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The Poker Legislation Forum, Brought to You by the PPA Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 12-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonkeyQuixote View Post
Relax, take a deep breath, then read for substance:

1. Someone posted to the effect that if 1,000,000+ members pitched in $50 each ,that would not amount to a meaningful bankroll for politics. That was way off-base, as $50,000,000 or $20,000,000 even would be a HUGE lobbying bankroll.

2. An organization which speaks collectively for a membership base REALLY needs to be member-funded. Doesn't matter who they are, the NRA, the AARP, trade associations, or labor unions. If someone ELSE pays the bills, that skews the message accordingly. You can argue all you want to about whether the PPA has done "good" or "awesomw", the fact is that their former funding dried up, has tainted them to some degree, and will not support them going forward.

3. Step up and donate $50 to the PPA, so they can continue what you support.

4. The PPA should hire professional fundraisers to mine the membership to raise funds needed to go forward.

NOW, Sonny, what part of any of that is "blind hate" or "nonsense" or ignorance ?

You also may be confusing me with someone else. I never posted anything about the PPA going to be raided, EVER. I never even thought they should give back ANY money, even that from FTP-related sources. .... As a matter of fact, I've grown weary of their apparent fear of acknwledging that PStars still belongs to the IGC, upon which the PPA depends for funding. There is nothing "wrong"with being supported by PStars, it just is a political tradeoff, as TE recently put it:

"No one said there are no issues in perception. I clearly said here it's a trade-off. I have not seen any evidence that poker players are willing to fully fund any effort."

Focus on showing TE evidence that poker players WILL fund an effort to represent their interests.

I did urge the PPA all along to be MUCH more proactive with the DOJ to secure benefits for members hurt at FTP. for whatever reason, I was vilified for that suggestion. Fortunately, the PPA has since taken uop communication with the DOJ on that subject, assigning it to its "legal team". Sorry, if you have a beef with them talking to DOJ about securing FTP players' funds, but I don't follow why that is "nonsense" to you.
I have put this here so as not to get an infraction in the original thread.

I agree that the PPA should be player-funded. There should be a minimum membership fee for poor people like me of $10 or $15. Others could pay $25 or whatever.

However, I doubt this will ever happen without, as DQ suggested, hiring professional fundraisers. Players need to be made aware that the PPA needs to become player-funded. If they care about poker, they'll fund it. If they don't care about poker, there isn't much need for the PPA.

What to do if only 8000-9000 people care, though? That's the ballpark of how many signed the White House poker petition. 8000 people at $25 is only $200,000. That probably doesn't even pay for one lobbiest.

So I guess it boils down to how many people care and how much do they care? If only 8000 people care, there really is no need for the PPA or poker legislation.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Complicated issue.

In the abstract, yes the PPA should be player funded.

I dont think the amount of people that care=the amount of people that signed one random petition. Especially after we all signed a different petition two years ago that was heavily trumpeted and amounted to pretty close to nothing.

I also think it depends what the PPA wants to be and whether players perceive them as effective. I bet Ive donated somewhere close to $2K to the PPA when I felt they were pursing an effective strategy towards laying the groundwork for Federal legislation and very active at the state level. I would continue to donate at least as heavily to something I felt was effective even though I play about 5%as much poker as I used to.

Personally (and just one person's opinion), Im not going to donate any money right now to fund a half million dollar salary for Al D'Amato to go on a quixotic quest to pass a Barton bill that's not going anywhere or to duplicate casino lobbying efforts. Particularly when a good portion of the money I donated to the PokerPAC appears to have been a complete waste and returned or donated by Congresscritters. Just feels like Im throwing money away.

So we're sort of stuck in a bad spot. I think many players dont want to donate to the PPA because they are seen as ineffective. Its very hard for the PPA to come up with an approach that will resonate with players, partly because of the nature of the fight (takes a lot of time to show real results) and partially because of a lack of resources. Particularly given that allocating a large majority of its resources to Federal lobbying efforts is a taken as a given.

I still think going the player funded route is the right way to go because without moving to a player funded model the organization is going to eventually wither away and die as the IGC moves onto other things. Its really hard to do though, and I fully acknowledge that the spot the PPA is in sucks and is only going to get worse if we dont get real lucky as an underdog and spike a Federal bill this Congress.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajeffe View Post
So I guess it boils down to how many people care and how much do they care?
The thing is not everyone cares equally. That is, you can use (# people)*(how much they care) as a metric, but in reality, there's a decreasing scale about how much each subsequent member is going to bring in.

The PPA is currently comprised of a few members who care A LOT about online poker. And that's not a bad start - without a dedicated core, nothing ever gets done. But what's missing is that tail of people - the millions of people who play, or have played, poker, online or in a B&M or just home games. Most of them will be bad poker players and net losers.

