Poker Players Alliance, Pros Descend on Washington State this Thursday: Protest Law

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Washington State is the only state that makes playing online poker a Class C felony.  As such, most online poker companies have stopped accepting customers from the state out of fears that these individuals will be prosecuted. 

On Thursday, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), which is under great pressure to start getting more involved in the overall poker community and pushing for changes in legislation, has scheduled a meeting with legislators in the state.

As has been reporting in recent weeks, a number of states are now considering legalizing online poker and a federal bill is scheduled for introduction next month. 

Below are the details of Thursday’s engagement. 


Thursday Poker Pros Join Washingtonians to Lobby Legislators: Washington State Only State Where Online Poker Players Are Criminals


WHAT:           Poker Players Alliance Lobby Day in Olympia

In Washington, playing poker online is now a felony--like child pornography or heroin possession--making any of the over 800,000 Washington residents who can legally play poker in card rooms look like hardened criminals if they play online.

Three of the country’s top poker pros will join Washingtonians traveling across the state to meet with nearly 40 Olympia legislators asking them to overturn Washington’s draconian ban on online poker.                        

WHO:            John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance

Pro Andy Bloch-- Professional poker player for 15 years with over $4 million in tournament winnings and numerous TV appearances, on World Series Of Poker, World Poker Tournament, NBC's Poker After Dark and National Heads Up Championship shows among others.  Bloch was a member and manager of the MIT Blackjack Team, as featured in the movie '21', and used his earnings to attend Harvard Law School.  Graduated and passed the MA bar in 1999 but never practiced law.  Before poker & law school, earned a BS & MS in electrical engineering from MIT.

ProLinda Johnson-- Referred to as the “first lady of poker”, Linda Johnson taught herself to play the game at an early age. In 1980, after finishing 5th in the WSOP Ladies Seven-Card Stud Tournament, Linda quit her job to move to Las Vegas and become a professional poker player. In 1997, she became the second woman in history to win a World Series open event. She was honored for her poker accomplishments as a premier inductee into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.


Pro Jan Fisher-- Fisher started her poker career in 1977 when she moved from Seattle, Wash. to Las Vegas, Nev. to become a poker dealer. Having dealt in many of the card rooms in Vegas before, Fisher moved on to semi-professional playing and management. Currently, she serves as a partner of Card Player Cruises along with Linda Johnson and Mark Tenner. She also hosts and directs the semi-annual Oasis Open poker tournament, held at the Oasis Resort and Spa in Mesquite, Nev. She is a founder of the Tournament Directors Association and has served as the tournament director for the highly successful PartyPoker Million events.


Local PPA Members from across Washington state


WHEN:       Thursday, March 17, 2011
                       8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. -- Poker legislation briefing
                       Red Lion Hotel, Capitol Room
                       2300 Evergreen Park Drive, Olympia, WA

                       9:45 a.m. -- 5 p.m. -- One on one meetings with legislators