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  • New TDA Rules Have Poker Players Upset

    Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by Ryan

In the past years of poker play throughout the United States, things have gotten more and more touchy it seems with the TDA. Poker players jump at the chance to argue against these rules, and it’s for good reason almost all of the time. This is the same situation as what happened at the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT), and it was just in the early stages of the Bracelona High-Roller event. The situation started when Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu started a bit of an argument and made some statements about the “First Card off the Deck” rule. This rule basically states that when the first card gets dealt out, if a player is not sitting at their seat that their hand is ruled dead.

This rule has been around for a good bit, so it’s not a huge surprise that players don’t like it, but Negreanu, who knows the rule, made a big deal about it when the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) brought it into play this past year. Once it was adopted by the TDA, Negreanu then publicly criticized that rule. The reason why it was brought up by Negreanu in this situation though was that he feels that he followed the rule, and that the ruling against him was incorrect, and this is where the entire situation starts going, and where the argument begins.

The reason why this situation is such a strange argument is that it has to do with an arbitrary distance that determines how far away is too far from the table. This is where the argument between Negreanu and the floor started heading in the wrong direction. Negreanu brought the topic onto his own form at FullContactPoker, and he asked a few different types of questions that many people had to begint o consider. The first is what type of oversight that poker really needs to have involved with it, and who should be involved. Is the TDA too involved right now? Another one is that the TDA adopted this rule, but there was no real reasoning behind bringing the rule in, especially since no player has raised this as a concern in the past.

Players just like Negreanu are beginning to voice their opinions about the fact that the tournament staff at the different tournaments around the world have too much control over the game itself. It’s as though they are trying to control everything in the tournaments and the games to make sure that they eliminate any possible problems that could come up. If you want to look at it from a sports perspective, it’s basically like the NFL starting to drop more and more rules that many players don’t feel need to be added, but they are trying to avoid additional injuries and other things. The floor is basically micro-managing all of the events, and that the players have no option by to abide by pretty much anything and everything that the staff wants.

While I think that this is a whole lot of crazy drama that doesn’t need to happen in poker, a large part of it is coming from the fact that these rules are created. I’m sure that before the rule was created there were plenty of times where players would be caught out of their seat when the hand was dealt, but got back at the table before the action was on them. This probably didn’t cause an issue in 99 percent of the situations, but there very well could have been a time that it became an issue. It’s an interesting spot.

The other side of things would be if a player simply wasn’t at their seat when the action was on them, but I feel like that’s just a standard and obvious decision that their hand should be folded. Players (especially in tournaments) don’t want to have to wait on much, mainly because the blinds are going to continue to increase, and even if it doesn’t seem like it, getting as many hands in throughout the tournament is incredibly important. The more hands you see, the more poker you play, the more chips you can gain (or lose).

The TDA should probably cut back on quite a few of these things, but it’ll be interesting to see what the outcome is and if they do end up deciding that some rules are a bit too far outlandish to keep around.

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