Dear Poker Santa,
Because I’m trying to be nice this year (I trust you got my apology for that whole “I’m the unluckiest poker player on earth and it’s all your fault” rant from my 2014 letter), let me start by saying that I know you worked hard in 2015 to deliver lots of presents to the poker community.
This year, we got Twitch opening up a path to sponsorships, sweats in several states for legislative progress on licensing and regulation, and anticipation for the next generation of innovative poker-entertainment concepts like “The Cube.”
But all that being said, I just wanted to shoot you a quick note and remind you that I did not fade nearly enough river cards this year. If you want to make up for it, I have a few requests for what I’d like to see you bring the poker world in 2016.
Structural Changes that will Eliminate Seat Scripting
Online grinders who use seating scripts to target recreational players should have no chance of being on your “nice” list. And while I’m reluctant to make light of bacteria while drinking the raw eggs in my egg nog, I couldn’t agree more with the use of the word “parasitic” to describe them.
Please make sure that by the end of 2016 there is not a single online poker room lobby where this software is of any use.
A Truly Competitive Online Poker Market
Monopolies are not healthy for industries. It would be great if you could give the community just one viable alternative to PokerStars in 2016.
Some sites are already starting to show promise. This year, WSOP.com in NJ showcased the first online event for a World Series of Poker bracelet. The Microgaming network lowered micro-stakes rake in an effort to keep new players around long enough to fall in love with the game.
But what poker is still missing is a true contender capable of busting up the current state of Amaya hegemony. It might be a steep hill to sled even for you Santa, but please make sure that the momentum towards a newly competitive market keeps growing.
RAWA is Never Heard of Ever Again
Rep. Jason Chaffetz should be near the top of your “naughty” list. Congressional legislation that is nothing more than thinly-veiled campaign fundraising bait is as nauseating as it is insulting.
After a few years of genuine concern that the bill might pass, it had a disastrous committee hearing this month that is causing hope the idea of banning online poker at the federal level might be definitively dead. Since hope is your specialty Santa, it would be amazing if you could please make this bill disappear for good like the darkness around Rudolph’s nose.
That’s it for this year, Sanata! I’m looking forward to a great 2016 for poker – and a year of nothing but safe river cards and value bets for me!