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Poker Players Alliance To Have New Leader

John Pappas Will Pass Torch To VP Rich Muny

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The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) announced last week that its longtime executive director is leaving his post.

John Pappas, who as been at the helm of the grassroots lobbying and advocacy group for more than a decade, will pass the torch to Rich Muny, the PPA’s active vice president. The group said in a news release that Pappas will remain on the board of directors and will continue to be a strategic adviser.

Pappas became the executive director of the PPA in late 2007, after serving as the vice president of government affairs for the organization since its infancy in 2005.

Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson called Pappas a “tremendous leader” and a “true professional.” Pappas has for years been a fixture in state online poker hearings, as well as on Capitol Hill. The group helped defeat Congressional attempts to ban online poker nationwide.

“Under his guidance, PPA has emerged as a policy advocacy and grassroots powerhouse in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country. For almost a decade, he has been the political voice and face of the poker community and regulated internet gaming advocates. He leaves the organization in a strong position to continue to ensure that consumer voices drive the internet gaming debate,” said Johnson, who is a member of the PPA board.

Pappas remarked in a statement that his departure as executive director comes at a time when “there has never been greater momentum…for the advancement of sensible internet gaming policy in the U.S.” Since online poker’s Black Friday in April 2011, four U.S. states have approved online poker legislation. Several more are still considering it.

Despite progress for regulated online gaming in America, the PPA has had to deal with losses in funding. “Over the past several months, the PPA has been adjusting to a significant reduction in financial support from the internet gaming industry and thusly has refocused its efforts on cost effective grassroots advocacy,” the organization said.

However, the PPA said that it “has not missed a beat.”