Legalization of online poker in the United States came one step closer when the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday that “interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a sporting event or contest fall outside of the reach of the Wire Act.” The Wire Act, legislation enacted in 1961, barred wagering via telecommunications that cross state lines or international borders, a ruling that some claimed also related to online poker and gambling.
Advocates of legalized online poker see the new opinion from the Justice Department as a significant boost which will open the door for states to allow the game for their residents. The District of Columbia and Nevada have already moved to legalize intra-state poker and other states, including California, Iowa, and New Jersey, are expected to follow suit in 2012.
The Justice Department’s opinion would eliminate “almost every federal anti-gambling law that could apply to gaming that is legal under state laws,” wrote I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert at Whittier Law School as quoted in the Wall Street Journal. “There is simply no federal law that could apply” against state operators, he wrote on his blog.
Although individual states may legalize online Togel Hongkong for their residents, most of the big casinos are pushing for legalization of the game on a federal level. The Poker Players Alliance says the Justice Department ruling “makes it even more important that Congress act now to clarify federal law, and to create a licensing and regulation regime for Internet poker, coupled with clear laws and strong enforcement against other forms of gambling deemed to be illegal.”
On his blog, Rose is pessimistic for the chance of Congress acting to legalize online poker. “My bet is that … Congress will continue to do nothing, while Internet gambling explodes across the nation, made legal under state laws,” he wrote.
Sam and Marvin in Bluff’s Top Ten for 2011
Team Titan’s players both ranked high on the final Bluff Magazine’s 2011 Poker Player of the Year leaderboard, with Sam Trickett listed in 6th place and Marvin Rettenmaier right behind him in 7th place.
In August, Marvin had been in third place on the rankings, and at the time the magazine cited his “cashes left and right” and his 6th place finish in the Merit Cyprus $5,500 buy-in Main Event as attributing to his high ranking.
Bluff Magazine ranks players according to a formula that “takes into consideration alternate scoring methodologies for shootouts, re-buys, short-handed and heads-up tournaments. Players receive points if they cash in any open tournament which meets the field size criteria. Only a player’s top ten finishes through the calendar year will count towards the Player of the Year standings.”
Finishing 2011 as Bluff Magazine’s Poker Player of the Year was American Eugene Katchalov. In 2011, Katchalov earned $2.5 million, made final table appearances at the EPT, NAPT, and at the WSOP, and earned his first WSOP gold bracelet.
“We congratulate Eugene on reaching the pinnacle of success that every poker player is striving for -Player of the Year,” said Bluff’s Editor-in-Chief Lance Bradely.
Finishing just behind Katchalov in the rankings was Bertrand Grospellier. 2011 WSOP Main Event winner Pius Heinz was listed in 10th place, followed by Erik Seidel.