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They asked Willie
Sutton, the notorious bank robber, why he robbed banks. His simple reply was,
“Because that’s where the money is.”

About three years ago,
there were five bank robberies in Las Vegas in one day. Yes, Carol, that’s
right ”” five banks were held up in one day in our home town.

Now, Carol, don’t get
me wrong, you know that I love poker players, poker and poker tournaments, and
that I would rather trust a poker player than a doctor, lawyer, accountant,
preacher, teacher, president of the United States or an Indian chief.

Unless, they too play
poker, then we can double trust them.

I think poker is one of
the most honorable games and most of the time it is played by honorable and
trustworthy people.

I have tried all my
poker life to assure my friends that if I am in the game, they can relax, play
and enjoy themselves.

But, Carol, I honestly
believe that more money has been stolen from poker players in poker games and in
poker tournaments than has ever been stolen from banks.

As Willie Sutton said,
“That’s were the money is.”

And, yes, just like Ann
Frank said in her diary, “I believe, in spite of all that has happened to
me, that people are basically good.”

I, too, believe that
poker players are by nature the best and most trustworthy of all people.

So, let’s fix the
problems, let’s clean up the sport that we all love so much.

We, the poker players,
can do it. It’s doable.

I have many suggestions
and corrections that I think would be helpful. But today, I want to advance just
one idea.

Poker and poker
tournaments need a third force. Call them anything you want, but we need a poker
police force.

I would like to call
them the Stewards of Poker.

The stewards would not
be employed by the house. The stewards would not be players in the game. The
stewards would be an independent third force.

Just like in most other
sporting events you have the players and the owners (or the house), there are
the referees or judges, who cause the players to follow the rules.

So poker needs the
Stewards of Poker to be the third force in poker, to oversee, monitor and
enforce all the rules of playing poker contained in a common rule book.

Poker is evolving and
is being played around the world in hundreds of poker rooms, casinos and
Internet sites, and there are several million dollar poker tournaments and TV
events every year.

These events cry out
for corporate sponsorship, but most of the corporate world is afraid of poker
and poker tournaments.

How would you like to
see an instant replay of a Steward’s decision about a certain play during a TV
show or a large poker tournament?

The tournament
director, host or the house should never be called upon to make a decision about
the rules of the game.

Let the Stewards of
Poker take charge of the poker game and handle that aspect of the game.

To fund something like
this, I am sure that poker players would support a small percentage taken out of
the player’s prize pool so that the stewards could be paid by the event.

I am sure that the
house would like not having to rule against a high roller in a difference of
interpretation of the rules of the poker game.

Many large hotels and
casinos do not have poker rooms because they have the business of a high roller
because of an unpleasant incident or decision that was made in the poker room.

The hotel and casinos
would welcome and independent third force that would be totally impartial in
making poker rulings.

There’s an old saying
that it’s okay to trust other poker players, but always be sure to cut the
cards before they’re dealt.

As Webster is to
dictionaries, so is the book of Hoyle to poker. Read and know the rules of the
game, and to make sure that the game is played according to Hoyle, help become a
part of the third force and together let’s try to create the Stewards of
Poker. Then you will have a better and/or fair chance to take the money home!



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