On Tuesday the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) announced that July 19th-25th will serve as National Poker Week, a week dedicated to promoting the game and advocating for the rights of card players in the United States. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas shortly before the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $1,000 buy-in Seniors’ No Limit Hold’em Event began. PPA organizer Greg Pappas was on hand, as were former US Senator and PPA member Alfonse D’Amato and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to announce what plans were in store for next month’s event.
One of the more noteworthy projects is the Poker Petition, which can be found at www.pokerpetition.com. Poker advocates and players can visit the website to sign the petition, which requests the support of President Obama in exempting online poker from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The petition, which already has more than 4,000 signatures just days after launching, will be delivered to President Obama during National Poker Week.
A number of known pros like Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Linda Johnson and Annie Duke will be on hand in Washington D.C. during National Poker Week to represent the cause and participate in some of the other activities on the agenda, including a charity poker tournament to benefit the USO and the Walter Reed Medical Center. They will also be meeting with members of Congress to discuss, amongst other things, the UIGEA and newly introduced legislation by Rep. Barney Frank designed to license and regulate online gaming in the United States.
Pappas and the PPA also discussed the launch of MyPokerStory.com, a website in which players can share their own histories with the game and why poker is important to them. Players who participate in the website can upload videos of themselves discussing their love of the game or, for those in Las Vegas for the WSOP, they can come by the PPA booth at the Rio and record a video there. The PPA will be offering prizes to those who submit videos including a grand prize vacation for two to Vegas.
In a written press release sent out in conjunction with the live press conference, D’Amato spoke on behalf of the PPA about the importance of player involvement in their advocacy efforts. “Our members—the poker players of America—are our best advocates to protect the future of poker”, D’Amato explained. “National Poker Week, with events in Washington D.C., and across the country, is the PPA’s way to make it clear to my former colleagues in the U.S. Congress that poker is important to voters and is here to stay.”

At the conclusion of the press conference, D’Amato headed off to participate in the Seniors’ event. While he failed to survive to the end of Day One, his participation helped to illustrate just how fun a poker tournament can be. If you are interested in learning more about the PPA or National Poker Week, information can be found at www.nationalpokerweek.com.

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