An Open Challenge to Rep. Goodlatte

by Lou on May 26, 2006

Yesterday I argued that Rep. Goodlatte’s (R-VA) opposition to online poker was anticapitalistic at best, and at worst it represents governmental intrusion into our lives and freedom of choice. I also chortled when Mr. Goodlatte said that although he admits to having played poker in the past, he maintains he never played for money.

Today I’ll take things one step further. Although Rep. Goodlatte’s bill successfully cleared the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning, I believe it will not be enacted into law this year, and I’m challenging Mr. Goodlatte to put his money where his mouth is.

Here’s my proposition: If the bill fails to become law, you agree never to introduce it again. After all, you’ve tried a number of times now and have struck out on each occasion. If your bill is enacted into law, I’ll agree to publicly support it. I realize I’m offering you a wager, Mr. Goodlatte, but since no money is involved, I don’t think my proposition rises to the level of gambling. Are you willing to take me up on this?

Or, we could gamble for a good cause. I’m willing to wager $1,000, to be donated to the charity of your choice, against nothing more costly to you than your honor. If I win, you agree never to introduce this or similar legislation again. Will you take me up on this wager, Mr. Goodlatte?

I have another proposition you might be interested in too. Since you are quoted as saying poker is “absolutely a game of chance,” why don’t we each put up $1,000 to go to the charity of the winner’s choice, and play a freeze-out poker game? Or we can play a series of freeze-outs where the best two out of three determines the winner.

I’m eager to test your theory in a public crucible, where a deserving charity can benefit from our actions. In case you’re not as sure as your statements about the skill-versus-luck factor, I’m even willing to send you an autographed copy of any one of my books, which you can access at, so you study up and increase your luck factor — or the skill factor, as the case may be.

I’m here. And I’m waiting. If you’re interested, just let me know.

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