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    Greg Raymer Advisor for FairPlayUSA | QuadJacks Poker Radio Podcast Tuesday August 2nd

    Posted by Quad Jacks August 2, 2011

    Greg Raymer Advisor for FairPlayUSA comes on the show to talk about his new role in FairPlayUSA, and how it differs from the Poker Players Alliance.


    Right click save as to download

    Cliff notes from the segment:

    * Surprised to see so many people in the Main Event considering Black Friday. Had previously estimated about 5k turnout.

    * Tried to make a deal in ’04 when he got heads up in the Main Event satellite. Opponent refused.

    * Gets along great with Mike Matusow, despite the “big cajones, little cajones” speech in ’04.

    * Has a 3-year card for the Epic Poker League. Will be participating in several events.

    * Contract with Pokerstars expired in January. Couldn’t agree on terms, so stopped representing them.

    * Patch deal with FTP at NBC Heads Up was a one-off deal. Wouldn’t exactly call it “sponsorship”.

    * Would have considered a long-term deal with FTP if they had asked.

    * Hasn’t seen any hard evidence that FTP has done anything wrong or are bad guys.

    * Compared to average player, he played considerably more. Compared to professionals, considerably less. Never more than 20 hours/week.

    * Always tried to chat with players/rail. Felt that it was part of his job. Contract says you’re not supposed to ignore them.

    * Was mugged in ’04 at the Bellagio. Didn’t fight back for the money. Felt it was his best chance of survival.

    * They were going to tie him up. He had seen their faces, so if taken into a room and tied, there’s a good chance they kill him.

    * Security let the men run by. Apparently that is standard, since the men had guns, and security has no weapons. There are lawsuit liabilities.

    * Raymer: If you get attacked, then defend yourself, and you get the upper hand… and the opponent is on the ground and gives up, it is not immoral to beat and kill him. It is illegal, and you probably shouldn’t do it, but it’s certainly not immoral. They brought it upon themselves.

    * You’re more likely to survive if you fight back rather than allow yourself to be captured.

    * Theory: Casinos ask gaming commission to forbid cameras in the halls. That way they can’t be held liable for any negligence.

    * As a lawyer, understand the silence of FTP. They’re facing criminal and civil lawsuits. The advice of “keep your mouth shut” is very good legally. In terms of business, it’s very bad advice.

    * Lawyers have no incentive for you to take any risk at all. Their job is to examine the downside of everything and protect from it. You can’t sue a lawyer for malpractice if he tells you not to do something. Nothing can happen that he’ll be blamed for.

    * Pokerstars segregated accounts, so cash was on hand for players. FTP did not. Perhaps that’s the root of the problem.

    * If all FTP accounts get unfrozen, and they still don’t have money, then they did something very wrong.

    * Can’t think of why FTP admitting that player funds are frozen would hurt their cases. It would most certainly turn public opinion against DOJ.

    * Any time you’re talking to authorities, and you may be a suspect, anything you say can be incriminating and the best move is almost always to be quiet.

    * Every time a suspect on TV breaks down and confesses, while the lawyer sits by, that lawyer is grossly incompetent. They should be screaming at their clients to shut up.

    * Perhaps there was an agreement between FTP and DOJ to not speak publicly about the situation.

    * Been with PPA nearly since the beginning. Sits on board of directors. Took part in the Washington fly-in.

    * Strongly libertarian. Believes that all gambling should be allowed once you come of age. Government shouldn’t try to protect you from yourself once you’re an adult.

    * Even if you’re a problem gambler, the government should not force you to stop. It’s not a judgment call they should be making.

    * When dealing with problem gamblers, deciding whether playing against them is unethical or contributes to their sickness is a personal choice to make. It’s an ethical dilemma, but not something the government should involve itself in.

    * Taking one’s personal ethics and morals, and forcing them on others, is an evil thing to do.

    * It is appropriate for the government to step in when you’re directly hurting others.

    * Likes what he’s heard from Gary Johnson and agrees with his platform. Not certain that he’s legit, but on the surface seems very solid.

    * Was approached by Fair Play USA and was asked if he’d be on Board of Advisors. Purpose of the organization is primarily education, promoting the message that it’s to everyone’s benefit for licensed/regulated online poker rather than its current state.

    * Majority of PPA members are fairly serious poker players. FPUSA is trying to go a lot broader than that. People interested in law enforcement, internet safety, parents, etc.

    * Reps aren’t necessarily against online poker, but may see a lot of downside to supporting it. So one course of action to persuade them is to win over the aforementioned groups and show support.

    * PPA is a lobbying organization, directly lobbying congress. Their task is very different, the organization is a very different type. They support certain pieces of legislation.

    * FPUSA doesn’t support any specific piece of legislation, nor do they oppose any. They just support the general idea that online poker should be licensed and regulated.

    * Ceasars/MGM care not just about legislation, but also what’s in it. But they don’t need to use FPUSA to achieve those goals. FPUSA’s mission has nothing to do with those goals.

    * It’s hard to challenge any law directly, not just UIGEA/poker. The only practical way to do so is to violate the law, get arrested/sued, then try to defend yourself.

    * Poker is not defined as illegal under any law, so it shouldn’t apply to UIGEA. That law only forbids financial transactions to illegal online gambling sites.

    * If there is no specific law that declares something illegal, then it’s legal. As far as Raymer knows, there is no such law against poker. Closest thing is the Wire Act, but that’s been ruled to only apply to sports betting.

    * DOJ came after various media outlets in ’04 to stop gaming site ads. First TV, then magazines. Media probably could have won any case of aiding and abetting, but still a small chance of doing jail time. So they backed down.

    * However, dropping ads altogether would hurt revenue a lot. So they went with .nets. DOJ could have proceeded, but chose not to.

    * When the DOJ seizes money, they get to keep it. It doesn’t go back to federal government. It goes to DOJ’s budget.

    * Isai Scheinberg owned 70% of Pokerstars, to Raymer’s understanding.

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