Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Letter From the Powers That Be.

Dear The Poker Enthusiast:

Thank you for your message regarding internet gambling and several bills that have been introduced in the House of Representatives -- H.R. 4411, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2005, introduced by Congressman Leach, and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, introduced by Congressman Goodlatte. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

The debate over Internet gambling has generated strong public interest. Gambling may have an adverse effect on some individuals and communities. Others enjoy an occasional wager or poker game without trouble and believe that doing so should be a legal option for adults.

Currently, there is no legislation pending in the Senate addressing Internet gambling. H.R. 4411 and H.R. 4477 have been introduced in the House of Representatives, and I will keep your concerns in mind in case these bills or related legislation comes before the Senate.

Thank you once again for contacting me. Please feel free to stay in touch.

Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator


P.S. If you are ever visiting Washington, please feel free to join Senator Obama and me at our weekly constituent coffee. When the Senate is in session, we provide coffee and donuts every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. as we hear what is on the minds of Illinoisans and respond to your questions. We would welcome your participation. Please call my D.C. office for more details.

I received this e-mail response at 4:48 yesterday. It appears to me that at least someone who works for the Senator put time and effort in creating a form letter to appease the masses. But I do have one question about his response in general. Who pays for the coffee and donuts? Is it something that they write off on their taxes or is it in the Senators budget.

What I did notice was the distinction between “an occasional wager” and ” poker game”. The two were separated as different entities within the confines of the letter. This fact shows, in my humble opinion that, our contention of poker being a game of skill versus a game of chance may be taken into consideration. There absolutely is variance and chance in the game of poker but personal skill and experience determines our action on any given hand. Lets all keep up the good work and let our legislators know our opinion.

I also received a response from House Speaker Denny Hastert. It was the standard form response that says nothing other then “I got your e-mail”. I will continue to follow this path in hopes of getting a personal response from the third most powerful politician in the United States.


Last night my daughter L had her first league game. During the game our opponent made a pitching change, which is not uncommon at any level. The new pitcher is throwing hard and I can see the fear bubbling up on the young faces of my players. L just happens to be leading off so I remind her that every at bat is a battle between the pitcher and the batter. That it doesn’t matter how hard she throws the ball. Just go up there and be aggressive and hit it right back up the middle. She got on base but eventually was forced out at home for the first out of the inning.

At this point I kept an eye on he to see what she was doing. She went back and talked to mom, got a drink, and horsed around with her teammates. When the inning ended I challenged her to tell me what types of pitches the opposing pitcher had. She looked at me with a blank stare and said, “I don’t know”. Wrong answer.

This is a perfect example of gaining as much information about your opponent as you can. The pitcher had thrown two change ups that, in essence, were slow and easier to hit if she could pick out that pitch. I explained that she, as one of the team leaders, needed to use every bit of information she can attain to help her and the team to succeed. That messing around on the bench is not the pathway to success but a road to failure. I think she got the message.

This same line of thinking can be used at the poker table regardless of the location of the game. Identifying physical tells and pattern betting will make a difference in your long-term success. Being observant is only part of the solution, as you must retain this information by memory or taking notes on the individuals’ tendencies and use this to your advantage.


No poker last night as I was worn out from late night sessions from the previous 4 days.

1 comment:

cc said...

I'm glad L didn't take a bat to your forehead! I think you're a better coach than I am or 17 8-year olds are tougher to control than your team. All kidding aside, coaching is probably my favorite thing to do. Remember even beyond the technical aspects, that sharing in these kids lives, showing passion for them individually, is something that they'll remember their whole lives.

Good stuff on the emails as well. You might have pushed me over the edge to write.