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The TDA (Tournament Directors Association)

by Daniel Negreanu |  Published: Jun 28, '13

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Recently the TDA met in Las Vegas and once again implemented new rules. The goal of the TDA is to standardize poker rules across the globe so that players can go from tournament to tournament and expect the same type of rules. It's a noble effort, but the dangerous, and inappropriate process in which these rules are instated is what I'd like to cover in this blog.

The current system is to have a large group of tournament directors meet in Las Vegas once a year and vote on a proposed rule change. If a majority is reached, the rule is implemented in the new TDA rules.

The first, and most important problem with this process is that the players in which these rules are being created for, are often not asking for any changes to rules in situations where there isn't any concern.

A perfect example of this is the last card off the deck rule being changed to the first card off the deck rule. For years, the rule has been that if you are not in your seat by the time the last card is dealt then you have a dead hand. The TDA is now changing this to the first card off the deck.

Is this an issue that players were concerned with? Have you ever heard anyone have a problem or complaint about the last card off the deck rule? I have never ever heard a single person ask for such a change.

So why was it implemented? PokerStars live tournament directors decided to switch to this rule for EPT's and their global events. Players were NOT happy about it, they were outraged, but accepted the fact that there was nothing they could do about it and it wasn't important enough to continue to cause a fuss over. When in Rome, you put up with rules even if you think the implementation of those rules was handled irresponsibly.

Again, the players were NOT asking for a change to this rule! It was tournament directors over analyzing simple and effective rules and complicating things for players by tampering with the rules.

The key disconnect here is that the TDA moves along without polling it's players, the very people these rules are being standardized for. If the PLAYERS aren't raising concerns about a rule, the TDA should not be looking to fix what isn't broken.

This isn't the only rule where the TDA has implemented changes that aren't player friendly, nor are they rules the players were concerned about. Remember the no talking rule? Which group of players was clamoring to stop players from saying on the river in a heads up pot, "Can you beat two pair bro? I have bottom two but I think you may have a set." According to the TDA, this isn't legal. Is this something the players were pushing for? Of course not. This rule was also implemented irresponsibly because players weren't polled, nor where they asking for this type of talking to be stopped.

The majority of the TDA rules have been well thought out and serve a positive purpose. I do think that tournament director's who do not agree with certain rule changes should, and do, have every right to use house rules that may not be aligned with TDA rules. They shouldn't be, and frankly they just aren't, forced to use all of the TDA rules exactly as written. Any and all card rooms can amend TDA rules at will.

Take the WSOP for example. We are talking about 40+ years of tradition as being the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. They shouldn't be bound by new rules that aren't player friendly because a group of tournament directors are imposing their will unsolicited.

Here is a list of rules I'd like to implement for the TDA if you want universal player support:

1. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
2. Only make rule changes based on PLAYER feedback and concerns.
3. Before implementing rule changes, poll the players.

Daniel Negreanu is the 2004 CardPlayer Magazine and World Poker Tour Player of the Year. He presents his poker strategies in one-on-one virtual training at pokervt.com and writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column.
Read all of Daniel Negreanu's poker blog and poker articles at Full Contact Poker.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

bmpek
1 year ago

no one wants to listen to your bad reads and than going bust with them. the no talk rule is a great rule especially for daily tourneys with short rounds.

 
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AAAAKKKK
1 year ago

Normally I agree with Daniel but the no talking about a hand is a good rule for players not in the hand. We don't want someone to talk someone out of playing a hand. We encourage action as the more players elimated the better it is for the remaining players. Find another way to get a read. Yes some will be talk into playing but things will happen faster with no talk.

 
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Nick2
1 year ago

The talking he is mentioning is on the river and when you are heads up. Players who are not in the hand were never allowed to mention their read or say what they folded until the action is completed. The talking is used to get a read off your opponent but the opponent is not allowed to confirm his read until action is completed. I don't like the rule change and I have never been in a tourney where anyone has had a problem with the guy making a decision, basically thinking out loud and going through his decisions.

 
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Fl_Skygod
1 year ago

That Daniel doesn't see any reason for the last card/first card rule change probably underlines that he and I play in different poker universes. At the sub-200 stakes I play at, it is not uncommon for the dealers to scan the room for "missing" players and slow the deal accordingly, to allow live hands to be dealt. Regular competitors get called out by name with often a simple "You in?" determining card-tossing speed. Dealers make a living from these same competitors and are loathe to offend. Does this slow the game in any meaningful way? I doubt it, and I've never thought to complain. But I can see how it burdens a dealer, especially ones who don't give "special consideration". As a player, it couldn't matter to me less whether the rule is 'first card', third card, fifth card or last card'. My guess is that this change is designed to allow all dealers to just shuffle up and deal.

