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Greg Raymer and the Poker Players Alliance Return to CPAC

2004 Champ Will Give Conservative Argument for Poker

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Greg RaymerFor the second straight year, Greg Raymer and the Poker Players Alliance will attend the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

The conference, which begins today and runs through Saturday, welcomes conservative activists from around the country and will feature speeches by a number of influential names in the conservative community — including Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, Tim Pawlenty, and Ann Coulter.

Raymer and the PPA will no doubt try to persuade people at the conference that explicitly legalizing and regulating online poker is something conservative Americans should support.

“I think a true conservative is someone who wants little or no government in his life,” Raymer told Card Player after attending the 2009 conference. “He doesn’t want the government to tell him what to do.”

The PPA will argue that is exactly what the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is due to go into effect on June 1, is trying to do by prohibiting credit-card companies from processing certain types of financial transactions.

“Certainly someone who’s a good conservative is going to say that if it’s an activity that is engaged by an adult who is mentally competent, if they’re not hurting other people, I’m just going to have to … let them do it,” said Raymer.

The 2004 main-event champ has been an active member of the PPA, supporting the organization’s lobbying efforts in Congress and often speaking on behalf of conservative-minded poker players. In fact, Raymer recently wrote a column for The Daily Caller, wherein he called poker his “version of the American dream.”

Poker will be a topic of discussion in Washington, D.C. today.The Daily Caller is a new right-leaning political news site created by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson and former Dick Cheney adviser Neil Patel.

Raymer said that he and the PPA received a warm reception at last year’s conference. Similar to the 2009 conference, the PPA will host a booth to answer questions, while Raymer will interview with and appear on various radio shows, in addition to signing autographs for fans.

While the members of CPAC might have welcomed the poker community to its conference, Republican members of Congress have not been as receptive. Of the 65 co-sponsors for Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) bill to explicitly legalize and regulate the poker industry, only four of them are Republicans, according to opencongress.org.

Those four House members are Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Rep. Donald Young (R-AK), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Besides supporting the poker bill, Rep. Paul is also a speaker at this year’s CPAC.

The PPA is hoping that number of co-sponsors grows in future months as more people become aware of the major issues concerning online-poker regulation. Since the UIGEA was passed into law, a number of conservative columnists have written about the hypocrisy of the U.S. government interfering with the personal freedom of Americans and poker players — including George Will in both the Washington Post and Newsweek, John Stossel in Human Events, and Walter Williams on townhall.com.