The Las Vegas Sun has an extensive story about the PPA and the recent action it has seen on the politcal landscape, both in the charity touranment at the DNC, and the Republican party's flip-flop (and then subsequent flip-flop back to its original position) on Internet gambling.

Tuesday night, this once odd lot of online gamblers transformed Coors Field, home of Colorado’s major league baseball team, into a poker palace, and they invited the very targets of their ire — lawmakers who had banned their gambling. In short, they put on a poker face.

As the second night of the convention closed with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech, the club room overlooking the ballpark looked like early Vegas. Hundreds of delegates, members of Congress, celebrities and fans of the game showed up.

Pappas and others made sure it was an A-list-ish affair: Ben Affleck settled in for a hand alongside the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank.

“What better way to get our message delivered than to be right at the conventions when there’s all this politics and policy?” said Pappas, who has left his day job to run the Poker Players Alliance, which claims 1 million members. It will host a similar event at the Republican National Convention next week.

Religious and family groups despise Internet poker as a modern social ill that wrecks marriages and depletes checkbooks. As online gambling grew into a wildly popular $15 billion industry in just a few years, the religious right batted it back.


Although the Poker Players Alliance is willing to spend $30,000 for a party to send money to vets, the goal is to get Washington to make it legal to gamble from a laptop.

As Myers cracked: “With everything going on in the world right now, I just think that’s the biggest issue. We solve that, then we can move on to all of these other, smaller things, like the economy, the war.”

The players have a somewhat more serious view.

Marc Schtul, an attorney in Denver who forked over $500 to play, said, “If I want to play online poker, it’s my business. I’m a Republican but I might not be for long.”

The alliance does not want to be partisan, Pappas said, but that’s getting more difficult because of the Republican opposition.

Florida Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, a friend of online poker who has sponsored legislation that would help legalize the game, said having the group show up in Denver is significant.

“I think the more their story is told, the better off we’ll be in the Congress developing widespread support for the issue,” Wexler said.

Nevada Berkley also breezed through, noting, “They really got their act together.”

Yet, Rep. Jason Altmire, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said he came for the veterans, not the poker players.

As for overturning the online gambling ban? “We’re going to take a look at it.”

About 1 a.m., hours before the tournament would wrap up, Pappas surveyed the scene.

“Success,” he said. “Since we’re at a baseball stadium — we hit a home run.”