Posts Tagged ‘WPA’

WPA Out of Business?

by , Jan 30, 2010 | 4:51 am

That’s the word we’re hearing … but no confirmation other than that the World Poker Association’s website — — has disappeared. A good idea with lots of support that never quite found its way before getting entangled in all sorts of internal political struggles that left a true grassroots coalition of players a dream that never quite came to fruition.

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The Captain & the Greek Hop Aboard the Struggling WPA

by , Nov 28, 2008 | 2:45 pm

A little more than two weeks ago, World Poker Association (WPA) founder Jesse Jones sent an e-mail to the organization’s members asking for those with an interest to join the Board of Directors. Though Jones plans to continue as a board member, his declining health prevents him from performing as its leader.

Asked and sorta received. Tom Franklin and John Leontakianakos stepped up and claimed positions on the board. Both players have been in the game for a number of years and have experience in poker as well as business. Their bios are on the WPA website.

While Leontakianakos, nicknamed “The Greek,” claims to have been playing high-stakes poker for more than 31 years, he is a relative unknown in the tournament poker community. But that might be a plus as compared to Franklin (“Captain” Tom, that is), who has a proven track record at the poker tables through the years but also gained quite the reputation, deserved or not, through the trials and tribulations of the late Brandi Hawbaker. The much-discussed story was that there was a penis-on-the-back (POB) incident between Franklin and Hawbaker (I think you can put the pieces of that puzzle together), and his reputation has been somewhat scarred in the past two years with POB references.

For the sake of the WPA, Franklin will rise above reminder posts like this those references and do some good for the organization. And who knows…..maybe a few others will step up and fill in the rest of the vacancies on that board.

Who Wants to Lead the WPA?

by , Nov 12, 2008 | 9:42 am

A message from WPA Founder Jesse Jones which floated into my email account (among others) earlier this week:


I founded the WPA in November 2005 with $100,000 of personal funds as a non-profit association. The mission was to represent tournament poker players worldwide and establish uniform tournament rules, procedures, structures, and payouts; and to improve playing conditions for players. In June 2006 a WPA booth at the WSOP for six weeks saw 80 professionals pay $1,000 each as Founding Members and approximately 800 others join as regular members. In March 2007 an initial Board of Directors was elected by the membership. I was elected Chairman by the board. During the 2007 WSOP the WPA booth saw an additional 50 professionals become Founding Members and approximately 350 others join. During the first two years I worked countless hours to introduce and gain support for the WPA and had umpteen conversations with poker pros and poker related businesses all the while playing in major events around the globe.

Because of my health issues with voice and other physical problems from prior throat cancer I requested the Vice Chairman to chair all board meetings. During 2007 I served on the Executive Committee. Some of the accomplishments of 2007 include the formation of an Ethics Code, revision of the website, formation of basic rules, donation of the WSOP booth space by Harrahs, planning of the first WPA tournament and annual meeting with an educational conference.


Battle Not-So-Royale over Control/Role of the WPA

by , Aug 20, 2008 | 3:20 pm

Very disappointing … I was hoping for a knockdown, claws-out blood brawl between Wendeen Eolis and Jesse Jones as the two try to position themselves to maintain and wield influence on the future of poker … but alas, Wendeen’s straight-from-the-horse’s mouth recount of the rise and stumble of the WPA takes a relatively sober look at how these types of organizations work, and sometimes how they don’t.

While the outgoing WPA leader does get in a few jabs at Jesse, her predecessor and succesor … where’s the vitriol, the bloodthirst, the instinct to kill-kill-kill!?!?!!!! C’mon, we’re living in an MMA era … and unless you two are gonna both make it to the final table in the next WSOP seniors event, how can we expect good TV ratings if we don’t get to watch poker industry stalwarts violently wrestle for power?!? The web is good enough for being cagey, but next time lets take it to the Octagon!

WPA’s opening shots here.

Part 1 of Wendeen’s response here.

Pokerati on the WPA here.


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

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:


RE: Whispers from the WPA

by , Jun 20, 2008 | 6:08 pm

Just a fun little flashback … the “final” episode of Beyond the Table talks a little bit about the WPA, and because Tom and I aren’t too sure how to explain what they’re up to, we bring in Fake Karridy to interview Fake Jesse Jones in hopes of shedding light on the matter (about 21 min in – click here to listen/download). Shortly thereafter we obviously had little choice but to pull the plug on BTT and walk away with our heads hung in glorious shame.

UPDATE: Karridy, SitnGo Steve, Ryan, Tom, and Dan are all in town … Karridy is already trying to see how many mikes he can hook up to his iPhone … Tom busted a couple hours ago out of the $10k World Championship of Omaha Hi-Lo, a bit shy of the money.

Whispers From the WPA

by , Jun 19, 2008 | 7:33 pm

A little birdie with close ties to the WPA told us that the organization is in the process of rebuilding from the semi-disarray left when Wendeen Eolis resigned approximately one week into the WSOP. While the original press release noted that Eolis’ departure was warm and fuzzy, the fact that 8 board members resigned when she did indicated otherwise. Jesse Jones stepped back into the Chairman role and according to said birdie, already has a restructuring of sorts in the works.

