Slammed: The Difficulty of Following Through on Poker Challenges

by Lou on June 26, 2006

I Get Slammed For My Efforts
Earlier this week posts on Rec.Gambling.Poker — the poker newsgroup — and on Two Plus Two, a privately owned poker forum, were caught up in discussions about a possible debate between poker authors Gary Carson who posts regularly on RGP, and Ed Miller who has very close ties with Two Plus Two. Some bad blood is mixed in with this, since Gary Carson had been banned from posting on Two Plus Two in the past, although it was, and still is, unclear as to whether he is currently unwelcome on that site.

Hey, I’m Just the Guy Offering a Forum For Debate
While neither Mr. Carson nor Mr. Miller said they would take part in a debate, I decided to provide a neutral forum for a debate by offering air time on Keep Flopping Aces, the weekly poker radio show that Amy Calistri and I host at every Thursday night at 9:00 PM EDT.

If both parties were willing to debate, I’d have consulted with each of them to develop a format that was fair, agreeable to both parties, and met their needs. My only requirement was that no personal attacks would be permitted. Neither of the parties wanted to go along with the debate, so it was a dead issue. At least I thought it was dead.

Was I “Shameful?”
But I was wrong. I was attacked on Two Plus Two for “…shamefully promoting my radio show,” when in all honesty, all I wanted to do was provide a forum for a debate that would have been interesting, and full of information that listeners could use to improve their poker game.

Neither Mr. Carson nor Mr. Miller was among the attackers. The insidious remarks came from others, with their own interests and agendas that clearly did not include stimulating and increasing a dialog about poker.

Well Ed Miller said he was not interested in a debate, and he said so in a courteous manner, and that’s OK with me. If he doesn’t want to debate, that’s his choice, and although I believe the debate would have contributed a lot to those listening, he’s well within his rights to elect to forego this.

My Own Challenge to Rep Bob Goodlatte Falls on Deaf Ears
It looks like I’m 0-for-2 in creating action. On May 26 I issued a challenge to Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) regarding his proposed legislation that would seek to emasculate online gaming. This was my offer to Rep. Goodlatte:

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 offered another proposition 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’ve never heard from Rep. Goodlatte. While I’m well aware that a member of congress has a lot on his plate, I’d still like to play poker against him. He wouldn’t be gambling, since he would not have to pub any money at risk. If he’d simply like to discuss this bill, I’d love to have him on the radio show too. And although I am an eternal optimist when it comes to most things, I’m not holding my breath when it comes to either playing poker against Rep. Goodlatte or debating him.

Will Clonie Gowan Will Have Better Luck With Her Challenge to Paris Hilton?
Perhaps glamorous Full Tilt poker pro Clonie Gowen will have better luck with her challenge. On the June 21st edition of Fox Sports Network’s Best Damn Sports Show Period, Ms. Gowen challenged Paris Hilton to a $100,000 charity poker tournament.

The winner would get $100,000 (put up by for the charity of her choice. “Paris seems to be a great girl,” Clonie said, adding, “however, she represents everything that I am not, but now that she has stepped into my world (the poker world) I challenge her to put her poker skills to work for charity. $100,000 will go a long way to helping those in need. Paris, are you in?”

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