Editor’s Note: Rush Spencer Smith is a new columnist here at Joboo. Once a week, or so, he’ll be writing about poker. He joins our cavalcade of gambling authors along with Lance’s Stone Cold Locks every Friday and The Champ’s Bold Predictions on Thursday night. Doherty and I are comfortable in our roles of mocking athletes and providing analysis. And as always none of the views or incoherent logic expressed represents the opinions of Joboo’s creators.
The crowbar slowly cracked open the crate. Smells of rotting food and urine poured out of the new opening. The beard of the Iranian had grown longer during the cross-Atantic trek. He threw a rope over the side of the crate and discovered that his crate was stacked on top of several other crates. He knew the tanker had completed the voyage, all in good time. He praised Allah for a safe voyage.
The night sky reflected from the bottom of the clouds like an inverted moonlight. The man had never seen the lights of New York before. His surprise in seeing such brightness so late at night sent his mind into a minor haze. He shook his head and thought of the task at hand.
He reached down to the ground and pulled out the case. The time was near. He was to get as near the city as he could, and then activate the device. The stakes here were as high as he had ever fathomed. Lives would be ruined, but that was his mission. He was prepared to go all the way.
He slung the case over his shoulder and lowered himself down the stacked crates via the rope. Slowly he reached to bottom, careful not to make any sudden drastic movements so as not to damage the contents in the case.
The crew from the ship had disembarked. Nobody would notice him. Americans… He managed to exit the ship with nothing more than a nod to the occasional passerby. The time was close.
A clarity washed over the man like a poet observing a foggy glen as the sun begins its slow march in the morning. His bones tingled with electricity, yet his hands remained steady. It was time for the first incision.
He found a corner of two buildings and tucked himself into the crevice. Slowly he opened the case. He checked his power supply to discover it was completely full, just as it should be. The laptop opened with a tiny creak, and carefully he turned it on.
The moment was now. His training, his dedication, and all his skill were about to be tested like never before.
The computer came to life. He clicked on the program to initiate it. The network uplink was established, and in the time it took him to look around to ensure nobody was watching, he was connected.
He clicked on the appropriate links. He waited for the right combination. To his utter surprise, it showed up right away. A sign from Allah perhaps. He closed his eyes. It was time. With his Pocket Aces, he made the move.
America would never be the same.
On Friday, the senate approved legislation that will ban online poker in America.
The name of the bill, you ask?
The Safe Port Act.
Yeah, I’m serious.
Near midnight on Friday, our elected representatives stopped harassing pages with sexy-gay laden instant messages long enough to pass the bill. The common consensus is that not more than a couple of senators had read the language banning online poker before they voted on it. Senator Bill Frist, a republican from
Tennessee fought like a pit bull all week to get the poker legislation attached to anything he possibly could.
Bill Frist wants to run for president in a couple of years. He, like most Southern Republicans, panders to the bible thumping conservatives of the intellectual superpower that is Tennessee. Much of the impetus of this legislation lies in the disturbing fact to most conservatives that this congress has done next to nothing despite having a majority in both chambers of the legislature and a president that has only vetoed one bill (Stem Cell Research spending, of course) during his distinguished tenure in the White House.
Despite your political leanings, I have to imagine that most Americans would prefer, if not actively hope, that any legislation that passes would be subject to real and intelligent debate so that nuances and concerns could be addressed and properly considered before passage.
But this is an election year.
I originally was invited to Joboo to do a weekly poker column. My poker resume consists mostly of online play. When I started playing, I lost copious amounts of money playing poker online. I was never a terrible player, but in time I got much better and learned how to overcome bad beats and crappy decisions on my part by building a big enough bankroll to earn money (think investing: If you only invested in one penny stock at a time with all your money, you’d go broke no matter how good you were. Kinda the same thing.) My intent in this column was to try to impart some wisdom and humor to those of you who care at all about poker, and maybe to a few of you that don’t. Maybe even make a few people laugh.
But poker apparently poses such a severe threat to our ports that anyone seeking to play online poker now will be shit out of luck. Our government has decided you are not capable of determining if you should be allowed to gamble.
My enthusiasm for such a column is a little bit tapered right now, and I apologize in advance. But I believe poker will continue to be seen and played, despite the fact that online poker will cease. We will never again see 9000 people in the World Series of Poker, as most of those people got in from online play and satellites. Many people played this year in the World Series without putting up a single dime. That will never happen again. Those of you that live near casinos will still be able to play, but those of us that live in areas without a nearby poker room are fucked.
The good news is that our ports are now safe.
What America has declined to do is regulate and tax online poker. In a time when out government has bucked fiscal responsibility favoring tax breaks and huge deficits, I find it strange that they wouldn’t simply try to legalize and regulate an industry that is almost entirely foreign. Billions of dollars are changing hands online via poker, and the US government could certainly fund a couple of small wars with the money they could make in taxing the industry and regulating it. Or, God forbid, put some money into public schools.
Regardless, there are more columns to come, and most will focus on live play as I won’t encourage anyone to break the law.
God Bless America.