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The Lord Disfavors Dishonorable Work
The Christian Diarist ^ | September 2, 2013 | JP

Posted on 09/02/2013 12:48:07 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST

On a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago, I met Phil Ivey. It wasn’t in a casino, but on the driving range at a golf resort where the poker champion was working on his game in advance of a big-money golf match he had the next day.

We chatted for a short while. And I came away with the impression that he truly was a genuinely nice guy.

Yet, I do not condone what Ivey does for a living. While he’s had a successful career at the poker table – he has earned nearly $14 million in tournament poker, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal – it’s not honorable work.

Now, “honorable” work is not the same as “legal” work. For there are many jobs that are perfectly legal in the eyes of the law – perfectly acceptable to those who see through a glass darkly – that do not honor God.

And professional gambling is such an occupation.

Now I imagine some will quarrel with the assertion that gambling is an unGodly profession but the Scripture suggests otherwise. “Whatever you do,” it advises, “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” We “serve the Lord Christ,” the passage continues. “Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs.”

Well, I’m pretty certain the Lord wouldn’t operate a casino. So no one who makes his or her living from gambling can claim to be working as to the Lord. What they are doing is wrong. And they need to come to repentance.

The same goes for any number of occupations.

For instance, abortion doctors kill more than one million pre-born babies each and every year. Such infanticide is perfectly lawful in this country. But it is an abomination in the eyes of God. Similarly, it’s perfectly legal to work in adult films; to sell one’s body for lucre. But the offense is rank, in the words of the Bard. It smells to heaven.

Then there are those professions, those occupations, that most of us have, that are not inherently sinful – like abortion or adult entertainment – that can afford us the opportunity to work as to the Lord, but that also can seduce us into using our skills for purposes that hardly glorify God.

Indeed, banks are not evil. But I would never take a bank job that required that I foreclose people’s homes. Tow-truck services are not bad. But I could not work for one that assigned me to repossess people’s vehicles.

I don’t think “the law is a ass – an idiot,” in the words of Dickens. But I would never seek acquittal for a criminal I knew to be guilty. I respect the Fourth Estate. But I could never work for an opinion page hostile to my Christian faith and conservative values.

So what should a person do who’s employed in a job that doesn’t honor the Lord? Follow the example of Matthew, who left his well-compensated job as a tax collector to answer Christ’s call to discipleship.

That’s not to suggest that anyone who earns a less-than-Godly living should resign abruptly – especially not in the current economy. No, let them seek first another job where they can work as to the Lord. Then let them quit their unredeeming job.


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: gambling; laborday; occupations; philivey
All work is not equal. It either honors God, or it doesn't.
1 posted on 09/02/2013 12:48:07 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Indeed, banks are not evil. But I would never take a bank job that required that I foreclose people’s homes. Tow-truck services are not bad. But I could not work for one that assigned me to repossess people’s vehicles.

Wrong premise here.

Foreclosures occur when people do not pay back the loans they took out. The people don't own those objects, the company holding the loan does. It's THEIR money which bought the item, not the person who signed for it.

So if people default on their loans and don't pay back the bank or loaning institution, then that institution has the right to take THEIR property back from the person who is essentially stealing it.

2 posted on 09/02/2013 12:53:22 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

When it comes to many people, even “conservatives”, if it is legal, then it is OK.

Just about anyone here can describe the most horrible rip-offs and cons, and schemes, and sometimes breaking of the law from Phone companies, Cable companies, Credit Cards, Banks, yet people work there answering the phones to deal with your complaints, or in management, or as CEO, content with the idea that God doesn’t see what we do at work, only in our off hours.


3 posted on 09/02/2013 12:57:06 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: metmom

Are you saying that all those whose homes were foreclosed upon were thieves?


4 posted on 09/02/2013 12:58:14 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Then there are those professions, those occupations, that most of us have, that are not inherently sinful

I train midgets for circus jobs in Mexico.

Many folks thing this is abusive and sinful.

They have never been to a good midget circus.

5 posted on 09/02/2013 1:03:39 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Is it their property?

Are they using it without paying for it?


6 posted on 09/02/2013 1:03:40 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

After reading this, I read a few other pieces on your blog. You don’t mince words or hide your beliefs about this or that.

I like that you end up at hope in Christ. That all Christians can agree on!


7 posted on 09/02/2013 1:08:44 PM PDT by avenir (I'm pessimistic about man, but I'm optimistic about GOD!)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Are you saying that all those whose homes were foreclosed upon were thieves?

If they refuse to turn over a house that they no longer own, wouldn't it make them just that?

