A state-run online poker room is really nowhere near a reality in California, but the wheels are in motion for it to possibly happen some day.Last week, internet poker player Tony Sandstrom, known as “Tuff Fish” online, received approval for his online poker initiative to go to the petition stage.

Sandstrom needs to gather 430,000 signatures by the end of the year in order to have his initiative make it onto a state ballot.

The initiative was born out of the UIGEA, which allows for states to individually legalize online poker, provided the poker room is based in the state and only allows customers from within that state.Sandstrom’s proposal calls for the state of California to operate the poker room and funnel all revenue to repair the state’s road system.80 percent of the funds would go to cities, 10 percent would go to unincorporated areas of counties, and 10 percent would go to the California Gambling Addiction Program Fund.When the proposal was first drafted, the poker revenue was to go to teachers, but it received no support from teaching organizations.

Strangely, even though this is an online poker initiative, as written it restricts players to competing at only one table at a time.Sandstrom is widely known online as someone who detests “sharks,” and feels that, right or wrong, eliminating the ability to multi-table will cut down on the number of “sharks” who prey on “fish.”

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