Does the World Poker Tour really believe what they just said about online poker?

by Lou on October 8, 2006

“The Justice Department has been very clear that it believes online gaming to be illegal in the United States and our policies have been always been tailored accordingly,” said Adam Pliska, General Counsel for the World Poker Tour. “This law clarifies the rules,” and, according to Pliska, “makes it possible for everyone to move forward on an even footing.”

According to World Poker Tour CEO and founder Steve Lipscomb, “It was a wide-spread love of this game and the reinvention of poker as a televised sport that ignited the poker phenomenon, and that is what will continue to drive the future of the sport.”

Is this the WPT’s way of saying “We were right and you everyone else was wrong when it came to interpreting the laws regarding online poker,” or was it merely a slap in the face to the online poker industry that somehow offends the WPT? Perhaps it was nothing more than a simple case of following the money. After all, if online sites will no longer advertise on television, they can’t bring televised poker shows into the marketplace and therefore won’t be able to offer competition to the WPT?

I don’t know; no one’s told me. Despite different marketing thrusts and competition for players, advertising, and rake, and regardless of the major differences that some big-name players have with the World Poker Tour, I’ve always believed that everyone in the industry was united when it came right down to the bottom line: Keeping poker legal and available for everyone.

I guess not. But then again I’ve always thought that the way to win in the marketplace was to provide a superior product at a better price. I didn’t think the way to win was to hitch one’s wagon to a disingenuous law, riddled with hypocritical exceptions that was dragged unseen in the night and appended to a piece of must-pass legislation in order to enhance Bill Frist’s presidential ambitions.

I would have thought that businesses engaged in the world of poker would have had a sense of honor that transcended that sort of thing. Most do, but some don’t. But poker, along with the politics that surrounds it, always does a very nice job of revealing character, whether it’s individual or corporate.

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