8 posted on 09/02/2013 1:10:20 PM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
I don't know Mr. Ivey, or any like him, but to equate a professional poker player to an abortionist is quite a stretch IMHO. Not all poker players are 'genuinely nice guys' but by the accounts that I have read, Mr. Ivey fills the bill. On top of that, he is billed as one of the best poker players on the planet.

If, on a golf course, I were to come across a world acclaimed abortionist, I would not spend the time to find out if he was a 'nice guy' or not. I would do as the Bible says and shun him.

Not so for Mr. Ivey.

9 posted on 09/02/2013 1:10:32 PM PDT by Wingy
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

When a borrower gets a home loan they make a promise to repay the entire amount of the loan plus interest in a timely manner according to the mutually agreed upon terms between borrower and lender. Once the borrow fails to uphold their part of the deal it’s perfectly legitimate for the lender to call the loan due and/or begin foreclosure proceedings. Nothing ungodly about moving forward with one of the “if/then” terms of an agreed-upon contract. If the borrower defaults, then the beneficiary (or a trustee working on their behalf) has every right to initiate foreclosure proceedings. If the borrower brings the loan back in good standing they can stay. If not, they lose the home. It’s all part of the deal everyone agreed to.


10 posted on 09/02/2013 1:10:55 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad (((( ))))
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To: avenir

Thank you, friend. To God be the glory!


11 posted on 09/02/2013 1:11:01 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
No, they are not thieves. Many times, foreclosure occurs through no fault of the borrower - illness, death, job loss, divorce, etc. etc.

However, it remains a fact that the borrower agreed to certain terms. If he cannot renegotiate those terms, it is time to surrender the property because under the terms of the contract it does not belong to him.

There is nothing wrong with working for a bank that legally and properly recovers property that belongs to it by right.

If the borrower through aggressive litigation, 'community organizing', fraud, or whatever, is able to avoid foreclosure without paying what he owes, then at that point, YES, he is a thief. He is stealing the money of the bank's shareholders and depositors.

I'll also add, just to confuse matters further, that high-stakes poker playing has nothing whatsoever to do with gambling (that is, a game of chance) and everything to do with serious skill. There's no chance about it other than the fall of the cards, which is less and less important the higher up the food chain you go.

Now, the guy who hangs around hotels and resorts trying to persuade the greenhorn into a "friendly game" with the goal of taking his money because he (like you) thinks that games of skill are games of chance, he's a crook and earning his living by a sinful method (i.e. fraud and theft). Ditto the fellow who gambles away the rent or housekeeping money and deprives his family via his uncontrollable lust to gamble.

But Phil Ivey ain't it.

12 posted on 09/02/2013 1:14:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

“Are you saying that all those whose homes were foreclosed upon were thieves?”

Not “all”. However, all of them are idiots who cannot live within their means. Many of them become moochers expecting the government to get them out of their own stupidity. Foreclosed people do not deserve sympathy — they need tough love, which is education on financial responsibility.


13 posted on 09/02/2013 1:19:41 PM PDT by sagar
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To: sagar
Disagree.

Sure there are some deadbeats and boneheads who lived beyond their means.

But, especially these days, unexpectedly losing a job and being unable to find another is not uncommon or due to any particular fault on the part of the borrower.

14 posted on 09/02/2013 1:24:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“But, especially these days, unexpectedly losing a job and being unable to find another is not uncommon or due to any particular fault on the part of the borrower.”

Sorry, but you are contradicting yourself. If you are in a (potential) situation to not afford a home, perhaps you should NOT be getting into the mortgage situation in the first place. That is entirely up to the borrower. It is always an IDIOT borrower who gets into the foreclosure situation, because he did not plan ahead of his own finances. The IDIOT becomes a moocher when he expects the government to give him other peoples’ money. These people do not deserve sympathy.


15 posted on 09/02/2013 1:30:21 PM PDT by sagar
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

If you get down to the nitty-gritty, every economic activity is a gamble, heavily dependent on chance and luck. Only human whim demarcates what’s gambling and what’s not.


16 posted on 09/02/2013 1:32:48 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

There are twists to this, however. On the surface, gambling seems to be all about statistics and probabilities, with perhaps a little skill. However, underneath, there is a peculiar psychological phenomenon.

Gamblers get far more brain stimulation from *losing* than they do from winning. And this throws a curve ball into looking at gambling from a moral sense.

Much of the moral condemnation of gambling comes from the idea of luck. The idea of both good luck and bad luck tend to grate on the religious, because it smacks of a bad attitude that people of faith can develop: that God uses petty rewards and punishments for those who do good or sin. Yeah! My team made a touchdown! That means that God is on our side!

