by , Jul 23, 2008 | 3:44 am

Funny, I didn’t get the FIDPA release Jen did, but I did get an email from Jesse Jones to members of the WPA (I’m one of the few who somehow paid twice) … and it seems these two ops are finding their distinct paths. FIDPA, I know, is all about the rules. In fact, I heard about a month ago from both ML’s that their rules were in affect at the Bellagio for the big WPT event last week. Have not confirmed that, however supposedly when Jack McClelland made the Daniel Negreanu rule change mid-tourney at the WPT Championship, you couldn’t get a written version of that rule, because it didn’t exist — no written tourney rules at Bellagio — so apparently they were happy to finally get something on paper.

(And the way the FIDPA 80 work … they leave room for adjustments, so theoretically you could go to a tourney and the TD woulds say, “We’re using FIDPA rules today, except for #47, where we’re going to let you blah blah blah” or “… and we have one extra rule of our own: no coughing.”)

The WPA meanwhile, seems to have moved their rules agenda to the backburner, focusing instead on tournament rake — pushing for more sponsorship/commercial money to be added to major event prize pools, a la the PGA:

It’s a disgrace that tournament poker players for the most part do not share the revenue generated by their participation in events (e.g. television, sponsorship, etc). In most or all events players put in all of the prize money via the buy-in, have 6-10% of their money taken out, and only a small number of participants make a payday. Any revenue generated by sponsors or other means is not shared with you the players.

This is something we must change.

This is the WPA’s principal focus. This is why you joined the WPA. This is why we need your support.

Yeow! I’m not so sure I agree with the not-shared part … those waters they put on the table ain’t free, ya know! But the All In Energy Drink is!

Though I suppose both operations ultimately wanna become the FIFA of poker, it looks like their going about it in two kinda different ways

24 Comments to “RE: FIDPA”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    There’s an interview on CardPlayer TV that says they used the IP rules for the Bellagio Cup (whatever those rules are, althought it appears to combine the TDA rules with some other stuff).

  2. BJ Nemeth

    I can confirm that the FIDPA rules were in place during the WPT Bellagio Cup IV, and that they were *not* in place during the WPT World Championship in April.

    I left a longer comment under Jen’s entry before I read this one.

    Short version: I fully support Marcel, Michelle, and FIDPA, and they definitely have a different (sharper) focus than the WPA.

  3. BJ Nemeth

    ***It’s a disgrace that tournament poker players for the most part do not share the revenue generated by their participation in events (e.g. television, sponsorship, etc). In most or all events players put in all of the prize money via the buy-in, have 6-10% of their money taken out, and only a small number of participants make a payday. Any revenue generated by sponsors or other means is not shared with you the players.***

    One thing to keep in mind is that the situation is a little different for different tours.

    For the WSOP and/or the EPT, the entry fees wind up in the same corporate pockets as the TV deals/sponsorship money — Harrah’s or PokerStars. They run their respective tournaments from top to bottom.

    For the WPT, the TV deal/sponsorship money goes to the WPT, while the entry fees go to the host casino — Bellagio sets the rake for its tournaments, the Borgata sets the rake for its tournaments, the Commerce sets the rake for its tournaments, etc. The casinos run the tournaments (and take the rake), and the WPT essentially just comes in to tape the final tables.

    From the player’s perspective, it’s all the same — entry fees go out of their pockets, and sponsorship money comes in to somebody else’s. But it should be noted that the entry fees and sponsorship dollars aren’t always *going* to the same corporate pockets.

  4. Poker Shrink

    While I rarely disagree with BJ, I do here. The comparison is not to the overly sensitive rules made and now unmade by WPA but to the Tournament Director’s Association Rules. Those rules are made by a large group of TDs; they get together and work by concensus and do not impose rules they like (betting line rule in FIDPA).

    The “Negreanu” rule change at Bellagio was to get rid of the “Show One, Show Both” that Jack McCelland made up and was universally hated by the players.

  5. BJ Nemeth

    Wait, how do we disagree? I’m ecstatic that Bellagio stopped using Jack’s “Show one, show both” rule, which I think was just a confusing bastardization of the “Show one [player], show all [players]” rule.

    Oh, I guess you’re saying that FIDPA should be compared to the TDA, and not to the WPA. I actually agree with that too. I only addressed the comparison to the WPA because that’s what California Jen and Dan were talking about.

    The comparison in your posted comment works pretty well for me.

    FYI, I take disagreements between us very seriously, Poker Shrink, because there are so few of them. Usually, if you have a different opinion than I do, it means I haven’t given the matter enough thought yet.

  6. Michelle

    Thanks for the support BJ. It was good seeing all you guys during the WSOP. In response to the comments about “The International Poker Rules,” I just want to state that the IP Rules, combine, incorporate and reference the latest version of the TDA Rules.

