The last stop of the PokerStars Pro Tour at Turlock Poker Room & Casino at Turlock in California attracted a large number of poker players, fans, and media representatives from all over Central Valley. They all expressed their support for online poker legalization and hoped to get a chance to interact with professional poker players Vanessa Selbst and Daniel Negreanu.
The PokerStars Pro Tour was launched in mid July with the aim of generating awareness on the importance of online poker legalization and of getting support for the game in California.
Mario Alvarez, Turlock Poker Room & Casino’s Casino Relations Director, said: “Ownership has been on board with this since it first came out. They believe that this is something right for California. They believe that California should be regulated without a doubt, to protect the youth and all Californians to make sure that California can sustain itself through the profit that can be made from taxes, creation of jobs, and other things.”
When Alvarez says “ownership,” he means Joe Fernandez and Phil Rheinschild, the co-owners of Turlock Poker Room & Casino. When PokerNews.com asked Rheinschild about his reasons to take part in the movement, he said that he feels that it is “very cool” to be part of a movement that demands the legalization of online poker. He also said that online poker is not going to hurt anyone, but will instead serve to generate new players for brick-and-mortar casinos.
In fact, owners of all the poker rooms and casinos that the PokerStars Pro Tour stopped at feel that California will ultimately legalize online poker.
Alvarez said that ambassadors such as Selbst and Negreanu are very important not only because of their poker prowess, but also their personalities. He said: “Our customers couldn’t believe that superstars such as these two would be here in the Central Valley. Just seeing the looks on everyone’s faces when they arrived and the enthusiasm they brought after a long time on the road, it’s really great to see. Knowing that they represent a brand like this really makes a difference for our community.”
PokerStars Pro Tour appears to have successfully concluded, but the fight for online poker legalization in California is still on. Those who would like online poker to be legalized and regulated in California only have to sign up at the official website of Californians for Responsible iPoker and express their support for the movement.