Hit and Run: California in No Hurry for iPoker, Annie Duke on Donald Trump

Alex Weldon : August 4th, 2016
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Online poker will be a slog in California. Wired talks to Annie Duke about Trump. Lance Bradley’s wardrobe suddenly got a lot smaller. And more.

California Senate Plans on Dragging Its Feet

Yesterday, New York passed legislation permitting and regulating daily fantasy sports (DFS). That’s big news for poker players and sports bettors there, given the overlap in interest, but things aren’t so rosy elsewhere. California is near the top of the list of states that may eventually regulate online poker, and would represent the most important step forward for online poker if it did so. It seems, however, that it will probably be a long time coming, if it comes at all.

California Senate president Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) told the press that, following a conversation with Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, he’s feeling uncertain about passing Proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state.

That may be of interest to some poker players, but the more directly relevant part of the press conference came as something of an aside, when the subject of other “vice” bills came up, and León said that he’s in “no hurry” to pass internet poker or daily fantasy sports regulation, although he stopped short of saying he’s outright opposed to the idea.

Outside of Nevada, California is arguably the most important state for live poker, with numerous legal card rooms and tribal casinos. It’s therefore a tempting home base for poker pros as it stands – legal online poker there would make it the almost obligatory choice, given how much larger the player pool would be there, compared to the currently legalized states Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Quick Hitters

- The Asian Poker Tour (APT) is coming back to China for the first time since the Nanjing Millions was raided by police. Apparently cash games and re-entry were the problem the last time around, and won’t be on the menu this time, in Beijing, so hopefully there won’t be a repeat occurrence.

- If asked to name a poker pro, most people in 2016 would not come up with Annie Duke, given her shady history and lack of recent activity. That’s who Wired decided to go with, though, when they decided that a poker player would be the right person to ask about how Paul Ryan should handle Donald Trump. Given the number of poker players who hate Duke and Trump equally, I imagine the article has led to a few heads being scratched.

- The Duke-Trump article happens to be interesting in its timing, as Poker Update’s Jen Newell has just penned an op-ed about whether it’s appropriate for poker pros to be outspoken about their political views. She’s not talking about Duke, however, but mostly about Daniel Negreanu, whose strongly-held anti-Trump opinions have ruffled feathers among his fans.

- PocketFives’s Lance Bradley has agreed to wear the same shirt for a year, for $8,000 from Antonio Esfandiari.

- PartTimePoker’s own Steve Ruddock has some thoughts about whether straddling on the button is a good idea, and when.

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