The poker community is in turmoil these days, after some prominent poker players blame the TDA for coming up with a set of rules that are not in the best interest of players. They claim that the Tournament Directors Association should pay more attention to what these professionals want instead of changing the existing rules and introducing some that are in contradiction with the spirit of the game.
The most vocal detractor is Daniel Negreanu and the Canadian player has personal reasons to be against some of the most recent rules implemented by the directors association. Those who are not familiar with these rules should check out http://www.pokertda.com/custom_posts/view-official-tda-rules/ as this is the website where all of them are posted and kept up to date. Most of these rules were not changed in many years and poker players have nothing against them, but the recent additions are those spurring conflict.
Daniel Negreanu was particularly frustrated by Rule 29 which proclaims that the player must be at his seat when the first card is dealt, otherwise his cards will be mucked and his hand considered to be dead. The problem resides in the fact that many poker professionals don’t like the idea of being pinned to their chairs between hands. Given the fact that they know each other and some are even friends, they find it natural to discuss stuff related to poker or pretty much anything that’s on their mind when not playing.
What happens is that many of these poker pros sit up after folding their hands and walk around, quickly returning to the tables when the next hand is dealt. Every now and then it happens that they don’t make it on time and this causes unnecessary delays that other players find annoying. The Tournament Directors Association decided that it would be for the better to introduce new rules that prohibit players from deserting their seats, but that measure would’ve been excessive.
This is how Rule 29 came to be and at the time it was suggested, there was little opposition from poker professionals. Most of them expected it not to be actually enforced and counted on the fact that exceptions to the rule will be made in the spirit of the game. This didn’t happen for Daniel Negreanu and the poker player was so upset that after being forced to discard his hand he went all in and was swiftly eliminated from the tournament.
After a brief moment he decided to rebuy, but he constantly expressed his frustration and said that this rule is capricious and arbitrary. Matt Glantz is among the poker professionals who rush to the rescue and suggested that the rules should be voted by the players of the Global Poker Index 300. These are some of the most successful poker players in the world when it comes to tournaments and to some extent it makes sense to ask their opinion before enforcing new rules.
It is interesting to see if the Tournament Directors Association will accept this solution or if they will claim that the rules are in the best interest of the vast majority of players. The truth is that except for poker professionals, very few of those who buy in at these live events wander aimlessly around. When they do and their hands are thrown into the muck, they simply acknowledge the mistake and accept the consequences of their actions without complaining.