3 Solutions to Facilitate Legalized Online Poker (part 2 of 2)

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  • Published December 22nd, 2009 in Poker News

In part 1 of this series I went over the major arguments currently being invoked by the proponents of online poker, and briefly touched upon the talking points of the people who are adamantly against online poker being legalized in the US. In this article I will detail three specific concessions online poker sites could make in an effort to get online poker legislation passed.

Cap the stakes

As much as I love seeing and hearing about million dollar pots, multi-million dollar swings, and watching the best of the best in the online poker world battle it out; the current stakes being played -and promoted-online are ludicrous! How easy is it for a conservative to stand-up in Congress and cite the Full Tilt Poker games where players are buying in for $200k+? The average Joe has to believe this is insanity; these players are gambling with what amounts to houses.

The only way to eliminate the argument that a player could easily lose everything is to cap the stakes offered. If players want to get involved in ultra-high-stakes action they will have to go to a casino. Capping the games shouldn’t affect the poker sites’ bottom line all that much since the rake is capped at $3 anyway.

I would propose a maximum of $10/$20 No Limit, and $50/$100 Limit. I know this seems low, but these are the only stakes that won’t cause people’s heads to turn when you state the buy-in, which would be around $2,000.

24 hour freeze on all deposits

This seems the simplest way to prevent drunken players or players on extreme tilt from pissing away their money. I mean really, if you can’t wait a single day to play poker you probably shouldn’t be playing in the first place. And frankly I’m surprised this hasn’t been implemented already.

Ban all third party software

The reason I say third party software should be banned is in an effort of fairness. Most online poker players have no idea about the tools that are currently available -from Poker Tracker to Sharkscope-and are at a severe disadvantage because of this ignorance.

If proponents of online poker want their arguments of skill to be heard they will have to make sure that computers and software cannot skew the skill, which they currently do.

These three concessions will have little to no impact on the game itself for the vast majority of online poker players: Yes, some people will be inconvenienced waiting for their deposit to clear, some players will have to rely more on skill and less on tracking software, and unfortunately the high-stakes crowd will be displaced: But in the overall scheme of things these changes could be the only way online poker survives. Since I have a hard time envisioning the government legalizing the industry as it now stands, compromises must be made.

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