Luske and Lau Introduce FIDPA (Federation Internationale de Poker Association)

What Did You Think It Stood For?!

by , Jul 22, 2008 | 11:25 pm

Marcel Luske and Michelle Lau formally announced that their organization is up, running, and ready to introduce “The International Poker Rules” in the near future. According to the press release, the goal of FIDPA and the set of rules is to organize and promote tournament poker as a sport and “unite the industry on a global level.”

Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Oh, never mind…

The IP Rules have been created in cooperation with the Tournament Directors Association, Bob Ciaffone’s Robert’s Rules of Poker, and Jack McClelland and Doug Dalton of Bellagio, among others. There are a total of 80 rules, procedures, and policies that will be announced at a later date.

Note to self: This sounds an awful lot like the World Poker Association (WPA)!

Click the “more” button to see the entire press release:

Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) July 18, 2008 — Professional poker players Marcel Luske, “The Flying Dutchman,” and Michelle Lau introduce The Federation Internationale de Poker Association (FIDPA) and “The International Poker Rules” (IP Rules), for tournament play, to promote poker as a sport and unite the poker industry on a global level.

In collaboration with leading industry professionals, Luske and Lau created the IP Rules to provide uniformity in card rooms and tournaments worldwide. With cooperation from the Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA), Bob Ciaffone, author of Robert’s Rules of Poker, Jack McClelland and Doug Dalton of Bellagio, and many other leading authorities and resources from around the world, the IP Rules allow the players and the industry to learn, play and operate by a single set of complete tournament rules to provide worldwide consistency.

The IP Rules consists of 80 technical rules, policies and procedures for tournament play, that reference and incorporate the latest version of the TDA’s 40 rules. The IP Rules provide a standardized set of tournament rules that are fully modifiable by a tournament director, tournament organizer or card room management. The IP Rules allow card rooms and tournaments to modify the rules in accordance to House Rules, State, Federal and Country Gaming Commission laws and regulations and/or the Tournament Director’s procedures and policies. All modifications made to the IP Rules will be provided to the players and will take precedence in that venue for the tournament.

The IP Rules serve as the official resource for players, dealers, floor people, tournament directors and the entire poker industry. The IP Rules were written in a player-friendly language and provide basic information for new, novice and professional players to learn and understand the fundamental rules needed for tournament play. The IP Rules also provides the industry with the essential information to train and operate with the necessary consistency.

Luske said, “As poker has exploded, the beauty of having one set of rules that everyone can learn and follow is such a big step for the game and as a sport. New players and professional players finally have a resource from which to learn and play. Poker is a game that requires skill and knowledge and should be played with fairness and integrity.”

FIDPA will promote and implement the IP Rules by endorsing card rooms and poker tournaments worldwide. The FIDPA endorsement recognizes the leaders in the poker industry and acknowledges their commitment to excellence, professionalism and fairness. The FIDPA endorsement also represents their effort to unite and strengthen the poker industry through the use of the IP Rules.

Lau stated, “With the support of Doug Dalton and Jack McClelland at Bellagio, one of the world’s finest card rooms, FIDPA and the IP Rules are off to a great start. We still have a lot of ground to cover but the fact of the matter is that there really is no reason why a card room or tournament should not use the IP Rules as a base. A standardized set of rules are desperately needed, as a professional poker player traveling around the world to play in tournaments, there is absolutely no way to know the different rules in every country or even from venue to venue. By allowing tournament directors to make and disclose any necessary modifications prior to a tournament, we can now know the rules, simply note the changes and be able to ensure the rulings are made are fairly.”

Bellagio is the first FIDPA endorsed card room in the world. FIDPA’s mission to unify and strengthen the industry begins with the education and implementation of a standardized set of rules. Known as the world’s No. 1 poker room, Bellagio has set the benchmark for the entire poker industry. Bellagio has adopted the IP Rules in conjunction with Bellagio Cup IV and the World Poker Tour’s main event which began Friday, July 11.

Jack McClelland, Director of Poker Tournaments at Bellagio, said, “We have a large number of international poker players who compete in our tournaments on a regular basis. We want to make sure they are comfortable with the rules and hope to maintain consistency in rulings worldwide. Bellagio is happy to support both domestic and international tournament efforts which in turn will strengthen our position as the leader in the industry. We look forward to a successful partnership with FIDPA.”


