There isn’t always
strength in numbers

Mar 12, 2007 3:19 AM

Carol, last week I wrote about things changing. Well, this column goes back about 25 years when a group of us poker players got together and created the Poker Players Association (PPA), which was an organization of poker tournament players.

Each of us contributed $100 to create an operational fund and paid dues into the PPA.

We advised Binion’s World Series of Poker and all the other poker tournaments of the world of our existence, and notified owners of the casinos that our members would only play in poker tournaments that were sanctioned and approved by the PPA.

The PPA commissioned my long-time friend Bob Ciaffone to write the official tournament rulebook of the PPA, which was to be used in all poker tournaments that were sanctioned by the PPA.

Yes, Bob completed the task, and most of those rules are now in use in the poker rooms of the world.

Binion’s would not recognize the PPA, and took the position that it was a union organized by tournament poker players. Binions’ wanted to deal with the poker players on a one-on-one

Relationship, rather than deal with the PPA membership.

The only casino that agreed to abide by the rules and was sanctioned by the PPA was

Bob Stupak’s old Vegas World’s tournament called "America’s Cup." If you don’t recall, the old Vegas World was converted to the Stratosphere Casino & Hotel.

Poker players are a wonderful collection of people and I have made thousands of friends over the past 70 years playing poker, but they do not take well to working as a group.

The members of the PPA broke ranks and played in the WSOP at Binion’s without the WSOP being sanctioned or approved by PPA membership.

And that was the end of the PPA.

Poker players (and I love you) will play on the roof in the rain or in a crooked game if it is the only game they can find.

They give their money to worthy causes of charity or to a bum, but I doubt if they will ever be organized into a group.

I hope I am wrong about this, and I may well be wrong — what with television and the big money prizes that are available.

But right now they let the TV promoters pull the players around by the TV hook in the nose and the TV promoters will continue to take all the best of it ”¦ until the TV poker players have a PPA.

Tune in next week for the second part of this and read about the TDA — the Tournament Directors Association.

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

This comes to us from Vince Burgio, a member in good standing of The Seniors WCOP/Poker Players Hall of Fame.

Vince recalls he had been winning a lot and it was hard for him to hide from his friends who wanted to borrow money.

In any case, he made some poker loans to some of his old and new poker buddies, but some forgot to pay him back.

Thanks Vince for this poker tip of the week.

Until next time stay lucky.