trip and entry fee without breaking the bank.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll surely never forget.

Will Live Streaming Rescue The Poker Industry?

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

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There’s a new type of poker celebrity that’s taken the world by storm. It’s all thanks to a service called Twitch. It was bought out recently by Amazon for nearly one billion dollars. Originally Twitch was used as a way for gamers to live stream the games they were playing. This has become quite popular online and many gamers and viewers alike enjoy streaming and watching live. It’s been a surprise to many that online poker has become a sensation on Twitch and has made many online celebrities.

Jason Somerville is a name that some of you may be familiar with. Many of you may have watched him compete in the World Championship of Online Poker. It was an online competition that had a $1.2 million dollar prize pool. Jason has also streamed himself winning and losing massive amounts of money online. The largest he’s ever lost while streaming is $100,000. Even though Somerville is from Long Island, he plays in Toronto, Canada to avoid any legal ramifications. This is because online poker is illegal in his home state of New York.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Twitch. Though, you’re going to be hearing more about it in the future. It currently has a hundred million visitors a month and that number is growing. Even though the site itself was geared towards gamers, poker players around the world have now call Twitch home. The site gives every person watching an up close and personal feel of someone else playing online poker. It’s something that most poker lovers haven’t experienced. After all, televised poker usually takes place in a casino. The only downfall to Twitch is that it doesn’t have the color commentary that most are accustomed to when it comes to watching poker. Streamers make up for that by offering their own commentary with their live streams.

The appeal of sitting down in front of a computer to watch someone else sit in front of a computer and play cards is not immediately obvious. Somerville himself describes most poker videos as “sedative alternatives.” On his stream, a portion of the screen shows what he’s seeing on his computer, while another, smaller portion shows him looking at his monitor and giving commentary. TV networks generally create dramatic poker-game narratives in post-production—mostly by editing out all but the most exciting action. With live streams, the burden rests almost entirely on the player’s abilities and personality.

“As someone who watched a ton of poker videos, particularly poker-training videos, I was always shocked at how bad they were from a performance point of view,” Somerville said. On Twitch, he plays the consummate host-cum-tour-guide: inclusive, knowledgeable, and relentlessly entertaining. The key element of his broadcasts, which regularly run longer than seven hours, are his inexhaustible monologues, during which he cheerfully expounds on everything from basic poker strategy to his social life to the opaque world of professional gambling. He also responds candidly to questions that viewers submit via Twitch’s chat box. This interactivity, Somerville said, “allows you to get more inside my head. From both a learning point of view and an entertainment point of view, that’s so much better.”

If the market is to return to any semblance of its pre-2011 levels, the change is likely to occur slowly. More than half of Somerville’s audience is in the U.S., but it still represents only a tiny fraction of Twitch traffic. A number of big industry players are intrigued, though. Since his stream’s debut, Somerville has signed partnership deals with PokerStars, the world’s largest online cardroom, and DraftKings, the hugely popular (and controversial) daily fantasy-sports site. Meanwhile, Poker Central, a new streaming service dedicated exclusively to poker coverage, which also has a cable-television network in the works, has started to host original content on Twitch. Some see a future in which the platform replicates, albeit to a lesser degree, what traditional media did for poker a decade ago. “The first poker boom came, in part, from television teaching the game to people,” Eric Hollreiser, the head of corporate communications for PokerStars, told me. “Twitch represents the next-generation opportunity to have that channel of communication with consumers.”

This an excerpt from the original post that sparked my commentary – found on The New Yorker

Watching live streams of online poker can be both entertaining and educational. There’s nothing better than watching something live as it happens. The sheer excitement of a live event can make anyone bite their nails in anticipation of what’s going to happen next. It also gives poker players the ability to see how others approach the game. The commentary provided by the person streaming can give invaluable insight to how the game is played. It gives you a bird’s eye view of the game and what the player is thinking. You also get to see real time reactions by players as the game happens. Finally, you’ll get to see how someone else reacts to a bad beat.

Poker isn’t on television as much now as it was during the last decade. It means that people have to go elsewhere for their poker entertainment. It seems Twitch is the new place where poker players can get their fill of the action. Don’t be a stranger and check out the site for yourself. You very well may end up more than just a little entertained. You may also learn something by watching one of the many live streams that will change your game play for the better.

Will Online Poker Be Legalized In California?

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

California is the next state that’s considering legalizing online poker. It should come as no surprise that one of the most populous states in the country is doing so. Even poker professionals such as Daniel Negreanu have weighed in on the matter. Here we’re going to discuss what’s ahead for poker in California. It’s not as cut dry as many may see it. There’s still quite a few obstacles that need to be overturned before Californians will be able to play online poker.

It appears that several Indian tribes have not backed the idea of online poker. Let’s be honest and say that it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The tribes operate casinos and they feel online poker would cut into their profits. This may be true, only time will tell.

Here’s a couple of quotes I pulled from this article:

Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu pointed out, “We already have regulated online gaming in the U.S. We just don’t have it in what we would consider a progressive state like California. And I think it’s a no-brainer that it will happen. It’s just a question of when.”

Industry expert Steve “Chops” Preiss said so far the tribes saying no have been effective.

“They have absolutely been more unified. They have spent better, smarter dollars. They’ve thrown up all the effective roadblocks they’ve needed to keep this from happening,” said Preiss.

It’s important to realize that a casino can offer things that an online poker room can’t. Food, refreshments, and entertainment are just a few of the things that brick and mortar casinos can offer that online services can’t. It may also be possible for the Indian tribes themselves to get in on the action. It has to be something that many of them at the very least has considered.

poker-legalizationAt some point the Indian tribes aren’t going to be effective at stopping online poker. It’s already clear that there are some heavy hitters ready to get involved. Pokerstars is already waiting in the wings to see what California will do next. They’ve already inked a deal with New Jersey and California certainly could be next.

Roughly 71% of online poker players already play at Pokerstars. This means they’ve got the know how to pull something like this off. They know the world of online poker inside and out. No one has a better opportunity to lead California to online gaming bliss than they do.

State Assemblyman Adam Gray is currently working on a bill to legalize online poker. There seems to be no indication either way what will happen with this bill. Let’s not forget that Governor Jerry Brown would have to sign it into law. He also hasn’t came out in regards to online poker.

It’s going to be a matter of time before we know where everyone in the state stands regarding this issue. It’s clear that many poker players want to be able to enjoy the game they love on the internet. What isn’t clear is if the lawmakers are listening to their constituents. We’ll know who is and who isn’t if a vote ever does take place.

It doesn’t matter if you live in California or Florida, playing online poker is a right. No person reading this is deterred from playing poker because a state hasn’t legalized it. It’s only when our elected officials realize this things will change. People are already playing and nothing they do is going to change that. What they can change is the legitimacy of the game.

Every lawmaker has the ability to ensure that the public is playing at a fair and trustworthy poker site. That’s something that every politician and government official should want. Not to mention the tax revenues every state would gain from legalizing online poker.