Annette Obrestad has accepted an ambassador position with the Venetian in Las Vegas. Since her announcement, a large segment of the poker community has blasted her decision because she now works for Sheldon Adelson, the man who is obsessed with getting online gambling banned in the United States.
Guys, its official! I'm now an ambassador for @VenetianPoker. I'm SOOO excited. I hope to give a lot of you a chance to play with me soon!— Annette Obrestad (@Annette_15) January 29, 2016
Many cannot understand why a former online prodigy would sign a deal with poker’s equivalent of Satan. They have questioned her moral and likened her to Benedict Arnold, despite the fact she is not an American citizen.
It is hard for me to take such a hard stance with Obrestad, especially when thinking about the realities of the poker world.
Remember Why We’re Here
Why do the majority of poker player take up the game? It isn’t for “the competition” or to become famous. The majority of us take up poker to make money. The object of poker is to make money. It always has been.
We like to try and make the game into some type of glorious undertaking and turn it into a spirited competition where we come together as a community to better mankind. The truth is that most of us play it because we feel it is the best way to make the money we want for the lifestyle we want.
That plan doesn’t always work out. Some of us realize that we’re never going to be pro players and turn to other parts of the industry. Others take on jobs within the industry to subsidize their career and provide a safety net.
The life of a poker player may look glamorous, but they have everyday expenses like the rest of us. If they are not winning consistently, it can become a real struggle to meet those obligations. That’s why some take on other jobs in the industry, sign on with an online site or undertake other business opportunities.
A poker player that has a way to make money in addition to playing the game is doing themselves a disservice by not at least exploring the opportunity. Also, when your base expenses are covered regardless of how you perform on the felt, it allows you to relax and play better poker.
Poker is an individual game. It is not a team game. Remember why we’re here.
When Did Poker Become So Moral?
Every time I hear someone talk about how someone is violating their morals when it comes to poker, I laugh a little. This game embraces players who are morally objectionable and at times makes them into superstars. It is a game where “degenerates” are celebrated and publicized like they are the Kardashians.
However, if someone decides not to tow the line for online poker, their morals are suspect? It appears that poker has a “selective morality” concept. Basically, if your morals are in line with poker, you’re ok. Otherwise, you’re a scab.
One week, we have a guy that risks public health by publicly urinating at the poker table, but he is praised because he gave money to charity. The next we have someone that makes a business decision that ultimately have little impact on iPoker regulation in the United States, and that person is demonized.
Give Her a Better Offer
If the poker world doesn’t want to see Obrestad working for the enemy, give her a better offer. Obrestad is a former WSOP-E champion and has a solid resume outside of a dreadful 2015 campaign. There are sponsored pros around the world right now that have less of a resume.
To @annette_15, you are aware your newly-acknowledged backer Sheldon Adelson is the biggest opponent of online poker in the US, right?— HoldemRadio (@HoldemRadio) January 29, 2016
Present Obrestad with a business opportunity that provides better pay and benefits if you want to get her away from “the enemy.” It is easy to sit back and blast Obrestad for her choices, but in the end this may have been the best option for her present situation in Las Vegas. Provide her a better opportunity and we will see where her loyalties lie.