Poker Players Alliance has its own history and on that front names like Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson are famous. While this may be the case, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato was appointed the PPA board’s new chairman in 2007. Most of these people have been associated with poker since their youth and they are poker enthusiasts. Alfonse has been promoting the online poker agenda ever since he testified in support of online poker at the congressional hearing.
For questions regarding online poker that were directly posed at him D’Amato had good answers. For example, Gregg Harper questioned D’Amato stating, “Does Poker Players Alliance receive dues or contributions from either Full Tilt Poker or Ultimate Bet?” to which D’Amato did not hesitate and answered “No we don’t.” and added that “one way to deal with Full Tilt and people like that who have taken advantage of the system is to provide a tough, strong, enforceable, licensing bill.”
It would be wise for D’Amato to begin distancing himself from Full Tilt, since the site seems to be in trouble most of the time, and has been accused of operating a “ponzi scheme” and cheating players. PPA and D’Amato have now started maintaining their distance from Full Tilt Poker. Although D’Amato has been a skilled politician and his answer to Gregg Harper’s question was a smart one, it would be better for him if he maintains that distance. The PPA states that Full Tilt supported them through the Interactive Gaming Council and it spent millions in lobbying for the same in Washington. Full Tilt was backing IGC financially.
John Pappas who is the executive director of the Poker Player’s Alliance said that Full Tilt has stopped its support to the IGC since January 2011 and that “They have been a contributor in the past indirectly, but they no longer are.”
When D’Amato was in the US Senate he was known for hosting poker games on a weekly basis and most often he would himself emerge as the winner in those games. D’ Amato also used to bid for Full Tilt Poker. And now it seems that he is using the example of Full Tilt’s downfall to support the need for this online poker agenda that he is a part of, since regulations and legislations are something that would make a great difference to this online scenario.