BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: DEC. 20, 2011
Poker Survey Seeks to Define Who Players Are, What They Want
Poker players are hard to pigeonhole.
We come in all ages, shapes and backgrounds. We play our favorite game for a variety of reasons. We are blue collar, white collar and no collar.
We’re night owls, parents, students, competitors, gamblers, conservatives, risk-takers and a 60-70 million block of citizens whose beliefs, in the aggregate, encompass every side of every political, social or moral debate.
So, who are we, really, and what do we want?
The Poker Players Alliance is trying to find out with a poker-specific questionnaire prepared in consort with U.S. Gaming Survey.
Rich Muny, PPA vice president for player relations, hopes the survey will “help us better understand the playing community and in turn help us better advocate for your interests in Washington, D.C.”
Which means the PPA wants more ammo for its ongoing fight for regulated, safe and taxed online poker in the U.S.
“The survey is completely anonymous,” Muny said, “and your personal information will not be shared with anyone.” Plus, you could win an Apple iPad2.
Every player who cares about the future of poker and citizens’ rights in general ought to fill out the survey, found at www.usgamingsurvey.com/ppa. The deadline is Dec. 30 at noon Eastern.
The early questions are standard — age, sex, home state, income. Look for a broad range of answers here because America’s game cuts across the entire cultural spectrum.
The survey then asks “your estimated weekly online poker stake.” Five choices range from “less than $100″ to “more than $1,000.” I’m guessing, by far, most people will check “less than $100.”
Frequency of online play is measured next.
Before April’s federal indictments effectively shut down online poker in the U.S., the top answer probably would have been “weekend” or “once per week.” Now, the top response likely will be “not currently wagering poker online.”
In the wake of Black Friday, the survey tries to identify how players reacted.
Did we stop playing until U.S. sites are available? Did we stop temporarily, but will return to offshore sites if the U.S. fails to legalize it? Did we stop playing forever? Did we just keep playing on foreign sites?
Next up: Do you actively play state or interstate lotteries? If players think poker mainly is a skill game, do they shun pure-luck games such as lotteries? Or are they just gamblers who’ll play anything for money?
Lottery questions make the survey because many states already offer the game online and might be against adding online poker if it potentially would cut into lottery profits.
The next politically sensitive area explored is the possible impact of U.S.-licensed online poker on current casino live poker.
The quick thought is that legalized online poker would reduce live casino action, but that’s not the whole story. Easily accessible online poker figures to bring in a wave of new players, many of whom will eventually visit a card room.
When the results are tallied, the survey should show that poker players, despite diverse backgrounds and beliefs, all want pretty much the same thing — freedom of choice and a trusted playing field for the game we love.
Which we already knew, right?
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit creators.com or luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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