These are the people the PPA needs to reach to be successful. And they're not going to give $2,000 each, or even $200 each. They're going to pitch in $5, maybe, because that's about how much they care. I mean, online poker going away has SAVED them money, so it's not like they're going to fork over a few hundred dollars to the PPA for the right to fork over a few hundred more dollars to the sharks.

We don't need more stories about poker pros who can't make a living or a petition of 8,000 winning players who promise they'll pay millions in taxes if they can make money playing poker. We need to reach the fish.

Will professional fundraisers be able to do that? I don't know. But we don't need to look very far to find all the people who are willing to donate money at non-cheeseburger levels. If we want another $1000 for the cause, it's going to have to come from 100 people contributing $10 each rather than finding that 1 person who contributes $1,000.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

First, just to get it out of the way, the following part of DonkeyQuixote's original post is mostly false:
Quote:
I did urge the PPA all along to be MUCH more proactive with the DOJ to secure benefits for members hurt at FTP. for whatever reason, I was vilified for that suggestion. Fortunately, the PPA has since taken uop communication with the DOJ on that subject, assigning it to its "legal team".
The whole story has been discussed too many times before, and the falsity previously demonstrated, to see any value in repeating it again. Anyone who needs a link to those prior threads can ask if needed.

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Old 12-15-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
Personally (and just one person's opinion), Im not going to donate any money right now to fund a half million dollar salary for Al D'Amato to go on a quixotic quest to pass a Barton bill that's not going anywhere or to duplicate casino lobbying efforts.
Sen. D'Amato does not make $500K a year.

If PPA salaries are the issue, if it helps anyone feel better about donating I'm doing this for significantly less than I made as an engineer.

Quote:
Particularly when a good portion of the money I donated to the PokerPAC appears to have been a complete waste and returned or donated by Congresscritters. Just feels like Im throwing money away.
IGC never donated a dime to PokerPAC. It was all donated by individuals. Even if IGC never existed, I imagine those individuals would have donated to PokerPAC two or three years ago, and I imagine PokerPAC would have accepted those checks. Looking back, perhaps they should have rejected all donations from anyone involved in the industry at all. Hindsight is 20/20.

Quote:
So we're sort of stuck in a bad spot. I think many players dont want to donate to the PPA because they are seen as ineffective. Its very hard for the PPA to come up with an approach that will resonate with players, partly because of the nature of the fight (takes a lot of time to show real results) and partially because of a lack of resources. Particularly given that allocating a large majority of its resources to Federal lobbying efforts is a taken as a given.
It seems many think the poker community is ready to donate millions and to do whatever it takes, so some are disappointed when that doesn't happen. Many also think the fight should be easier than it is. They think PPA obviously failed for not reversing a 317-93 House vote against our right to play within a year or two.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:43 PM   #6
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajeffe View Post
I have put this here so as not to get an infraction in the original thread.

I agree that the PPA should be player-funded. There should be a minimum membership fee for poor people like me of $10 or $15. Others could pay $25 or whatever.

However, I doubt this will ever happen without, as DQ suggested, hiring professional fundraisers. Players need to be made aware that the PPA needs to become player-funded. If they care about poker, they'll fund it. If they don't care about poker, there isn't much need for the PPA.

What to do if only 8000-9000 people care, though? That's the ballpark of how many signed the White House poker petition. 8000 people at $25 is only $200,000. That probably doesn't even pay for one lobbiest.

So I guess it boils down to how many people care and how much do they care? If only 8000 people care, there really is no need for the PPA or poker legislation.
It would be nice for the PPA to be totally player funded. If the PPA survives long enough, there is little debate within the PPA leadership that being mostly player funded is a top long term goal.

But is it necessary to be a totally player funded organization?

It is hardly unusual, in fact it is routine outside of really big issues, for movements to change the law to be initially (and for their beginning periods) financed by some deep pockets. The PPA has always acknowledged that the majority of its funding has come from the IGC, whose primary contributors were the online poker sites PokerStars and FullTiltPoker.

I see no reason to hide from this fact. The sites provided a desired service for players, and the players provided a good income for the sites. It should have been expected that sites contribute to an organization dedicated to taking online poker explicitly out of its legal "gray-area" and making it explicitly legal. Plenty of gun manufacturers make large donations to the NRA.

So I do not think the PPA ever needs to be TOTALLY player funded. Industry interests that want to donate should be allowed to do so. But of course I agree that the PPA would be a stronger organization politically if it were able to get more paying members.

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Would it be possible to have a button on the PPA membership page where someone could pay more for their membership if they wished?
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Sen. D'Amato does not make $500K a year.
My apologies then. Set the record straight, what does he make as compensation?

EDIT: annual or in total since working for the PPA is fine.