 
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thereyougoagain
1 year ago

well said...i agree

 
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Spazzen
1 year ago

See, this can be an area of contention, the places I play in cash games if you aren't seated you aren't dealt in no calling across the room for players and in a tournament if you aren't seated by the time you get the second card the hand is dead, it makes sence to do it this way as the dealer can then immediately muck the hand following the second card if it was dead on the first card the player could be sitting already looking at his card when the second one is dealt this would cause more than a few hassles I would imagine

 
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bubbledonk
1 year ago

Daniel is going to complain about any rules he doesn't have a direct influence over. He is a self-absorbed ego maniac and his highly inflated opinions of himself are in dire need of a dose of humility. He is just another poker player in a world of millions, yet he is more than comfortable giving his unprovoked views on just about everything from poker rules to religion, to what we should be eating.I normally wouldn't take the time to read anything by the guy but when I saw the article regarding the TDA, I knew he wouldn't be able to resist putting in his 2 cents whether there was a story there or not. Daniel really should consider shutting up and focusing on his own game and stop trying to meddle in every ruling that he disagrees with. I can't believe that his interest aren't selfishly motivated and not just a stance of wanting to improve poker as a whole. Daniel knows the rules inside and out and has been known to use this to his advantage by shooting angles. A perfect example would be recently in the Bahamas when Daniel conveniently used them to his advantage during a tournament. I can't believe a guy that hangs out with known scumbags has the nerve to preach about anything, and gets any credibility in the poker world. Bottom line, there is a new breed of poker players that are taking over. They are actual players that are true "gym rats" in the poker world, not just tv celebrities that are spoiled with over inflated opinions of their self-worth.

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

Im no fan of Daniel and I do agree that he is always looking to improve his advantage. I must give the guy credit he's one of the greatest hustlers that has ever come down the pike. He understands exactly who he is in the poker community. He seems to be liked by almost everyone. He and Helmuth have played their poker celeb hands perfectly. He won at the right time and has positioned himself to make millions in the business of poker. Poker is nothing but a con mans game so why would anyone expect anything other then them working every percentage to increase their bankrolls.

 
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AAAAKKKK
1 year ago

If anyone wants to speed up the game and get more hands in get rid of all electronic devises. You all know a million reasons why.

 
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BigPapaNuts
1 year ago

Negreanu also complained about the WSOP doubling the starting stack because he said the blinds also doubled every level (which was a complete lie). He even wrote articles about it on cardplayer when he had no idea what he was talking about.

 
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Nick2
1 year ago

I'm guessing they want to seem like they are making progress. The TDA might think people would think the group is not needed if they met every year and didn't accomplish anything. Also people like to put their stamp on things so they could say....I did that. Same thing in the business world. New boss means new rules. They might be small or insignificant but they are announcing their presence and showing their power.

 
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eaglestorm76
1 year ago

DANIEL NEGREANU ILL BE DAMNED IF I WAITED A MONTH AND A HALF FOR ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR BLOGS!!!!! AND YOU DIDNT EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO GIVE US A VIDEO.....I SPIT ON YOUR EFFORT!!!

please do better.....we are sheeple and we need you to lead us!!!

 
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Cyd
1 year ago

First of all, I love reading your blog whether I agree with them or now.

I would suggest that they have a group of poker players as a part of this TDA. Not sure how you decide who or how that is done but even our local casino has at times when they invite the top 10% of the people who play tournaments or cash to participate in a poker forum. We are able to voice our opinions on rules and regulations.

 
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kermitwatts
7 months ago

I have a question. This happened in a no limit hold'em tournament I was in today at casino AZ. The button was in the nine seat (9 handed) when betting started. the under the gun player( seat 3) called $800.The 5 seat goes all in for $5,300 and the six seat calls $5,300. The 8 seat who is the big stack goes all in. the button, big blind and small blind fold. The three seat goes all in for $7700. The five seat is already all in and the six seat, the last actions, folds and shows pocket jacks AND said "I am not risking my day against the big stack, I would have called the $7700". Normal hand and action to this point, when the hands are shown three seat shows pocket 3's, the five seat shows pocket 5's and the big stack, the eight seat shows ace,king and seven of spades, three cards.

The floor is called and the eight seat is told to put in $5,300 because it is his responsibility to know his cards. Now the six seat wants to be allowed to play his hand because he claims he because he showed pocket jacks and was forced out do to a dead hand. The floor allows the hand to play out with the pocket jack out of the hand. Very strange hand, never seen anything like this.

What should have the rules call been.

 
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