A statement is forthcoming in the next day or so, but the gist of it revolves around membership. Anyone who has signed up for a membership previously, whether it has been renewed or not, will be an active, voting member going forward if they choose. No financial contribution to the WPA will be required. After a year to 18 months, when the organization has firmly established programs and benefits that are valuable to its members, there may be a reconsideration of membership dues or a plan in place that would require a small fee to access those benefits.

The overall goal seems to be a reorganization, reestablishment of goals, and a renewed energy to move forward. For the WPA, a non-profit with the best of intentions, this may be the best approach. The public needs to know that the WPA is in good hands and has realizable goals to pursue.

More info as the WPA releases it, or as the birdie chirps.

WPA: Destination Unknown

Wendeen Departs, Jones Returns

by , Jun 12, 2008 | 3:35 pm

The WPA announced today that Jesse Jones has returned to his status as Chairman of the Board of the organization in the wake of the resignation of Wendeen Eolis.

It came on strong. Jesse Jones started the World Poker Association with the best of intentions, and using his solid reputation in the industry and a goal-laden pitch about developing uniformity in tournament poker rules globally, the WPA energized the poker community. Integrity, worldwide, rules – all words that appealed to tournament players. Membership grew, especially with the WPA’s strong presence at the 2007 WSOP. Joseph Hachem joined the board, players anted up to become founding members, and a solid base was built.

Time went by. More time went by.


Out with a Fizzle!
Beyond the Table: 2006-2008

by , Apr 10, 2008 | 11:49 am

Beyond the Table - Dan, Tom, and Karridy

The BTT crew: Poker talk fused with gay jokes and fat commentary was all the rage in 2007.

Some of you have been wondering, why no new episodes of Beyond the Table? Tom, Karridy, and I have been wondering the same thing. It’s been a good run, and with drinks in the air, three guys who clearly love/hate the sounds of their own voices are calling it podcast quits.

Back when we started, our show about poker but not really about poker stood out as revolutionary in a sea of lame poker interviewcasts with questionable audio quality. Soon after iPod sales were booming as more and more of the world got hooked on downloading poker audio with funny intros and Angry Julie cameos. But Tom couldn’t handle the celebrity and Karridy developed a crack addiction lives got busy and producers for Beyond the Table fared about as well as drummers for Spinal Tap. The show hired Shamus at a fraction of a Cambodian farmer’s wage to pump up our numbers — did he ever get his T-shirt? — but with a new generation of poker podcasts getting better and stronger (Lou Kreiger, Gary Wise, 2+2, Pocket Fives, Ante Up, Poker Road, et al) old-school payola wasn’t enough to save us from going out on the podcast bubble.

Listen below to a heretofore unpublished episode (recorded on 2-27, my dream flop) as your favorite semi-amateur yammerers phone it in for the last and final-ish time:

Beyond the Table: Fin


Thanks for listening via RSS, iTunes, play-in-popup, and direct download … we already miss ourselves.

You can still prank call Karridy on the Beyond the Table listener line at 888-820-8091.

World Series of T-Shirts
Hellmuth Attire Bombs; Death, Batface Infringement Are in

by , Jul 3, 2007 | 11:10 am

RE: HammerWear

LAS VEGAS–There’s a sale at the Rio! That’s right, get your non-freebie swag! Last year so many T-shirts were being given away, I’m sure it was hard for the official joint to hawk its merch. This year no one’s here to give away the goods gratis … so apparel is being sold on the corner (like literally — prime location at the Amazon room crossroads) for $25 a pop. Or shall we say $17.50 a pop?

A few featured selections:

Wow. Kinda hard to believe that these shirts have the officially licensed WSOP logo, no? Oooh, Dead Man’s Hand! Pizz-izz-zashhaw! Don’t Hate the Playa, Foo! Booh-yah! Perhaps the worst shirt for sale — one commemorating Phil Hellmuth’s historic 2007 WSOP victory:

click to enlarge

These shirts have been on sale for about two weeks now … guess how many they have sold.


Chip Counts and Commercial Backers

by , Jun 29, 2007 | 3:23 am

LAS VEGAS–Donkey Bomber is playing in the $1,000 7-stud Hi Lo and is hanging on by a thread as Day 1 nears a close. I’m following via infrequent text as I am currently not at the Rio and PokerNews hasn’t noticed he is in the tournament yet, which is fine, because really, Tom’s bracelet was so early-June 2007 — like what has he done lately? — and his stack is small.

One thing I found kinda interesting is what I think is a new feature (it’s possible journo types can miss something, ya know) on the chip-count leaderboard … check it out, and you’ll see a column for “sponsor.” I like it … though all are currently blank, even though, indeed, there are a few folks playing with the backing of another company.

You know another reason why this is relevant — beyond the fact that so much of the 2007 WSOP has been about making the World Series sponsor-friendly? Because there’s so much talk about backing deals … and whether or not these should be disclosed. At least one Pokerati journo believes they should be, for multiple reasons — most generally in the spirit of being fair, open, and honest.

The soon-to-be-poker-standard-setter WPA — whose black-and-yellow spade patches have become the red ribbons of the 2007 WSOP — hasn’t had anything specific to say about the notion of sponsorial disclosure, but they probably should … as well as something about whether it should apply to just corporate backers or individuals as well.