The Poker Players Alliance is publicising its efforts to legalise poker in the United States with a booth drawing the crowds at the 39th World Series of Poker currently underway in Las Vegas.
 
The Alliance's Poker Advocacy Booth has featured daily appearances by the world's top poker players, information on PokerStarsthe PPA's activities and goals and help with contacting individual politicians so that players can urge their elected representatives to take a more realistic legislative approach to the game.
 
Former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, the PPA chairman said: "We have come a long way in educating members of Congress and state elected officials that poker is a game of skill and not a crime. Yet the threats to our right to play this great game are not going away.
 
"The PPA's Poker Advocacy Booth makes it easier for poker aficionados at the WSOP to make their voices heard. We are very excited to bring our grassroots efforts to poker's hallowed ground, and we are grateful that Harrah's and the WSOP have provided us with premium space to get our message to the poker community."
 
The booth is located in the Main Hallway of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino near the Amazon Room where the WSOP action is taking place.
 
Pros have captured nine of the first ten WSOP winners' bracelets – and the substantial cash prizes – so far, but the weekend saw two amateur players – Phillip Tom and Jimmy Schultz – reduce the professional winning margin a little by making their maiden WSOP wins, Shultz in Event 12, the $1 500 Limit Hold'em Tournament and Tom in Event 12, the $5 000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout.
 
For former South Carolina resident Schultz it was an opportunity to mark the first anniversary of a devastating fire in Charleston which cost the lives of nine local firefighters, the worst death toll for U.S. firefighters since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center.
 
The 37-year-old mortgage broker wore a Charleston Fire Department hat and shirt throughout the tournament, and on winning a first prize of $257 936 he immediately pledged a quarter of it to the charity Charleston Fallen Firefighters Fund in memory of Captain Louis Mulkey, a friend and regular poker partner who was one of those killed in the Charleston tragedy.
 
Phil Tom, a 55-year-old financial advisor and investor collected $477 990 for his first WSOP appearance and a maiden bracelet, too.