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“KidPoker” Fundraiser for Prez Candidate Andrew Yang

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News has emerged that Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu will be holding a fundraising poker tournament in support of presidential candidate Andrew Yang. It was last month that Negreanu expressed his outright support for Yang after a Tweet was sent out by the Democratic candidate stating that he believes online poker sites should be made legal nationwide. Now, Negreanu is joining forces with political fundraiser Lena Evans and activist Katie Kalvoda to generate donations in support of Yang’s campaign. The fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 15.

Daniel Negreanu and Andrew Yang

Negreanu Reacts to Yang’s Initial Tweet on Poker

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Negreanu, who is fresh off of winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year award, only to then lose it after a statistical error was unveiled, was one of the first professional poker players to react to Yang’s Tweet regarding the legality of poker in the United States:

Andrew Yang Tweet in Favor of Online Poker Legalization

It was during his time at King’s Casino in Rozvadov for the WSOP Europe event that Negreanu confirmed that he had seen the Tweet. Speaking of Yang, he went on to say:

His campaign manager reached out to me about a week ago. So, I kinda had an inkling that something like this was coming. So yeah, I was excited about it. It doesn’t surprise me; he seems logical and practical.

Of course, it’s not only Yang’s position on poker that has sparked the interest of Negreanu. It’s also the idea of bringing in a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to the United States, which would provide every American with $1,000 per month. That, Negreanu says, is something that is quite inevitable and likely to happen with automation and artificial intelligence becoming so prevalent. Because of this, he said that a lot of labor jobs are likely to disappear, which is the main reason that UBI is not only inevitable but necessary for the country’s population.

Of course, there are the naysayers who believe that UBI will basically just be paying American citizens to do nothing. However, Negreanu says that that’s not how it will work, stating that if people don’t have to worry about paying their rent each month, it’s likely that they’ll put more work into improving their own social situation and therefore do more good. He also pointed out that there have been studies to prove that theory.

We would note that the participants in the Finnish study being alluded to, showed no improvment, or detriment, to their hours worked over the course of the study. As this was the main objective of the study, the results were a failure to improve employment status among those receiving UBI. Whether taking on an extra $3,840,000,000,000 trillion dollars a year in debt to pay for UBI, thus quadrupling America's yearly deficits, is worth it, is a question voters will inevitably deal with one day.

the preliminary results of the experiment are disappointing. The labour market effects, which were the focus of the experiment, seemed negligible. Survey results demonstrated that basic income recipients had better subjective well-being. However, these results can be called into question. - Helsinki University, Finland

Daniel NegreanuDaniel “KidPoker” Negreanu

Details of the Fundraiser

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As a way to build more campaign funds for Yang, Negreanu is set to host a poker tournament fundraiser at the Mosaic Theater in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 15, with the opening event for this starting at 6pm and running to 8pm. That event will be the cocktail reception.

Mosaic TheaterThe Mosaic Theater in Las Vegas Will Host the Fundraiser

The Main Event takes place between 8pm and 10pm. Tickets are already available for players to involve themselves in the tournament, and they can be purchased at varying price levels, which are as follows:

  • Early Adopter: $300
  • Investor: $500
  • Co-Host: $1,000
  • VIP Experience with World Series Champions: $2,800

One important part of these ticket prices to be aware of is that only those people who purchase the $2,800 VIP Experience will be allowed to enter into the poker tournament that will take place. This tournament features some amazing prizes to be won, such as a day on the Singularity Yacht, various private poker experiences that will feature multiple WSOP winners, and a VIP experience with American musician, DJ, and record producer Steve Aoki.

It seems as though this will prove to be quite the exciting event to experience, and there will likely be a large number of professionals attending it and competing in the poker tournament. After all, once Yang sent his tweet out voicing his opinion on the state of poker in the United States, multiple professional players confirmed their support for his candidacy. Among the participants will be Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Madsen, and Dutch Boyd

Negreanu, on the other hand, stated that he has supported Yang since well before that tweet was posted. It the fact that Yang is a centrist, according to Negreanu, rather than being specifically left or right in his political opinion, that has caught KidPoker’s attention. “He’s more in the middle and he’s just practical,” Negreanu said during his stay in Rozvadov.

