Negreanu Speaks His Mind during TDA Summit

Daniel NegreanuPoker pros are commonly asked to attend meetings or conferences when the subject of gaming is concerned. Pros can give their opinion on a number of topics from poker gaming formats to the current legislation for online gaming. Such pros as Daniel Negreanu are comfortable being in the spotlight and sharing their opinion and views on certain subjects.

Negreanu was recently asked to speak at the Tournament Directors Association summit when the Board of Directors would be present as well as the tournament directors from around the world. Negreanu took his invitation to heart and not only spoke to the directors but also may have said a bit too strongly how he feels about tournament game play.

For ten minutes, the poker pro spoke on the subject of tournament gaming and told the directors that they needed to see the players as customers and not act like prison guards and treat the players like prisoners. Negreanu stated he feels as though a balance needs to be found between enforcing the rules and regulations of the game while implementing a warning system before penalties are given during game play.

Negreanu feels that certain tournament rules are enforced too strictly and are harming the game. Such as the checking down to the nuts in Omaha. This rule is in place to keep players from colluding during game play and soft playing but the rule for penalty should be downplayed just a bit, according to the poker pro.

To prove his point on this during the speech, Negreanu gave an example of an Omaha player who is inexperienced. While not understanding the complexities of the game, the player could go to the river with two player but unknowingly earn a flush on the last card. The player may check down thinking the hand is no good only to find out he has the nuts when other players at the table let him or her know.

Negreanu points out that the losing value of the hand is punishment enough when the player is someone who did not check as a way of colluding. Tournament directors need to ask if they can justify not giving the player a penalty before a decision is made. Negreanu feels as though tournament directors with the European Poker Tour give penalties way too often and seemingly at random.

The pro also discussed the First Card Off the Deck rule which is a rule that in past would place a player’s hand dead if they were not at the table when the last card is dealt. Now, the rule has been changed and will muck the hand if the player is not back at the table when the very first card is dealt. The pro points out he has never heard of players complaining over the old version of the rule and asks directors if they really feel that players would walk behind others to see their hands to gain an unfair advantage.

After reprimanding the directors, many were left feeling frustrated at Negreanu. One director who attended the event, who remains nameless, took to the Two Plus Two forums to discuss what happened and stated:

Director's Quote

The poster later on stated that his comments were not meant to offend and he realizes that Negreanu is very passionate about the game of poker and he was not trying to attack the TDA’a integrity.