Rob Yong polls poker Twitter about using vaccine passports on reopening DTD

Jon Pill
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Posted on July 22, 2021 11:58 pm EDT

Rob Yong, who runs Dusk Till Dawn, has been cagey about reopening the poker room. Boris Johnson’s freedom day has come and gone in the UK, but DTD remains shuttered.

It looks like Yong is making plans for reopening though. Yesterday he took to Twitter to do a quick poll on people’s views regarding vaccine passports. He acknowledged that the subject was likely to be a hot potato.

“Should you be allowed to come into @DTD_Cardroom if you have not been double jabbed?” he asked. “I see this as being a hot potato for indoor venues going forward. *looks @BorisJohnson is making this law end Sept anyway.”

After 2,589 votes cast, the split is currently 55.7% for a vaccination requirement. That leaves 44.3% against. Not a huge majority, but a smaller majority than that carried Britain out of the E.U.

The issue was a polarizing one. Comments range from full-blown calls for the total freedom for players all the way to those who feel that business owners should have total freedom to ban who they like.

“That depends on whether you want to be part of a totalitarian dystopian society or not,” said one commenter. “Who are you to sort and divide civilians? I play poker for freedom, and I would die for freedom.”

Daniel Negreanu, in his reply to that commenter, takes the view that private businesses should have the “freedom to refuse customers.” Neither perspective is completely internally consistent.

“Vaccine passports”

Cases are on the rise in the UK. However, the widespread uptake of vaccines and the NHS’s efficacy in meeting demand for vaccines have both done wonders for reducing the likelihood of serious outcomes.

So arguments about returning to normal are beginning to carry more weight.

With the current “pandemic of the unvaccinated” in full swing, vaccine passports were initially proposed as a practical way to bring normality back. Unfortunately, as with most things relating to the pandemic, the nuance has been bled from the debate by politics rather than science.

Those who object are usually anti-vaxxers who feel that vaccination passports impinge upon their freedoms. While technically true, most societies put limits on how far you can put people at risk.

People seem to have forgotten the importance of Yellow Fever Certificates for international travel. They have forgotten the little yellow vaccination schedules one had to slip into one’s passport for decades. They have forgotten that you can’t drive a car, or own a gun, or receive broadcast TV in the UK without a license from the government.

In both the U.S. and U.K., smallpox vaccine was mandatory for decades. The introduction of exemptions in the UK during 1898 saw the coinage of the term “conscientious objector.”

A poker room setting a vaccination policy is not the thin end of the wedge ahead of a totalitarian takeover. It is another small drop of bureaucracy for poker players who want to drive to Nottingham for a game of cards.

Featured image source: Flickr by WPT