Anthony Sandstrom's been busy lately. Sandstrom, better known in the poker world by his online moniker, 'Tuff Fish,' has taken out the paperwork to start a petition drive in California, the goal of which is to create an online poker room run by the State of California, which would be available only to California residents. [Such a room would be wholly legal under the UIGEA, no matter how it is interpreted.]
Will Tuff Fish be successful in this latest endeavor? Well, no, not likely, but is an entertaining tidbit in a slow poker week, and Sandstrom's efforts have already picked up some mainstream media coverage. The problem, of course, is that Sandstrom would need to get 430,000 authenticated signatures just to get his initiative onto the ballot for a statewide vote.
"I am just a guy who wants to play poker at home when I don't feel like making an hour drive to a card room or casino," a Bay Area article attributes to Sandstrom on his initiative's web site, www.caonlinepoker.org. "I am going to make a mighty effort to make safe, legal, and accessible online poker possible."
The site's home page also carries this statement, explaining Sandstrom's reasoning:
The people of the State of California declare that poker is a great American game with deep roots in this country. Throughout history, presidents, generals, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and average citizens have enjoyed playing poker.
The people of California declare that, unlike casino gambling, poker is a game of skill. It is a game of patience, mathematics, psychology, and observation. Individual players have control over the progression of the game, and their actions can affect a favorable outcome. Unlike games of chance, individuals can learn to improve their play and, through their own efforts, become more skilled than their opponents.
Poker is a community game, where the “house” is not your competition.
The people of the State of California further declare that simply putting the word “Internet” in front of poker does not change the historic qualities of the game.
The people of the State of California recognize that a number of online poker sites exist today, that these online poker sites are extremely profitable, and that large numbers of Californians play at these sites.
The people of the State of California further declare that money that is leaving California for these sites would be of greater benefit to California if kept in California.
Noble. Not likely to succeed, but deserving of merit nonetheless. And of course, we still have Tuff Fish's YouTube videos to enjoy.