No sidesteps for this dance

Apr 17, 2007 4:24 AM

Carol, I know that you want me to be a lover, not a fighter, but I think I am on the right side of history on this poker problem.

In a recent column about tournament directors and tournament rules, I wrote about all-in action and a player being permitted to raise themselves.

I received a lot of email and fielded a lot of questions from my poker playing friends in the poker rooms of Hollywood Park, the Orleans, the Venetian, Red Rock, Gold Coast and other rooms in which I play regularly.

Some of the emails were from the VIP’s of poker and members of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA).

Among the requests was that I retract my statements.

Well, I won’t retract, but I will try to make my views as clear as possible.

Many of the TDA directors are my good friends and do a wonderful job and they have my full confidence and respect.

I believe they are really trying to make poker as good and fair as possible.

But the TDA organization does not have my respect and here is why.

First, the TDA is an organization that is controlled by the casinos and not the players. The tournament director is not paid by the TDA and is not hired by the TDA.

In fact, the tournament director is hired by the casino and must please the casino not the poker players.

Secondly, some of the TDA tournament directors govern poker for the house not for the poker players. Moreover, they do not have the proper training for the position and they generally do not play the game. Nor do they understand how the game should be played.

The unfortunate result is they often run the poker tournament as if they were a dictator and that the players were their serfs.

They have also been known to play favorites to people like myself and others who they believe will be helpful to them. This leads them to make decisions based on their best interest, and not the best interest of the poker tournament.

Misuse of their authority can also be used to penalize certain players that they do not like and grant favors to others.

I have even seen TDA directors allow certain people to stand behind a player with cell phone in hand or sit with certain players that they have sponsored into the tournament.

I have a few other reasons that are best not printed here, but I will discuss them in person or via email.

I know that I have made a lot of TDA directors mad, but consider me like the Christopher who would rather "light one little candle than cuss the darkness."

I have spent a lifetime playing and trying to improve poker, and have had some success in promulgating the rules of poker and I will keep trying to improve poker.

I vote in each election and have the right to comment on the performance of our elected officials.

Similarly, I have played in hundreds of poker tournaments for over 60 years and I therefore have the right to comment on the performance of poker directors.

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

Always remember you can only take the chips that you give away with you to the big game in the sky, so pile up some chips for that game.