    The TDA is a great organization that provides a good base of rules, but from a tournament director’s perspective. Robert’s Rules by Bob Ciaffone, also provides some great information. When writing the IP Rules, we consulted, questioned and thought about all the rules in a general sense from both a player’s perspective as well as a TD perspective. The IP Rules do not change the game or the rules that we, as professional tournament players, play by.

    BJ was correct is stating that the IP rules are for the entire poker industry, new players and markets as well as for the existing. The IP rules, define and provide guidlines and rules for the changing industry…for example


    46-1. “Tournament staff” will announce the level change and “new limits,” once the time has expired.
    46-2. Players are obligated to notify the ‘tournament staff” of an unobserved level change and the “new limits.”
    46-3. The “new limits” will apply to the next hand, on the “new deal,” after the announcement is made.
    46-4. A “new deal” is defined as the first riffle made by the dealer or when the dealer’s cut is made after removing the cards from an automated shuffle machine.

    (TDA RULE #17) NEW LIMITS- When time has elapsed in a round and a new level is announced by a member of the tournament staff, the new level applies to the next hand. A hand begins with the first riffle.

    Another example of an IP RULE whereas we expanded upon the TDA rules is:

    33-1. “Rabbit hunting” is defined as looking through the discards or card deck after a hand is completed.
    33-2. Dealers are not permitted to show cards that have not been dealt and players should not ask the dealers to show the card(s) that would have been dealt.
    33-3. “Rabbit hunting” is not allowed, any player found “rabbit hunting” will incur a penalty.

    (TDA RULE #21) RABBIT HUNTING- “Rabbit Hunting” is not allowed.

    As poker grows in countries outside the US, and even for US players, many do not know what rabbit hunting is, all we did was define rabbit hunting.

    We have created 40 new rules that have not been written, for example, TDA has a rule for chip race, but not for color up.

    37-1. When the lowest denomination of chip will no longer be used in the blind or ante structure, they will be removed from the tournament.
    37-2. All lower-denomination chips will be exchanged or “colored up” for chips of the next lowest denomination that will be used in play.
    37-3. The “tournament staff” will announce the “color up” process. The “color up” will be done on all tables and only at the time as prescribed on the tournament structure sheet.
    37-4. The “color up” process will begin at the end of a level, prior to the new level. Players are to present their lower denomination chips to the dealer for exchange.
    37-5. Any remaining “odd chip” will be entered into the “chip race.”
    37-6. Players are encouraged to witness the entire “color up” process.

    38-1. A “chip race” will occur after each “color up” process.
    38-2. Cards will be dealt in a clockwise direction, starting in the seat 1. A player will receive all his/her cards before any cards are dealt to the next player. A player will receive one card; face up, for each “odd chip” in their possession. A chip will be awarded to the player based on their single highest card.
    38-3. If players receive a card of identical value, “suit ranking” will apply.
    38-4. A player cannot win more than one chip during the “chip race.”
    38-5. A player cannot be raced out of a tournament: a player who loses his or her remaining chip(s) in a “chip race” will be given one chip of the lowest denomination chips still in play.
    38-6. Players are encouraged to witness the “chip race.”
    (TDA RULE #2) CHIP RACE- When it is time to color-up chips they will be raced off with a maximum of one chip going to any player. The chip race will always start in the No.1 seat. A player cannot be raced out of a tournament: a player who loses his or her remaining chip(s) in a chip race will be given one chip of the smallest denomination still in play. Players are encouraged to witness the chip race.

    Also in response to the similarities between FIDPA and the WPA. FIDPA will work together with the entire industry. We have been working on FIDPA from our hearts, for the goodness of the game of Poker, that we love. We are not looking to control the industry, just recognize the people and places that contribute to the growth of the sport. We promote fairness and want to keep the integrity of the game, and introduce and grow poker in a fair and enjoyable way.

    I believe the WPA has gone through some changes from when they first started. Jessee jones is a good friend and a repectable person and player in the industry. Their mission is to promote professionalism in tournament poker. As FIDPA, we promote the game of poker, as a sport (competition) for new, novice and professional players. The WPA has memebers, whereas they pay a membership fee, FIDPA does not and will not charge people to be recongnized as a professional player.

    Our goal is to unite the poker industry to strengthen the game, to provide some sort of standards. The PPA is work hard on legalizing online poker and to establish poker as a game of skill, a sport in a sense. Think about it, in order for poker to grow and be recognized as a legal activity, we need a set of rules that everyone recognizes and abides by, we need to provide the world with the reassurance that poker can and will be played with fairness.

