Michael Bolcerek has stepped down as president of the PPA and will remain in San Francisco with his family to pursue other opportunities in the Bay Area. John Pappas has assumed the position of executive director of the PPA and will lead the organization’s efforts in Washington.
Prior to taking an in-house role as the organization’s Vice President of Government Affairs in May, Pappas served as an outside consultant to the PPA since 2005. Former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato will continue to serve as Chairman of the PPA.
"This is an exciting time for the PPA and our members — the PPA has become an influential force fighting for the rights of poker players to enjoy this game of skill," said Senator D’Amato. "There is wide support and momentum in the U.S. Congress to enact sensible legislation to regulate online poker and provide the necessary safeguards to all players. It is vital that the PPA centralize its efforts in D.C. so we can best serve the interests of our 660,000 plus members.
"Michael has been a strong leader and under his tenure we have seen tremendous growth in PPA," D’Amato continued. "We are thankful that he has brought us to this point and are excited for the next evolution of this organization in Washington."
Support in Washington continues to grow for H.R. 2046 and H.R. 2610, legislative proposals put forth by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) that seek to clarify U.S. law to effectively regulate Internet poker in the United States.
Recently, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) vocalized their bi-partisan support of online gaming regulation in a New York Post essay stating that effective legislation can create, "a regulatory framework that ensures operators are licensed and protects consumers against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money-laundering, identity theft and fraud."
As legislation to regulate online poker continues to strengthen, so has the need for the PPA to concentrate efforts in Washington where the organization can respond quickly and effectively to federal legislative activities.
The PPA is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game, ensure its integrity, and, most importantly, to protect poker players’ rights.
The PPA will make a formal announcement with new contact information once the transition is completed. In the meantime, direct any inquires to the PPA’s San Francisco office, (415) 975-0897.