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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thoughts about the World Poker Association (WPA)

O.K., time to continue after my shameless advertising blog entry. That one was on top long enough. Let's talk poker again ... and advertise again. Huh?

Well, this time it's different! I would like to tell you about the World Poker Association (WPA).

The WPA is a non-profit organization dedicated "To assure the integrity of tournament poker by establishing fair and consistent rules and procedures and thus to increase the opportunities of individual and organizational members worldwide."

Some of their founding members are:

  • Jesse Jones, Founder
  • Blair Rodman (Author of "Kill Phill")
  • Joe Beevers (Hendon Mob)
  • Barny Boatman (Hendon Mob)
  • Barry Greenstein (Author of "Ace on the River" just to name one accomplishment)
  • Phil Hellmuth (Well, I think everybody knows him)
  • Tony Guoga (better known as Tony G)
  • Rob Hollink
  • Steve Brecher
  • Kenna James

I am sure many will follow. Hopefully the big poker tours and online casinos will join too. That would make it a real success. But it's an organization for the players - so it's the players that count most.

Is there any sense in creating an organization for a sport that is made of a lot of individuals? Sure it is! Especially because the poker players are all individuals they need a strong voice.

Look at the WSOP and the WPT - those are commercial organisations. They want to increase their profit. There's nothing wrong with that but they earn their money from the players. And those players should have the ability to stand up against some things that aren't right. Maybe you followed the discussion with the papers all the participants of WPT tournaments have to sign (and the Boycott of the WPT by players like Ferguson, Bloch and others). Things happen that may hurt the players rights severly and there has to be an organisation to help them. Another example is the WSOP. They already learned from last year and built a council of players and other people involved in tournament poker to address the issues that came up last year (restrooms, meals, breaks etc.).

A strong voice can help all of us. And even here in Germany we may take advantage of this. Hopefully in the future we won't find those crapshots tournaments anymore but an increased number of good tournaments with good rules (like Bregenz and Schenefeld).

I would like to urge you to go over to the WPA Website and have a look at their stuff. And they already have posted a lot of information. Think about supporting them by becoming a member (it's just $50 a year). And if you don't want to become a member but think they are doing a great job then just spread the word around and give the information to others. Let's help them to make this a success!

"The formation of the WPA is one the most important steps in lifting our game to a truly professional status. I truly urge all players to join and help grow our great profession." Joseph Hachem, 2005 WSOP Champion


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