The most prominent US-based poker advocacy group, Poker Players Alliance, has rebranded itself as the Poker Alliance. The move comes amid the organization’s dwindling clout and finances, with Poker Central, the most popular poker content creator and broadcaster in the country, buying up the organization, according to the official press release. The sudden reshuffling has given prominence to new leadership, with Mark Brenner now sitting at the helm of the revamped association.
Poker Players Alliance drops the Players
The now-defunct Poker Players Alliance has had to drop “players” from its name. It had been a term that led to much of the consternation the organization experienced in the recent past. Started as a grassroots movement with thousands of active participants across the United States, PPA slowly transitioned into a champion of corporate interest and defended the values of its benefactors more vehemently than it would the simple requests of its members.
After a while, corporations, including offshore poker operator Full Tilt and PokerStars realized that they wouldn’t be able to overcome the hostile regulatory climate in the U.S. at the time and had to pull out. Their funding went away with them, leaving PPA weak and frail and well on the breadline.
Full Tilt got evicted from the US for operating illegally as an offshore operator in 2011 and PokerStars attempted to make a move on California, but lost and had to sound a retreat. All of that led PPA to a financial ruin, perhaps best captured by the late attempts of PPA executive Rich Muny to save the organization by throwing a modest funding round to the tune of $25,000
However, with the reputation of the organization in tatters, even that amount proved a tall order and it couldn’t be collected.
New Face, Old Players – What’s Changed?
Muny, however, will remain well onboard along with PPA former president John Pappas. Poker Central is certainly not going to drop experts with years of experience in a burgeoning and mutable industry over values. Still, the rebranded behemoth will strive to serve its players interests, but it will be operating as a business entity, brushing any shyness aside.
The decision to drop “players” from the name is sending a clear message that PA will now operate as a business entity, lobbying for the legalization of online poker and having its players values uppermost in its mind, but not depending on donations to survive and function.
This is a good marketing move allowing PA to clearly signal its future intentions, which remain to be clearly defined. For the time being, the focus remains firmly on poker, but the official site of the organization reads that it’s prepared to champion sports betting rights in equal measure, both at home and across the globe.
While it may seem like a stretch to be playing globally just yet, the organization is certainly well-poised to make a change in the way it runs things. Despite some of the difficulties, online poker is gaining traction and it will certainly expand all across the U.S.