  7. Poker Shrink

    Not to put too fine of a point on it but what was wrong with simply joining the TDA and suggesting additional rules. What I like about the TDA was that they met together (many tournament directors) discussed the rules and did not write any rule where there was substantial disagreement and the lack of a big majority on a rule. The FIDPA is a small organization with only a few TDs inputting into their rules. We saw what happened with the WPA when a few individuals used their pseudo-power to write some “rules”.

    Again, why do we need Betamax we already have VHS.

  8. DanM

    You’re dating yourself, here, Shrink. Seriously, you gotta get on this DVD train! Back in the VHS days of poker not only could you show more cards, talk more shit, and smoke at the tables, but also they let tables play down much more short-handed before some whiner would call, “Floor, floor, we’re short two players!”

  9. Michelle

    Have you read the TDA rules? Like I said they are good base, but it was written based on a tournament directors point of view. FIDPA has a bigger mission, many US players and residents do not realize the growth of poker around the world and the lack of rules in some of these countries. There is no way that a new country can pick up the TDA rules and run / organize a tournament. The TDA rules are missing essential parts of the game / tournament.

    We have spoken to the TDA and have their permission to incorporate and reference them within the IP Rules. As I stated, we are not trying to compete with any organization, just unite everyone to stregthen the industry. There is a lot history and politics within the industry, as within any industry, FIDPA is a independent organization that will unite everyone.

    Regarding the TDA summit, Marcel and I attended this event last year. We do not disagree or disapprove of what they are doing, but you need to realize that we have spoken to, consulted and taken in consideration the comments, suggestions and rules from TD, Floor people, players and tournament organizers, from around the world. We did not just speak with US based TDs. Of course poker has been around the US for a long time,and UD TDs are very knowledgeable, but poker is played around the world and we addressed the concerns and missing information needed to bring tournamanent and card rooms to the same level.

    The TDA and its memebers do not want to add or change a rule unless they vote on it and the majority agrees, and sometimes, they can not change or add a rule because of house rules or state laws do not allow, so they ignore it. The IP Rules address these issues and allow tournaments / card rooms to modify based on governing laws and rules. We just ask that they provide these changes prior to the start of the tournament, so we have the same information to play by.

    The purpose of the IP rules is to provide all players and staff with the same basic rules. As a travelling player, internationally, the rules vary so much, and some places do not even have written rules. The IP Rules fill this gap. the rules are totally modifiable, we are just asking the tournaments/ cardrooms to disclose their changes based on the IP RULES. By doing this, players do not have to sit and read all the rules and find the changes to play by.

    One last thing, you keep referring to betamax and VHS, in my opinion, The poker world will always be changing and new rules will always be needed, which is a good thing, if we want poker to develop.

  10. DanM

    ***One last thing, you keep referring to betamax and VHS, in my opinion, The poker world will always be changing and new rules will always be needed, which is a good thing, if we want poker to develop.***

    I agree with you, Michelle, on this. Obviously you and I have talked much about FIDPA and the IP rules for about a year … I just can’t wait to finally see a copy so I can rip them apart truly get behind them!

    BTW, one quick question about betting lines, which to some extent may have inspired the whole FIDPA operation: Is it like American football, where the chips just need to cross the plane of the betting line, or is it more like soccer where the majority of the chip has to be over the line? I got into this with some folks playing 1/2 at Mandalay Bay the other week, but I wasn’t certain enough about the rules to accept a prop-bet wager.

  11. Ed

    Dan, are you referring to an imaginary line or a table with an actual line on it?

  12. BJ Nemeth

    Oops … I’ve been neglecting this comment thread and focused on the other one. My bad! I just caught up on all the new comments.

    I also think I finally understand the difference of opinion between me and Poker Shrink that he mentioned earlier. While I see separate needs for TDA and FIDPA, he considers them somewhat redundant. Fair enough.

  13. Michelle

    Hey Dan,

    We are currently developing the site / which will be up and running in Sept. There we will post all the rules in a format that is easy to read and learn. We will also have videos and articles with questions and comments from both pro players, novice players, industry professionals (dealers,floor people and tds)

    Regarding the betting line, we do state, first of all, players should verbally declare their action. We have a rule on betting that provides guidelines for tables with a betting line or no betting line. We also ask the card rooms / tournaments to state, whether or not there is a betting line and if there policy concerning betting.

    The IP rules state the chips released over and inside the betting line (in turn, without verbal declaration) is a vaild bet. If there is no betting line, chips pushed in a forward motion, without verbal declaration,in turn) is considered a valid bet. In regards to a player trying to decieve other players, chips pushed towards the betting line (in turn, without verbal declaration), should be ruled a valid bet. Of course these type of situations vary and is left up to the Tournament Director to make a decision based on fairness. If a player was dong this to take a cheap shot or doing this based on lack of knowledge, this should be handled in 2 different ways by the td / cardroom manager, using fairness as their top-priority in the decision making progess.

