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Christmas is a time where people make wish lists and hope that someone follows through and gets them everything their heart desires. Of course, poker isn’t an industry where we can wish for something and someone buys it for us. Most everything in poker takes time, hard work and dedication to achieve a goal.

Below are five things on my poker wish list for 2016. It’s focused less on the game itself but rather the industry and the people in it. Change the people and you can change the world, or rather the poker world in this case.

Fewer Negative Attacks Against Poker Players, Pros, Tournaments

Every time we turn around there some new drama against players, executives, tournaments, or even tournament structures. Is anyone else tired of the bickering that we regularly see in poker.

Some people live for conflict. I get that, but there is such a thing as oversharing. We don’t need to know about every single player that welches on a debt or every pro that wants to stir crap with another.

And for the love of God can we quit the constant griping about structures, payouts or how little that some casinos are offering nowadays over the “good old days.”

The negativity that is constantly thrown around on an almost daily basis puts out game and its players in a bad light. How do we expect to be taken seriously when we are constantly slinging dirt about one another and the industry?

More Poker Pros Standing Up For Online Poker Regulation

The one thing I cannot understand is why there aren’t more poker pros taking an active stand supporting online poker regulation. I don’t mean “joining the PPA” or “emailing your Congressman” but a vocal and public stand.

Yes, everyone loves to see the Daniel Negreanu’s and Liv Boeree’s of the world take a stance but there are thousands of poker pros around the world that could do more to forward the cause of regulation.

I want to see some fresh faces step forward and start lobbying for online poker. When the PPA goes to speak about online poker, I want online pros to go with them in force. I want to see Online Pros for Responsible iGaming or some other group formed to lobby instead of relying on stakeholders to take the initiative.

You want online poker regulated? Why not offer more than lip service and fight for your job? Daniel Negreanu, PokerStars and the PPA can’t save the online poker world alone.

More Charity Among Poker Players and Tournaments

We see stories every so often about major pros that make sizable charitable donations or that give of their time for various causes. While these stories are awesome, I’d like to see more charity from poker players and the industry as a whole in 2016.

I would love to see every tournament series offer some type of charitable initiative. They don’t have to run a charity event per se, but at least adopt a charity and give players a chance to donate to that cause.

Even better, I’d like to see tournament series consider donating $1 of every tournament buy-in from a pair of select tournaments to a noble cause. Take it a step further and donate $1 from every tournament buy-in in the series.

For poker players, I would challenge you to consider donating regularly to a cause that is close to your heart. It doesn’t matter which cause you donate to, just as long as you’re trying to make a difference.

Code of Conduct by Media and Poker Executives

There are times that I see the conduct of certain members of the media and poker executives and think “how can we sportify the game when those representing the game are not professional.”

When I worked in the IT industry, I would lose my job if I went around berating our callers, calling them stupid, cursing at them, etc. If I issued public communications laced with profanities, I would also lose my job. Hell, I can remember a time where I was chewed out by three managers for putting an extra “the” in a sentence.

Things have gotten to a point where I’m wondering if maybe the poker media and poker executives should adopt some type of a Code of Conduct for their actions. It would cover official “paid” work as well as anything we did for social media, personal blogs, etc. If it is tied to poker or your job in any way, the Code of Conduct should apply.

Yes, I realize that poker players are going to do and say most anything they please. That doesn’t mean the media and poker executive should mimic that behavior.

More Realism in Reporting iGaming Regulation

Every time there is even a remote rumor of an online poker bill anywhere in the United States, multiple sites rush to put up an article with most touting that iPoker may be coming soon.

Really? So if Mississippi files another bill in 2016, we can expect to play there in the near future? Not hardly.

There are a few iGaming experts out there that give a more realistic approach to the industry but many sites tend to take the beer goggles approach to any type of reporting regarding regulation.

I’d like to see more realistic reporting on iGaming in 2016. States like Mississippi that will file a bill and watch it die a quick death barely require mentioning. There will be plenty to talk about regarding California, Pennsylvania, and DFS to make up for skipping over the non-events in other states.

Regulation will be a slow process. Ignore the “20 states by 2020” tagline and focus more on 20 by 30.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.