Former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato will serve as chairman and lead Washington lobbying efforts for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the organization confirmed Monday following a month of speculation over the appointment.
The move comes after the poker protectionist group sought out D'Amato and two other card-friendly senators in February to join forces with the Alliance.
D'Amato takes the reins from former chairwoman and so-called First Lady of Poker, Linda Johnson.
"I have had a passion for poker since my childhood, and for politics almost as long," said D'Amato in a release.
"This new position will allow me to fuse these passions and help establish sensible policy that allows Americans to enjoy the great game of poker in the venue of their choosing."
The bulk of D'Amato's work will consist of lobbying Congress to allow for a skill-game exemption for poker from October's online gambling ban and, eventually, regulation and taxation of the industry.
"We are thrilled to have Senator D'Amato take up our cause to promote and protect the game played by millions of Americans," said alliance president Michael Bolcerek.
"His enthusiasm, tenacity and political astuteness will bolster the influence of the PPA and help earn poker a much deserved exemption from the recent online gaming law."