oker is played by an estimated 10 million Americans online. Over thirty of the PPA's State Directors as well as half a dozen professional poker players will travel to Washington D.C during National Poker Week, held from July 19th to 25th, to meet with members of Congress and ask them to support legislation such as Congressman Frank's recently introduced bill, H.R 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009.
Frank's bill would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses, authorising them to provide online gaming services to individuals in the U.S.
A petition will also be delivered to President Obama asking for his support to exempt poker from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and for the licensing and regulation of online poker.
"Our members – the poker players of America – are our best advocates to protect the future of poker," said PPA Chairman and Former Senator Alfonse D'Amato. "National Poker Week, with events in Washington, D.C and across the country, is the PPA's way to make it clear to my former colleagues in the U.S Congress that poker is important to voters and is here to stay."
Throughout the week, the PPA will be organising telephone and email campaigns to Congressional offices so that poker players across the country can make their voice heard.
"Protecting American's right to play poker – whether online or around the poker table – is something everyone should support even if you don't play. Restricting what we can do online in the privacy of our own home is a slippery slope, which is why I am coming to Washington for National Poker Week – to tell my members of Congress to protect my rights," said professional poker player Howard Lederer.
Lederer will be joined by fellow pros Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, Jan Fisher, Linda Johnson and Dennis Phillips in participating during the week, with more players set to be confirmed at a later date.
The PPA will also be working with leading technology providers to host a 'tech demo' that will highlight the ability to regulate online poker through programmes to verify age and ensure fairness of play, amongst other things.
Norman Smith, PPA's Washington D.C State Director said: "I am looking forward to having my State Director colleagues and the professional poker players in my hometown to help the PPA spread the message that millions and millions of Americans play and love poker and that we need to keep it legal."
The PPA has also announced the launch of MyPokerStory.com, a programme to collect and record stories from poker players across the nation on why poker is so important to them and why they believe the government should keep poker legal. People can record their own video and upload it directly onto the site, or submit a video to the PPA booth at the World Series of Poker currently taking place in Las Vegas.