Quote:
If PPA salaries are the issue, if it helps anyone feel better about donating I'm doing this for significantly less than I made as an engineer.
You're attempting to do useful things and putting in a full workweek, why would this make anyone feel better?


Quote:
IGC never donated a dime to PokerPAC. It was all donated by individuals. Even if IGC never existed, I imagine those individuals would have donated to PokerPAC two or three years ago, and I imagine PokerPAC would have accepted those checks. Looking back, perhaps they should have rejected all donations from anyone involved in the industry at all. Hindsight is 20/20.
Not sure how this is relevant to my post.

Quote:
It seems many think the poker community is ready to donate millions and to do whatever it takes, so some are disappointed when that doesn't happen. Many also think the fight should be easier than it is. They think PPA obviously failed for not reversing a 317-93 House vote against our right to play within a year or two.
Not sure how this is addressing my post. The crux of my post was that the poker community wasnt yet ready to donate and I explicitly referred to the long-term nature of the fight. If you are agreeing with me, thanks.

Last edited by LetsGambool; 12-16-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

It's far too late for something like this to work imo. The overwhelming majority of players have lost their bankrolls and/or given up on poker all together. How are you going to solicit donations from broke ex-poker players?
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by duh View Post
It's far too late for something like this to work imo. The overwhelming majority of players have lost their bankrolls and/or given up on poker all together. How are you going to solicit donations from broke ex-poker players?
Well, "broke" is a pretty weird term. Even bankrupt people aren't broke. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people could find some way to scrape up a $100/year if they really tried - smoke 19 cigarettes a day instead of 20, drink Kirkland beer instead of brand-name Bud, skip lunch once a week, etc. It's just a question of how important they think it is.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:39 PM   #11
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

By broke I mean not having a bankroll with witch to play poker after their $100 donation stops the sky from falling.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:11 PM   #12
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

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Originally Posted by duh View Post
By broke I mean not having a bankroll with witch to play poker after their $100 donation stops the sky from falling.
Players historically account for something like 1% of the PPA annual funding.

If the PPA really has 1,000,000 "members" by any meaningful definition of that term, it should be able to raise survival money, up to $5,000,000 or so, from that group for dues in 2012.

If the 1,000,000 PPA members approve of the representation, direction and leadership the PPA has provided over the last year, then why not ask them to show that approval with a $5.00 minimum donation in January.

There is no doubt that the PPA leadership has spent a lot of effort, hard work, and money to pass federal legislation. However, if it cannot go to its 1,000,000+ player members for financial survival, that hard work may not have been what 1,000,000 members needed to see to consider the PPA as "their" alliance.

If the 1,000,000 "members" however either never really felt connected to the organization or if the PPA's unwillingness to tackle bread-and-butter issues failed to keep their support or interest, then it may be that the PPA, as a
"players organization" has had a failure of leadership.

If the PPA cannot survive if it ceases to get funded by the IGC, then its "members" who fail to step up will have no complaint.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #13
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

The reason that there is no connection to the PPA from the teeming masses is that the PPA refuses to engage in any semblance of grassroots organization.

When the PPA starts its grassroots, it will have the funds. How do you think the political organizations raise money? How about the special interest groups like the NRA, the MMJ advocates or anyone else?
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

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The reason that there is no connection to the PPA from the teeming masses is that the PPA refuses to engage in any semblance of grassroots organization.

When the PPA starts its grassroots, it will have the funds. How do you think the political organizations raise money? How about the special interest groups like the NRA, the MMJ advocates or anyone else?
Just a couple of questions might be in order to address the thread topic:

"Is a Player funded PPA possible?" ...

1. How many "members" have EVER paid dues to the PPA of the 1,000,000+ figure bandied about by Chairman Al ? How many have made more than one contribution or dues payment ?

2. How many good email addresses, telephone numbers, does the PPA have for its "members" ? What kind of bounce-back does the PPA get from its emails to members ?

3. Aside from the top five contributors to PokerPAC, who seemed FTP-related or on the PPA payroll,, how many PPA members have ever contributed to PokerPAC ?

4. Has the PPA ever attempted to conduct fundraising, professionally, among its members ? With what result ?

5. Does the PPA Board have enough long-term interest to cut off the annual flow of $1.2 million to DC lobbyists and devote that money to building a base of actual, duespaying player support ? Will Chairman Al donate the balance of his salary otherwise payable in 2012 ?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #15
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Re: Player-Funded PPA Possible??

" ... a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
- Macbeth


Is it wrong to have members who do not pay dues?

Why should that be disallowed?

Does the Tea Party (actually, any one of its many incarnations) require every member to pay dues? Does Occupy Wall Street? Does NORML? Does the National Gay and Lesbiuan Task Force?

It is true that to succeed in politics a cause needs a solid financial foundation and a solid measure of popular support. It is not true that both have to come from the same place.

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