I flip a coin. If it is heads, God approves. If it is tails, God does not approve. Ick. That’s not right.

But gamblers get positive stimulation if they lose? That is like a person of faith wanting God to disapprove of their actions. To keep sinning until God does something.

There is no doubt that gambling can negatively impact the lives of a gambler and their family. Perhaps that is where the real sin lies.


17 posted on 09/02/2013 1:34:21 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (The best War on Terror News is at rantburg.com)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
It is not difficult to find fault with the jobs other people do. We can't all be ministers, missionaries, doctors or philanthropists. While we humans are famous for finding justification for almost anything we want to do, one has to go beyond a job description to ascertain whether we are working 'honorably' or not.

My adult son works in the billing department of a large cable TV company's phone center. He says the majority of calls he deals with are from cable customers who have not paid their bill in months, were warned repeatedly that their service would be terminated and when they still had not paid or attempted to pay (set up a payment plan) the company cut off their cable TV service. Part of my son's job is to explain why their cable service was cut off. He receives a lot of swearing and threats from cable customers who can't understand why they cannot get the service virtually free. Because cable TV is hardly a necessity and the complaints are from people who were given many opportunities to pay for the service they received under a contract they agreed to, he is polite but not terribly sympathetic to these people.

Like his parents, my son is a Christian and in no way considers his work 'dishonorable', no more than a bank official that has to foreclose on a mortgagee who has not paid his mortgage payment for months and by not paying, violated the terms of his agreed-to loan. A broad brush should not be used to find 'dishonor' in other people's jobs. Better to take the plank out of one's own eye before worrying about the speck in your brothers eye.

18 posted on 09/02/2013 1:35:34 PM PDT by Jim Scott
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To: humblegunner

Just stay away from the cat juggling!


19 posted on 09/02/2013 2:00:54 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:32 "The arrogant one will stumble and fall ; / ?)
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To: Jim Scott

If someone refuses to pay their mortgage or car note or, yes, their cable bill, and don’t even make an attempt to work out payment arrangements with their creditor, they deserve to lose their home or car or cable service.

But there are some who are casualties of the most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression who seek not to blow off their debts, but forbearance from their creditors. The same kind of forbearance, same kind of “grace,” the Lord has freely gifted us, though none of us deserve it.

Finally, just so you know, I listed my own job among those included in this essay.


20 posted on 09/02/2013 2:03:39 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
But there are some who are casualties of the most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression who seek not to blow


21 posted on 09/02/2013 2:35:20 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

It’s arrogant to presume what God believes that honors him or not in so far as what people do for work.

I believe in God, accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and tithe to the church. In so far as work, I will wait for God to tell me if my work honored him or not. Not a self appointed decider who presumes to speak for God.


22 posted on 09/02/2013 2:40:10 PM PDT by WildWeasel
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

So are all the people in Nevada dishonorable, since much of their prosperity is based on the gambling industry?


23 posted on 09/02/2013 2:41:21 PM PDT by Ken H (First rule of gun safety - have a gun)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Professional gamblers are neither murderers nor thieves.

These analogies are terrible.

24 posted on 09/02/2013 2:44:55 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
If someone refuses to pay their mortgage or car note or, yes, their cable bill, and don’t even make an attempt to work out payment arrangements with their creditor, they deserve to lose their home or car or cable service.

Agreed.

But there are some who are casualties of the most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression who seek not to blow off their debts, but forbearance from their creditors. The same kind of forbearance, same kind of “grace,” the Lord has freely gifted us, though none of us deserve it.

We live in a fallen world and have to deal with non-Christian bankers, etc. who may feel no compulsion to offer forbearance to debtors, Christian or otherwise. Even in cases where the mortgagee has defaulted on his/her loan, due to illness, job loss or anything beyond their control, a Christian banker may be highly sympathetic but not have the authority to re-negotiate the mortgage and cannot be called 'dishonorable' for something he cannot control in a business that is based on lending money with the expectation of it being paid back in a systematic manner under an agreed contract. If being in that situation makes a Christian believe they are doing dishonorable work, they certainly should seek a different field of employment.

However, unless a Christian banker is personally signing the foreclosure notice I can't characterize working in a bank (e.g. as a teller) as 'dishonorable'. Likewise, working as a mechanic for a body shop that is contracted to pick up automobiles that are being repossessed hardly equates to being in a 'dishonorable' profession. Then again, being a blackjack dealer in a gambling casino seems to fit the definition of 'dishonorable' work.