    It is like, for example, if a player declares “all in” and a chip is found under a napkin, is that chip commited to the pot? In the TDA rules, it states, in no-limit games, the dealer may not count the pot, but only allowed to spread the pot, What if I bet pot in a no-limit game? Is it a valid bet? There are a lot of discrepencies that can occur during a game or hand, that is the reason, we wrote the IP rules as a way for card rooms to disclose basic rules. If you knew that a certain card room was FIDPA endorsed, meaning they recognize and use the IP rules as a base, as a player, you could make your decision to play your money at their tables.

    At Ceasar’s, in Las Vegas, they have a betting line on the table, but refer and use it as a “courtesy line.” The thing is, again, we are not trying to dictate what card rooms do…we just ask that they disclose what they do. you have to rememebr that the US is a totally different world when it comes to poker, poker has been here for a long time, poker is just developing in markets like India, Poland, China, even Germany, Netherlands. In the US, we think it is stange if someone has never played poker on the kitchen table with friends, In other parts of the world, many do not event know that the ranking of cards.

  14. Michelle

    The TDA is and was organized for Tournament Directors in the USA, there is a need for the TDA.

    FIDPA was created for the Poker Industry, including Tournament Directors, Card Rooms, Tournament organizers and Players on a global level.

    The WPA is promoting professionalism for tournament poker players, mainly in the US.

    PPA is the Poker Players Alliance, mainly concentrating on On-line poker in the US.

    There is a need for all organizations, FIDPA intent is to unite these organiztions and the federations around the world to promote poker in total, as a fair and enjoyabe game for all. We have been and will be working with all organizations, and again we are not trying to compete or override any of these. We are working on an international level.

    There are so many federations and organiztions around the world doing the jobs of the TDA, WPA and PPA, it’s just that the world is a huge place, by working together for the goodness of poker, we can all achieve the goal…which is all basically the same….To promote poker to be a fair, legal and enjoyable game.

  15. DanM

    table with the actual line on it. though i haven’t seen the actual written rules yet, i’m almost certain that FIDPA calls for the presence of an actual line.

  16. DanM

    ed, never mind my above comment. go with what michelle said instead.

  17. Ed

    The betting line brings up an issue Phil Laak had with Todd Brunson on an episode of High Stakes Poker. I found it to be kinda assy of Todd but would understand why someone would do it if they wanted a better read. He had chips in his hand..moved forward with them and got pretty far before bringing them back. I would have declared it as a call/bet and not let him fold. This was not small movement either…he pretty much had em out pretty far.

  18. Michelle

    There are so many situations that are, were and will be considered cheap shots or unfair play, whereas many will just see it as part of the game. This will never change. What we can change is the knowledge level of the players, dealers and tournament staff. It should be the responsibility of all involved to participate in watching the game and the action, although someone (floor people/ td) need to take the lead role and remain neutral to the players for the best interest of the players and the game / tournament.

    By educating the poker world with a base set of rules, no one will have to be considered a bad guy or question the procedure of a card room, by having a base standard..we can enjoy the game.

    The reason why we have umpires, refs and officials in sports is to make decisions/ ruling based on the technical rules with fairness in mind, but all players participating know the rules, whether they are playing on their home court, home field or “away.” The rules need to be out there, and unlike other sporting competitions, the conditions do change, therefore, the card rooms need to disclose to us, the changes…so when we play “away”, we know what they will be basing their rulings on and their procedures.

  19. DanM

    ***He had chips in his hand..moved forward with them and got pretty far before bringing them back.***

    the pump-fake chip check? I love that move! kinda like the fake fold, an old classic.

  20. Denis

    Is there a way to obtain a copy of the rules?

    I am opening up a new poker room in Switzerland and would like to have a look at the complete rules to be able to evaluate a possible use.


  21. Michelle

    Hi Denis,

    That is great, Congrats. You can email me at

    We would love to help you.

  22. Kevin Mathers

    Bringing this back up because I see Poker Shrink is discussing this over at . Michelle said the site would be up in September, but as of now, there’s still nothing at the site. How hard is it to put up a site that has the rules? You’re able to create all the press releases anyone could ever bother to read, make one up with the rules.

  23. California Jen

    I agree, Kevin. There’s been way too much talk about this organization with nothing to back it up. A working website with the list of rules… Not too much to ask when they’re asking the poker community to have faith in and adopt those rules.

  24. DanM

    Here’s the link to the post by Poker Shrink Cranky Olde Coot at PokerBlog:

    He makes a lot of good points. Perhaps with the big Bellagio tourney coming up (in November?) … that would be a good time for them to make sure they are viewable by all potential players. (I say this under the assumption that Michelle and Marcel will likely see this comment.)

    Supposedly the rules are done-done and have been so for a while … If that’s the case, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to make them public, especially if the organization truly is all about being “good for poker”.