Table Talk: Happy Holidays

christmas champagne

Break out the champagne! It’s a few days early for a New Year’s celebration, but it doesn’t hurt to toast a bit early. The gift part of the season is over, as are the holiday feasts and cookies. Most family gatherings are coming to an end, and people are heading to their respective parts of the world to end 2012 and ring in 2013. It’s a humbling yet exciting part of the calendar.

Last week’s column sure did stir some emotions in the poker community regarding Howard Lederer. My point of the article, if it wasn’t clear, was that I hoped people could step back for a moment and look at the situation as a whole, including all of the players and actions that led to and followed the destruction of Full Tilt Poker.

I received some very thoughtful comments and responses. While some disagreed with me wholeheartedly, their responses on Twitter and in private comments were respectful. Then there were comments that I wrote “a bunch of crap” and that I had no idea what really happened with regard to Lederer’s actions. I’ll only say that I don’t respond to insults, general or otherwise.

It looks like Gus Hansen had a few things to say recently regarding Lederer as well. He seems to feel that much of the poker player hatred for Lederer could be otherwise directed to more worthy foes, among other thoughts. It would be nice to see Hansen step forward with more direct statements and say what’s really on his mind.

As far as poker in the United States, federal legislation hit another blockade this month, and there is very little chance of progress at this point. Much of the anger from the poker community comes from the frustration with the political process that toys with their emotions and hopes, only to let them down year after year. That emotional roller coaster leads to a tough time for U.S. poker players. Could there be hope in 2013? There’s always hope, but reality may not further the dream of playing online poker in America.

For now, I’d like to just wrap my last column of the year with another plea to take a step back and be fair in the assessment of poker issues and members of the community. A new year brings hope, and I can only hope that honesty prevails, the truth about situations like Full Tilt comes into full light, and the game of poker thrives in 2013.

My column resolution for 2013 is to be as fair as possible in my writing. It’s not always easy to be opinionated but give the benefit of the doubt to opposing views, but I hope to do just that. I look forward to more of your comments and discussions about our community that will make it better.

Best wishes to you, your families and friends! May your 2013 dreams come true!

Now, pass that champagne bottle and open another. We have some celebrating to do and toasting to the upcoming year. Cheers!