I simply don't want to characterize entire professions or jobs as 'dishonorable' when many people working in them never have the slightest connection to some act the business entity may employ that the Christian worker has no part of, as in the examples I have offered. That having been noted, examining ones employment and determining if ones work is honorable is a challenge that many of us could make that would likely yield surprising conclusions (and likely some career changes). On that basis your premise is worthy of consideration and I thank you for your response.

25 posted on 09/02/2013 3:11:42 PM PDT by Jim Scott
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To: WildWeasel; wideawake; CHRISTIAN DIARIST; metmom
I wonder what the Lord thinks of blog pimping.

FReegards!


26 posted on 09/02/2013 3:21:10 PM PDT by Agamemnon (Darwinism is the glue that holds liberalism together)
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To: Agamemnon

LOL!! I was wondering the same thing.....


27 posted on 09/02/2013 3:27:49 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Capitalism is evil and big gov’t is good, right? I dare say Washington DC is dishonorable. Ivey pays his own way.


28 posted on 09/02/2013 3:57:45 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

So, winning money in a Poker game is as bad as taking money to kill a baby?


29 posted on 09/02/2013 4:15:24 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Uncle Miltie: Obama poisoned race relations for a generation. Everything is racial now.)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Well, I’m pretty certain the Lord wouldn’t operate a casino. So no one who makes his or her living from gambling can claim to be working as to the Lord. What they are doing is wrong. And they need to come to repentance.

"Pretty" certain?

Not "absolutely" certain?

Yet you claim the power to call someone to "repentance"?

LOL... just LOL...

"...in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

Matthew 7

30 posted on 09/02/2013 4:20:14 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: sagar

Not all that lose their jobs are idiots. Markets turn and crash, firms die, etc.


31 posted on 09/02/2013 4:39:56 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: sagar
No contradiction at all.

When you get into a 20 or 30 year mortgage, you (and the bank) make certain assumptions - mainly, that you (and/or your spouse) will continue to be employed at something approaching your current income for the life of the mortgage.

Most people who are qualified, educated, and working in a particular field assume that they will continue on that path. The last 5 years have demonstrated that this most definitely is no longer the case, but some decent people who are not "idiots" got caught in this very extended downturn.

I know well educated people working what used to be thought "safe" jobs who suddenly found themselves laid off, firms closing, corporations dissolving and going out of business. Most prudent people have a six month emergency fund set aside for medical emergencies or job loss, but that can't continue indefinitely. That's when people who are not "idiots" find themselves in a mortgage jam.

So don't be ugly to them, realize that times are particularly hard right now and decent folks have been hurt by an unexpectedly deep and long recession. Most of them do the right thing and short sell the house to the bank and downsize. So don't call them idiots - you could be in that situation some day through no fault of your own.

32 posted on 09/02/2013 4:50:59 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
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To: Talisker

JOHN 7:24: “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
LUKE 12:57: “Yea, and why not even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”
PSALM 37:30: “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.”
PROVERBS 31:9: “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
LUKE 17:3: “Take heed... If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
LEVITICUS 19:15-17: “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.”
I CORINTHIANS 2:15; 6:2-3: “He that is spiritual judgeth all things... Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?”


33 posted on 09/02/2013 4:56:34 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: Agamemnon; WildWeasel; wideawake; CHRISTIAN DIARIST; metmom

I have a day job friend. I derive no income whatsoever from my writings that appear on FR. You have falsely accused me of being a “pimp.” If you are a true Christ follower, you’ll apologize. If not, peace be with you.


34 posted on 09/02/2013 5:22:53 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Phil Ivey is a tournament poker player. He pays an entry fee and then plays for the prize money which consists of the combined fees and the amounts the sponsors contribute to the pot. How is this any different than what professional race car drivers, professional golfers, or professional tennis players do? It's not like Phil Ivey is taking a person's last dime in some dimly-lite backroom of a tavern.

I'd have a problem with a Christian who made a living by being a poker hustler but not one who plays the poker tournament circuit. The former takes advantage of people, the latter doesn't. The same could be said about professional billiards players. There are two paths to making money - being a shark or playing tournaments. Couldn't a tournament billiards player be doing it for God's glory?

This isn't a personal defense of Phil Ivey because I really don't much about him, other than he seems a pleasant person. Wasn't his name mentioned in the big internet poker scandal of a couple of years ago?

35 posted on 09/02/2013 6:02:55 PM PDT by CommerceComet (Obama vs. Romney - clear evidence that our nation has been judged by God and found wanting.)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

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