On April 19, James Franco will be celebrating hi 36th birthday. You know what I’ll be doing? I’ll be celebrating National Poker Day. That’s right, beginning this year there is a day dedicated to the game we all know and love.
Thanks to a grassroots effort by Blue Shark Optics, spearheaded by owner Kerry Karoutsos and his Team BSO (Full disclosure: I am a member), Poker Day USA has been gaining momentum in 2014. There’s even a petition on WhiteHouse.gov seeking the US government and President Obama to recognize the 19th of April as an official day for poker.
According to the Poker Day USA website:
There are all sorts of "National Days". Some "official", others not. Some recognized by the government some not. And yet, despite numbering over 60 million, poker players are pretty much ignored. Most love the game. Some support their families by playing the game. For the vast majority, poker is entertainment with benefits. A game of skill, strategy, and mathematical probabilities, poker is the All-American game. It is not recognized as such, and its players are not given their day in the sun.
So, we have established a National Poker Day. And we will celebrate it on April 19th. Every year. And we will make the effort to spread the word. To casinos, poker rooms, home games. A grass roots movement. If we celebrate it, who knows, the government may accept and recognize. Maybe a long time from now, but after all, we are 60 million strong … If we accept it, and embrace it, April 19 will be our day. Your day. And you can say: "I was a part of this!”
On April 19, I will be at the Italian Riviera for the European Poker Tour Sanremo. Even though I won’t be in the States, rest assured I’ll be celebrating. I probably won’t get the chance to play (unless I’m lucky and it’s the day we play the media event) as I’ll be working, but I’m going to take the opportunity to reflect on all that poker has given me.
I hope that you’re able to do something that Saturday. Visit your local card room, organize a home game, or just give an appreciative tweet.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChadAHolloway for more poker articles, stories and musings from the tournament trail.