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Black Friday, Libertarianism, and Cupcakes

by Katie Dozier |  Published: Apr 14, '12

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In the same vein as the now-trendy divorce parties, I thought about throwing a Black Friday party on April 15th this year. Being the culinary nerd that I am, I envisioned cupcakes with fondant “Here Lies US Internet Poker” tombstones, truffle-dusted “freedom fries”, and black (squid ink) pasta. But then I realized that BF fell on a Sunday, so I already had plans: grinding online poker.

Of course, playing on Merge isn’t as glamorous as a lot of options for US players a bit over a year ago. It’s true that I could have left the country, but opted not to (at least for the time being). There’s still money to be made grinding at home in my PJs, and for now I’ll take that. Also, playing live more often has made me a much better poker player in the last year; despite the fact that I undoubtedly played fewer hands compared to the same period the year before.

In a quote that I used at the beginning of The Superuser, C. S. Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

As a disillusioned libertarian, that’s a quote I’ve believed in for a long time, and certainly has relevance to online poker. One positive of BF is that it has made many people think about the many injustices enacted by the US government, especially for poker players.

The only thing I believe in more than cupcakes is freedom. Lame pastry jokes aside, I often dream about a theft-free society; a society where donning a uniform or having a title doesn’t give someone the right to steal under the guise of doing it “for the good of America.” We’re taught from an early age to respect authority, as if those people are privy to some kind of secret where they know exactly what is right for over 300 million people. There is no such secret; there is no one way that works in my mind except allowing people to live their own lives.

Of course, every big shift in ideology has to start small, and if there is a silver lining in BF, I hope that it is making us more critical of the forces that rule us in America. I hope it encourages all of us to think about the rules we may have supported in the past just because we personally like them, and to understand that forcing our own ideologies upon others is a fruitless and lame attempt to make us feel that we’ve won an argument.

Grossly simplified, I think many arguments actually look like this: say a politician is running on the platform that all cupcakes should be chocolate (surely campaigns have been based on less important matters in the history of the US). Some people would think, “I love chocolate cupcakes! I support that,” and forget that not allowing people that like vanilla cupcakes to have them is crazy.

I can only hope that Black Friday gets us a little closer to fighting for vanilla cupcakes even if we only eat chocolate. I may not agree with your taste in cupcakes, but I feel strongly about you having the right to choose your flavor—and to eat any dessert you choose while grinding online poker.

Katie “hotjenny314” Dozier is a lead coach for Team Moshman and one of the Grindettes. An accomplished super-turbo and MTT player, she makes videos for Drag The Bar and PokerStrategy . Dozier, co-authored Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills and The Superuser. She posts more frequent updates on Twitter.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

quest
over 5 years ago

Your simplified argument makes sense. Blueberries too?

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

Blueberries too! :)

 
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Fin-Man
over 5 years ago

Well said! Go to mises.org if you're interested in learning the economics behind liberty... very interesting!

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

Thanks. I'm a big fan of Mises.Org and LewRockwell.com already. :)

 
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bparmalee
over 5 years ago

Isn't it almost time for a blog or a news story about how the "Deal to buy Full Tilt will completed soon..". It's been a couple of weeks.

 
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bparmalee
over 5 years ago

Also.... I think poker players that rail against the shutdown need to also add that without the shut down countless more people would have been drained by Full Tilt. They weren't paying anyone out and they had only a small percentage of the deposit funds. While the shut down may not sit well with players... exposing Full Tilt was a huge positive. Online poker will come back in a better more transparent form. Players will have far more protections and casual players will be comfortable enough to come play.

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

I hope your prediction proves to be true. :)

 
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clunker
over 5 years ago

Like every thing in life there are rules.Some we like some we don't. Try playing poker with no set rules or hand rankings. No rules I think 27 beats aa when I have 27. But on the other hand when I have aa I believe that beats 27. Online poker was something along those lines no real rules or protection for the players quite obviously, Some sites came took your money and folded,UB,AB and FTP were exposed as thieves on BF. Yes you need all kinds of cupcakes to make a safe environment not just the ones you like.

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

Thanks for your comment. The difference between the government's rules and the rules of poker is that you can freely chose whether or not to play poker. The same is not true of abiding to the laws in the US-- since they can punish you for it, whereas poker is a voluntary activity. Yes, some of the sites were clearly very mismanaged. However, that doesn't mean that online poker should be made illegal as a result. To make another food analogy, some people have died from eating (government monitored) spinach, but that doesn't mean that no one should be allowed to eat spinach anymore.

 
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bparmalee
over 5 years ago

I understand your food analogy but the US has always taken a very hands on approach to gaming. Not to mention the lobbying interests that were and still are at play here. You or I can not open up a house and start a casino... at least not legally... and online poker rooms were told they were not allowed to take US player deposits. I take the stance that Full Tilt and Pokerstars likely slowed down the legalization of online poker because they created an obstacle that had to be dealt with. Not only that but they also gutted future earnings for short term gains. Party Poker did it the right way. They closed down immediately and paid the fines our gov. decided to levy (most likely the fines would not have held up if they were challenged in court). Party Poker will come roaring back the second the US allows online gaming...unlike Pokerstars which will never get a gaming license in the country. My point is if Full Tilt and the other operators would have shut down when Party Poker did... I believe we would already have online poker. Since they didn't and a fraud was discover.... now the court cases have to clear before there can be any hope of moving forward. They are not going to pursue charges against people... while also making what they were doing legal. So now we have to wait a little bit longer. Just be happy NV is test marketing the software for us before hand.

 
 

clunker
over 5 years ago

Please don't take this the wrong way but your point of being able to play poker voluntarily or not if you don't like rules also applies to living in the USA. Many people who do not like the laws here move to other countries. Spinach and all other foods are a lot safer because of government regulation then they were 50 or 100 years ago when there was little or no regulation. The government inspects meat products but if you insist on eating your meat raw and get sick or die it is not the governments fault.

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

The problem with saying that regulation (with regards to anything that the government has a monopoly on) has been successful is that there is no unregulated control group to compare it to, so in actuality it is impossible to factually say what the effect of the regulation has been.

 
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dare2
over 5 years ago

As C. S. Lewis also said."Crying is alright in it's own way while it lasts.But you have to stop sooner or later and then you still have to decide what to do."
I suppose being a self professed "disillusioned libertarian" allows you the luxury of not doing anything constructive about the problem. Perhaps this is more of an opportunity than an injustice and forcing you out of your PJ's will ultimately be a good thing.I'm just sayin'.

 
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Katie_Dozier
over 5 years ago

@ bparmalee : Interesting thoughts-- I'd never looked at it that way before.

 
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clunker
over 5 years ago

You can compare what happen before and industry was regulated to what happened after it was regulated and draw pretty conclusive proof as to whether it worked out or did not. This does not mean that the company necessarily benefited from the regulation but society did. Did the desired out come happen? Was xyz co. stopped from dumping there waste in my yard. The government has no monopoly on any thing . What you want for proof can never happen because you would need 2 governments making different rules therefore you would have 2 countries not one As far as online poker is concerned bparmalee made a good point. Also the leaders against online poker not that long ago were the casinos who more then likely thought if you close down online poker those players will migrate to them. Of course this did not happen so now casinos are ready to front online poker sites. These sites will be better regulated and safer to play on them any that were lic. by foreign scam co. that answered to no one.

 
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pscewok
over 5 years ago

Katie,
Instead of listening to Ron Paul you should research. Show me a country with weak government and I will show you a hell-hole. Ever hear of Somalia --- no gob'ment there tellin' ya what to do --- works so well.

 
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