In 2002, as the founding father of the International Poker Federation (IPF), Marcel Luske successfully created and developed a governing body for the European poker world, raising standards and bringing awareness to the sport of poker. With the international growth of poker, Marcel Luske decided to restructure this European organization to expand his vision worldwide and the former IPF has reemerged as FIDPA. In 2008, Marcel Luske, Founder and President and Michelle Lau, Co-Founder and CEO, began their mission to broaden and increase participation by ensuring the game is played with fairness and operated with professionalism in player friendly environments.

As an international organization, FIDPA connects the poker industry, organizations, federations, and its players by providing support, information, and communication, to elevate, educate, and connect the poker world on a global level. will be launched in late 2008.

Contacts: Michelle Lau, (702) 308-2808

FIDPA, [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Scott Ghertner, (702) 650-7565

MGM MIRAGE Public Relations

8 Comments to “Luske and Lau Introduce FIDPA (Federation Internationale de Poker Association)”

  1. BJ Nemeth

    Marcel and Michelle have been working on this for more than two years, and I completely support them. The WPA (at least originally) had a lot of very broad goals, hoping to become a one-stop shop for solving all of poker’s problems. FIDPA is focused on just one thing — creating a uniform set of rules and enforcement that poker players can expect to find worldwide.

    Even if a casino disagrees with a few rules, they can clearly state the exceptions, and poker players would still know the rules will know what to expect. The basic goal is that a professional poker player anywhere in the world can know — even during a hand — exactly what to expect from a ruling. (The FIDPA rules cover a lot of situations that the TDA rules do not, the exceptions that come up just often enough to surprise a player with inconsistent floor rulings.)

    A side goal of FIDPA is to provide a complete set of rules that new poker rooms can use when starting up. Not a big deal on the Vegas strip, where there is plenty of experience, but much more useful in emerging markets like Asia, South America, and parts of Europe.

    The Bellagio signed on to use the FIDPA rules for the recent Bellagio Cup IV, which was also a World Poker Tour event. This makes the FIDPA rules more attractive for new casinos, because they can point to Bellagio and say, “That’s what they use at the big tournaments in Las Vegas!”

    I’ve had conversations with Michelle and Marcel several times over the past two years, and FIDPA has my full support.

  2. BJ Nemeth

    ***FIDPA: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it***

    Hmmm … not sure if that applies anymore now that it’s been posted on Pokerati! (And likely elsewhere, like Google and Yahoo.)

  3. Poker Shrink

    Tournament Directors Association = VHS

    Federation Internationale de Poker Association = BetaMax

    Does history teach them nothing?

  4. Poker Shrink

    ….and what the hell was the press release for if they don’t have their sacred 80 rules ready for release? I mean they used them at Bellagio Cup but still haven’t released them?

  5. DanM

    I agree, Shrink … too many poker bizzer’s think a press release actually means something, because they have gotten used to lazy poker media types who are willing to just post it because hey, content is content.

    So I can see how TDA might be a little like VHS (in a DVD/Blueray era) … but where do you get the Betamax association for FIDPA?

  6. BJ Nemeth

    I can’t answer that, Poker Shrink. I haven’t seen the printed rules yet myself. But I think they are trying to create a more thorough set of rules for poker tournaments than the TDA, and they also seem to be working more actively to create a worldwide standard rule set. (Perhaps they should use hired goons?)

  7. Poker Shrink

    I simply see no need for another organization making rules.

  8. BJ Nemeth

    I think the FIDPA would argue that while the TDA has some standard rules, they aren’t nearly complete nor universal accepted. The TDA is designed from the tournament directors’ perspective, while the FIDPA is designed from the players’ perspective.

    I believe FIDPA’s goal is for every situation that isn’t truly unique to be covered, so professional players can know what the rules are (and how they will be enforced) *before* they sit down to play a single hand. It removes most of the “floorperson rule interpretations” — one of the biggest complaints of professional players.

    Since the TDA hasn’t achieved that (or even seem interested in that goal), Marcel helped create FIDPA. As someone else pointed out, they don’t even have to be mutually exclusive, since most TDA rules have already been incorporated, which should avoid a betamax vs. VHS situation of incompatibility.

    For the record, I am also a supporter of the TDA.