A better headline would probably be Idiots Do Stupid Things to Make Poker Look Bad. We're at that special time in the development of a cultural phenomenon on the cusp of permanent mainstream-dom when things like this can really hurt us. I link to it only because no one who is likely to get the story covered in the mainstream press reads my blog. :)
We need people out there speaking for poker who are reasonable, well-reasoned poker. What we're getting is confusing associations with other forms of gambling (yes, sports betting is a skill too, but we have to do this one fight at a time), and the badness of Jamie Gold's financial dispute.
It's unfortunate that people are getting themselves killed in relation to poker, but it's a lot fewer than died from alcohol-related incidents in the last two weeks. For some people, an innocent thing becomes a bad vice. We can't solve the problems by prohibition on any of it.
Ok, I sound more libertarian than liberal at the moment, so I better stop. :)
BTW, there may be good news, no one I know can actually confirm the closing of the NYC club that I mentioned earlier. Apparently, they have a new phone number and are still going. Phew.