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One 60-cent check: Reader suggestions on what to do

21 November 2006

By Aaron Todd

Last month, I asked Casino City readers to suggest what I should do with my 60 cent check from I was hoping for both entertaining suggestions and interesting ideas on how I could use it to protest the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Thanks to a series of thoughtful responses, I haven't been disappointed. Some of my favorites:

"I suggest you invest $0.50 in lottery tickets, I suggest the 3-7-2 box in the pick 3 game and use the remaining $0.10 on two pieces of Bazooka Joe." Liam M., Somerville, Mass.

"I would put half in low-risk mutual funds and give the other half to my friend who works in securities." Brendan H., Charlottesville, Va.

"Sign over the check to Bill Frist, mail it to him (Office of Senator Bill Frist, 509 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510), and explain that the money is from your never-activated online poker account, and request that because you can't play online poker, would he mind buying you a ticket for your favorite lottery game, Tennessee's 'Cash 3?'" Jay B., Brunswick, Maine

"The glass half full in me says get four buddies to each contribute a dime and buy a dollar scratch ticket and try your luck. The glass half empty in me says throw your 60 cents into Coinstar for grocery money because if you're worried about what to do with 60 cents, then groceries are probably not being purchased with ease in your world." Kristen C., Baltimore, Md.

"Assuming you don't desperately need the 60 cents, frame it, take a picture of it, and circulate the picture in an e-mail. In that e-mail, explain how the feds don't think that Americans should be free to gamble online." A.K., Suffern, N.Y.

Jay from Maine really seemed to capture the concept I was looking for, and I also liked A.K.'s idea to use the check as a rallying cry to protest this ridiculous law. I was just about to start writing the follow-up column, combining Jay and Adam's advice, when I got one final suggestion.

"I don't know if you got any ideas for your 60 cent windfall, but my wife Kimberly came up with a good one: buy a red paperclip and try and trade it for a house. Sure, it's been done, but perhaps there is a poker version that you can do?" Josh H., Littleton, Mass.

Josh is referring to Kyle MacDonald's "one red paperclip" project. The young Canadian writer made a series of trades, starting with one red paperclip and ending with a house. He made 14 trades in exactly one year to complete the mission, landing a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan a little over four months ago.

So here's my plan: While Kimberly suggested I buy a red paperclip with the money, I think a $0.60 check from my dormant Internet poker account has more value than a red paper clip. So instead, I'll start this bartering business with the physical 60-cent PKR check. And since my wife and I just bought a house over the summer, we don't really need another one. Hence, I'm taking Josh's advice and coming up with a poker equivalent: The entry fee and travel costs for the Main Event of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Not to knock MacDonald, who I am blatantly copying, but his pursuit was selfish; he really wanted a house, and more than anything, wanted to be able to write a book about his trading experience.

I, on the other hand, would like to raise the awareness of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, because I believe that the majority of Americans do not believe that online gambling is evil or that U.S. financial institutions should be required by the government to block transactions to Internet gambling sites.

I'm hopeful that this project will help spread that message across America. Eventually, Congress will have to listen, and the U.S. will reverse course and regulate Internet poker.

And yes, the selfish side of me wants to play in the WSOP at a cost of 60 cents.

Ideally, I'm looking for these trades to be related to poker or gambling, but I'm willing to entertain any offer. So let the bartering begin. Send your offers to, and I'll keep you posted on the results.

AT OffSuite
One 60-cent check: Reader suggestions on what to do is republished from
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd has covered the gambling industry since 2006. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and (his personal favorite) Badeuci.

Since graduating from St. Lawrence University, Aaron has worked as a journalist covering the gambling industry and as a communications specialist in college athletic departments.

A native of a small town in New York just south of Ottawa, Aaron lives in Needham, Mass., with his wife and three children. Write to Aaron at, and follow him on Twitter @CasinoCity_AT.