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Op-Ed: Poker supremo pleads guilty to making people happy

By Alexander Baron     Dec 21, 2011 in Politics
New York - One of the founders of Absolute Poker, a major on-line poker site, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy; Brent Buckley is now a self-confessed criminal, along with serial killer Ted Bundy.
[For earlier articles about especially Full Tilt Poker, click here and follow the links].
The first thing everyone should understand about the morons who control the criminal justice system in the USA and everywhere is that they like easy targets. In Britain today, a top football player has been charged with what has been called a racially aggravated public order offence, cursing at another player in view of thousands of football fans and out of the hearing of them all. While it is arguable that the Football Association should have charged John Terry and fined him a substantial fraction of his inflated weekly wage, it is clear this sort of imbecility has no place in a criminal courtroom.
Not to be outdone, the imbeciles who control the American criminal justice system have gone one better by browbeating a man who rather than making any sort of arguably insulting remark to a fellow player or spectator helped set up a profitable, ethical business that provided paid employment for software programmers, PR people and many others as well as entertainment for many more, and doubtless created a few millionaires into the bargain. Brent Buckley was one of the founders of Absolute Poker, one of the major victims of the Black Friday domain seizures.
The young entrepreneur has now pleaded guilty in a criminal court to “money laundering and illegal-gambling offenses”.
Sounds heinous, doesn't it? Money laundering, a bit like working for the drug cartels or raising funds for Al-Qaeda, but what does it actually involve? Well, in Britain there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who play poker on-line, or other games against other players or against the proverbial house. Whenever Coral, Ladbrokes or William Hill process a payment, they are doing exactly the same thing legally that Brent Buckley did until Uncle Sam in his infinite wisdom decided he shouldn't be able to do it.
Are Americans so dumb they need protecting from the likes of Mr Buckley? Consenting adults can do all manner of things in the US that are far more dangerous potentially than anything they ever did with him. They can have sex with total strangers including strangers of the same sex; that is always a risky business, especially the latter. But no one ever caught a social disease playing poker, much less AIDS.
They can drink alcohol in the privacy of their own homes or even in bars; they can smoke cigarettes. No one ever contracted lung cancer or developed cirrhosis of the liver by sitting at a Hold 'Em table. Doubtless to say more guilty pleas from other reputable businessmen will follow in due course.
America, the home of poker, has now evicted its tenant and branded the landlord a vagabond. Whom the gods would destroy...
Meanwhile, there may be better news if not for the owners of Full Tilt Poker then for former clients of the site. Yesterday, a dedicated poker website reported that a transfer of assets to its new owners is in progress, which will allow people to cash out, presumably for the final time for American poker players, though this is likely to be a complicated process according to the same article.
What's a guy to do? Well, you could contact or even join the Poker Players Alliance. And if you are not an American citizen, you could sign up with another site through RakeTheRake, the world's largest poker affiliate.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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