For more than half a decade, online poker has been banned in California, and now famous professional players are looking to get that reversed.
Local Pro Poker fans were delighted Sunday as some of the games top players strolled into the Turlock Poker Room as part of the ‘Let California Play’ PokerStars Pro Tour, a campaign to create awareness and support for legislation to authorize and regulate online poker in the state.
Some of those big name pro poker players included Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst, who were in attendance to push for regulation and enjoy some fun with the locals at the card table.
“We have traveled all over California doing meet and greets and playing some poker,” said Negreanu. “But we are here to spread the news to Californians for ipoker.com and were making an effort to get this regulated and authorized here in the state.”
“There is no other reason why we are not able to, so we are just trying to make a change,” Selbst said of the issue.
Their final stop of the tour was here in Turlock as the two pros met with hundreds of poker enthusiasts.
“We want to raise awareness about this issue that I think is important for the state on many levels — one being the great revenue stream for the government,” Negreanu said. “With regulation not only will the state get funded, consumers will be protected. Right now there is no regulation so it’s the Wild West out there.”
Earlier in the year, four different bills that would legalize online poker went through the state legislature, but none of them were voted on or passed. As of now, there are only three states in the country that have made online poker legal—Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
“I speak with tons of people on the issue and they agree that there is no reason why we cannot play poker and we are just trying to get the word out and help the congressmen see that,” Selbst added.