Yang Currently Well Behind in Democratic Support

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It’s great for Yang that he has had an uprising of support from various professional poker players since his tweet endorsing legal poker in the US because he currently sits well behind his fellow Democratic candidates. He may be a successful entrepreneur, but it’s no secret that he’s struggling as far as the polls are concerned. According to the Politico site, he only has 4% support from Democrat voters, which is a far cry from the current leader, Joe Biden with 30%, while Bernie Sanders has the support of 22% of the Democrats.

One possible reason for his lagging poll figures is that Yang hasn’t had quite as much campaign money generated as some other candidates. Sanders, for example, started a crowd-funding campaign, which has raised tens of millions in his name, while the self-funded Tom Steyer has invested $49.6 million into his own campaign. Yet, money isn't everything; Steyer remains well behind the frontrunners with just 3% support from Democrats so far.

Andrew YangDemocratic 2020 Presidential Hopeful Andrew Yang

Yang has raised $15 million, well behind Sanders, Steyer, Biden, and several other Democrat candidates. He definitely requires some assistance if he is to improve his poll position and win the Democratic nomination. The tournament held by Negreanu aims to provide that.

At the same time, Yang has been invited on to the Joey Ingram podcast, further exposing him to the poker community, which is more likely to back him once they hear more about his stance on legalizing poker. Ingram has been quite the influencer in poker politics in recent times, being one of the first to take Veronica Brill’s cheating charges against Mike Postle seriously. It was Ingram who then spent time searching through hours of footage to discover that Postle was benefitting from improper information while playing streamed sessions in Stones Live Poker.

The State of Online Poker in the United States

Flag Map of USA

As things stand at the moment, state-licensed poker is only available in four US states – Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The first three of these states have formed a compact for an intrastate player pool to be formed to assist with traffic and prizes. Unfortunately, it has been quite limited in its effectiveness due to the fact that there is just a single operator providing its services to all three states.

Internet Gaming Compact ParticipantsThe Members of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement

Pennsylvania legalized online poker in October 2017, and the licensed PA PokerStars room opened for business on Nov. 4, 2019. An online gambling bill was passed in West Virginia in March this year, but no online poker sites have yet appeared within the state.

One of the reasons that so many states do not provide legal poker is due to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and its stance on the Wire Act 1961. This has been interpreted in numerous different ways over the past several years, and the latest reversal of opinion was brought to a head earlier on in 2019. It is now the opinion of the DoJ that all forms of gambling taking place across state lines are illegal.

However, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission went on to file a complaint with a Federal District Court regarding this decision. That complaint stated that if such gambling was considered illegal, it would dramatically reduce yearly lottery profits by millions. New Hampshire argued that the Wire Act only pertains to sports betting and not poker, lottery, or casino wagers.

Judge Paul Barbadoro ruled in favor of New Hampshire, leading to an appeal by the DoJ. However, the appeal has been delayed due to an extension being granted to the DoJ to produce necessary documents.

Potential for Legal Online Poker Across the US

Nothing seems to be completely settled with regard to the status of online poker’s legality in the United States right now, so it would be quite the monumental milestone if it was legalized across the country. Should Yang manage to get into office and push for it, then Negreanu claims it will provide the country with the benefit of tax revenue from those operators choosing to offer it.

Sending out a Tweet on Nov. 7, Negreanu said that he’d had a call with Yang regarding online poker, and that the Democratic candidate “gets it.” He said that Yang had stated that he understands poker players in the United States will find a way to play anyway, so it’s “just common sense to regulate it and create tax revenue that states aren’t getting now.”

Daniel Negreanu Tweets About Andrew Yang

Naturally, it wouldn’t only be great for the state tax revenue coffers but for poker players around the United States as well. It would mean that they would have a vibrant market of countrywide, regulated internet poker sites to choose from, which just isn't possible with today's feeble state-supervised online cardrooms.

Offshore Sites Beckon

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Of course, there are currently offshore poker sites that cater to the U.S. market. Despite all the legal uncertainty regarding online gaming in the United States, nobody seriously believes that there are any federal laws that prohibit merely playing at these sites. All the statutes that apply target the providers of the games, so you're legally in the clear if you wish to log on and play today.

Why not go ahead and check out our full guide to playing online poker in the US to see if you can locate a poker room that’s suitable for you? You’ll find a variety of online poker rooms that we have reviewed and that provide appealing platforms for you to sign up at. If you'd like further insight into the legal situation, then be sure to read our page devoted to U.S.A. online poker legality.

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