Weekly Poker Roundup: December 12, 2015
Poker Player Violates Nevada Third-Party Software Laws
The poker community is keeping an eye on a first in Nevada: a poker player is possibly being investigated for the illegal use of third party software on an internet poker site. Poker pro Tommy Chen, going by the screen name “BTCBLADE” on WSOP.com was spotted on his Twitch stream using a heads-up display (HUD) at the poker tables. This violates Nevada’s gaming code, a portion of which reads:
It is unlawful for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist:
In projecting the outcome of the game;
In keeping track of the cards played;
In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the game or;
In analyzing the strategy for playing or betting to be used in the game, except as permitted by the commission.
HUDs are also against WSOP.com’s rules:
7.3 Software Aids: The use of any automated tool which in the Company’s opinion is designed among other things to provide assistance in betting decisions, to exchange the opponents’ hand histories, to enable You to find a seat at a poker table, to automatically seat You at a poker table or which is used in any way in connection with Your use of the Services is strictly prohibited.
When questioned by poker player Randy Dorfman, WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini said that Chen had only been given a warning. Flushdraw.com has since found out that the matter is being investigated by the Nevada Gaming Commission and it appears that Chen may have been suspended from WSOP.com.
RAWA Takes Another Hit at Congressional Hearing
U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah) held a second hearing to try to garner support for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) on Wednesday and fortunately for online poker fans in the U.S., he failed miserably. Once again exposing himself as a puppet of Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, Chaffetz tried desperately to ask witnesses leading questions and displayed a willful ignorance of facts in his prepared statements. The hearing that he likely hoped would help advance his political career turned against him, as most of the committee members saw through Chaffetz’s charade and all but mocked his ludicrous stance.
In his first hearing in March, Chaffetz stacked the deck with anti-online gambling witnesses, none of whom had experience with gaming regulation and none of whom had technical expertise. He tried to make himself look a little better this week, including former Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman Mark Lipparelli on the panel, but it was still a total farce.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director Joseph S. Campbell was useless, not knowing anything about anything. Chaffetz likely hoped he would say that it is difficult for the FBI to police online gambling, but Campbell looked totally unprepared and really had no idea what was going on.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Douglas County (Nebraska) Prosecutor’s Attorney Donald W. Kleine were clearly pro-RAWA, saying that online gambling was impossible to restrict to individual states and too hard to monitor, but upon questioning, they demonstrated that they really had no knowledge about online gambling. They were contradicted at every turn.
Lipparelli was by far the most intelligent witness when it came to the topic at hand and the committee members kept going to him for answers. He has a couple decades of experience in gaming and was involved in crafting Nevada’s regulations, so he had no problem handling himself at all. The other witnesses were largely ignored by any committee members who did not have a pro-RAWA agenda (which wasn’t many of them).
Pro-RAWA Attorney General Petition is a Hilarious Debacle
Speaking of South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, he has also been failing on another RAWA front. In October, he and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster began circulating a petition to the other U.S. Attorneys General asking for their support in campaigning for RAWA. That petition was then sent to Congressional leaders, asking them to support RAWA. Including Koster and Wilson, that petition received eight signatures.
Wilson was involved in a similar letter last year, one which garnered sixteen autographs.
What’s funny about this is not just that Wilson and Koster couldn’t even reach double-digit signatures, but that Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced BOTH letters into evidence at the RAWA hearing this week, as if they were something that would carry any weight.
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