Back in June we reported on PokerStars new California initiative that included a tour of multiple California card room. Dubbed the PokerStars Pro Tour, the company visited 11 card rooms as part of their “Let California Play!” initiative.
The last of those stops concluded last weekend at the Turlock Poker Room in Turlock, CA and by all reports the tour has been a tremendous success. PokerStars is working hard to establish a positive prescience in the Golden State in hopes of eventually becoming an operator once the game is finally legalized and regulated.
Negreanu, Selbst and Boeree Among Pros Participating in Tour
While the news that PokerStars was coming to town was certainly exciting, they still needed a good hook to bring out players. That’s why they enlisted the help of several of their top pros to participate in the various sessions.
Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Jason Somerville and Chris Moneymaker all took turns as featured pros at various California card rooms. The pros held meet and greet sessions with fans, signed autographs, took pictures and participated in a tournament to cap off each stop.
Negreanu proved to be the ultimate fan favorite as the game’s top ambassador was in rare form in an attempt to push forward California iPoker. Negreanu told PokerNews.com in an interview, “The main reason I’m here is to get these guys to sign up to Californians4iPoker.com, so every time we do the Q&As I try to remind [the people] why we’re here because their voices need to be heard.”
“The whole purpose of this is to get as many people signed up as possible, so that when we make a push down the stretch run the politicians know, ‘OK, this is an issue that people care about.'”
The pros also gave general advice to players about poker and turning pro. Chris Moneymaker recommended that players retain their amateur status and play the game as a hobby. He cited that after a while, you will burn out in poker and a 10-year gap in job history will make it difficult to obtain a job.
Tour Promoted Online Poker and Stressed Advocacy
The whole purpose of PokerStars conducting the tour was to educate players about online poker and enlist their help in speeding up the legislative process. At each stop, PokerStars Pros encouraged players to signup at Californians4iPoker.com for updates on the legislative process and to email or to Tweet at their local legislator from the site.
Assemblyman Adam Gray made it clear that constituents need to be heard regarding online poker. Gray championed on online poker bill earlier this year but stated that he may have heard from only a half dozen citizens regarding iPoker regulation. This number needs to increase not just for Gray but for all lawmakers.
This was the first tour for the PokerStars Pro Tour with future events in the planning stages. Updates regarding future stops can be found on the Californians For Responsible iPoker website.