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by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: Jul 23, '11


Yes, we certainly can.

Preston Oade is a distinguished attorney who has successfully argued constitutional law cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He and John Pappas, the Executive Director of The Poker Players Alliance, debated ways to respond to the UIGEA on a radio show I hosted.

Arthur Reber is an eminent psychologist, the author of The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology and several books on gambling. I introduced them to each other, and I am delighted to see that they have made a convincing case that the UIGEA does not prohibit you from playing poker online. In fact, because Preston has read the entire UIGEA, I learned that the word, “poker,” does not appear anywhere in that law. You have only three problems:
1. Finding a website that will accept you
2. Investigating that website to be confident that your money is safe
3. Depositing money.

Unfortunately, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully waged a “campaign of fear.” The indictments of poker websites and banks were based entirely on laws that existed long before it became law, but the DOJ’s press releases have repeatedly mentioned the UIGEA to scare poker players. Their campaign of fear has been extremely successful. Many people believe that they can’t play online, and more than a few of them are even afraid of being arrested.

I urge you to read their first article, “Black Friday: The DOJ’s Campaign of Fear,” in Poker Player July 18, 2011. Then take the steps they recommend to continue playing poker online. However, you will certainly find that the games are much tougher than they once were.


Because only highly motivated American players will study the law, recognize their rights, and take the steps Preston and Arthur recommended. And who is more motivated, winners or losers?

The number of weaker players has dramatically dropped online, and relatively few new ones will replace them. Without weak players, the games will inevitably become much tougher. It’s the Darwinian evolutionary process I described in an earlier blog.

Preston recently sent me a draft of his article on The Barton Bill to legalize online poker. He makes a good case that it will make things worse for us. My next blog will include his position and my comments.

If you have a question, please add it in any comment section, or e-mail me Before emailing, please check my first blog, “What is poker psychology coaching?”

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


over 11 years ago

btw the assumption that games are so much tougher now, "Because only highly motivated American players will study the law, recognize their rights, and take the steps Preston and Arthur recommended." is simply not true.

Players don't have to study any law or recognize their rights or do what "Preston" and "Arthur" tell them. They simply have to go to a site that accepts them, sign up, and deposit money.

The obstacles they might face when trying to deposit will be no different than they have been in the US for the past 5 years. You make is sound like they have to go through some grueling process to play online when in reality it hasn't changed all that much.

The games on Merge aren't any tougher than normal Stars games pre black friday. The biggest difference is that MTT players are screwed. There are very few big MTTs that are running on the American friendly sites right now.


over 11 years ago

You really didn't know that UIGEA didn't prohibit US players from playing online? How did you not know that? You don't need a convincing argument from the director of the PPA, its simply a fact.

There are no federal US laws that prohibit playing online poker in any way shape or form. Its a very simple fact. I'm astounded by the misinformation that gets spread on this subject. It seems like half the poker community thinks that some kind of law was created on Black Friday that made it illegal for Us players to play online.


over 11 years ago

bmpek- yeah some people actually care about something more than just trolling and insulting people randomly. You are the saddest troll ive ever seen. most trolls are 15 yr old kids who troll because they have nothing else to do. they are too young to play poker so they troll the forums and insult people.

You, on the other hand, are a sad old man troll. The rarest and most depressing of all the trolls. You aren't happy with how your life turned out and you blame poker so you come on here every single day for no other reason than to insult poker players, most of whom are probably 1/3 your age.

Don't bother replying and telling us how you are some rich guy with a great life. If you had anything going for you at all in life you wouldn't be here trolling. It is a fact that you are a sad old pathetic man who is just getting sadder, older, and more pathetic by the minute. When you die (prob in the next decade) no one will care.


over 11 years ago

lol @ WPS22 That was a superb and complete rubdown of bmpek!

As I have suggested before I personally think he is impotent, hence the obvious frustration. The very last line you wrote was particular biting and I sadly suspect completly accurate.

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