While it probably wasn't a bad exercise to consider what the post-UIGEA U.S. poker environment will be like, it appears it won't be happening any time soon.
After all the concern, debate and worrying about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempting to latch on online poker legislation to a "must pass" bill, Reid indicated today to the Las Vegas Sun that it isn't going to happen. The window of opportunity will close and it will likely remain a status quo situation at the federal level for the next couple years. Individual states like New Jersey and California will press forward with state initiatives instead. If they are successful, it could spur more action from the federal level, but with Republicans holding greater numbers come January, I think it is unlikely to see positive major movement any time soon.
I find it amusing that each time we hear of some change within the poker world there is a high level of panic and concern from players that their lives will be thrown into disarray. The sky is falling mentality seems to invade the sensibilities of players very easily. The reality is changes in the US are much slower and more gradual typically. People find a way around, some new way to cope with the current situation.
I think it was a healthy exercise to consider what a possible future scenario might be like, what the different parties lobbying hard for their conflicting constituents want and what compromises will be necessary for future legislation to pass. It's definitely a complicated process.
With a worldwide online poker economy estimated at $25 billion and around 15 million Americans playing poker, it is inevitable that the US government will want their piece eventually, no matter how hard it is to negotiate.