Last week, Tournament Director Association members from around the world gathered for the annual TDA summit at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. Their mission was to adopt basic standards, rules and procedures that will positively affect
the poker tournament industry.
Senior board members David Lamb, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and Matt Savage founded the TDA in 2001. Since then the industry has exploded with over 400 active TDA registered members. World Poker Tour
and World Series of Poker
tournament directors and executives were also there to represent their brands and participate in the summit.
"Having more than 125 attendees made us proud," said senior board member Jan Fisher. "It inspired us to continue our efforts and we truly feel as though we have accomplished a lot, making the poker community a better place to work, play, and learn."
Tournament directors, poker players, and various media organizations discussed,
evaluated, and reviewed the 38 existing rules. In a sign of the changing times, many of the rules were updated and/or combined. Additional rules were proposed, reviewed, and accepted, bringing the number of TDA rules to 40. The official date of worldwide implementation is March 15, 2007.
One of the biggest changes was made with respect to the penalty rule. The 10-minute time penalty will discontinue, and players will soon be penalized a specific number of hands based on a four-phase approach. Other rules that experienced moderate changes were the "at your seat" rule, the "communication device" rule, and the "calling time on an opponent" rule. There are also new guidelines for etiquette violations, as when a player folds out of turn or exercises excessive and
Board members were open to new suggestions and are considering their introduction at next year's summit. Participant suggestions included the implementation of an "all-in" button, a requirement for tournament directors to announce when new chips are being introduced into play, and the introduction of rebuy accountability procedures. Heated debates occurred over the topics of headphones, the "show one, show both" rule, the "family" or familiar player rule, and what constitutes forward motion.
"To get that large of a group to be unified on so many rules seemed like an impossible task," said Matt Savage. "Somehow we all pulled it off."
TDA summit attendees enjoyed dinner at the Venetian's Grand Lux Café later that evening. After their meal, 42 members competed in a $200 no-limit hold'em event directed by Venetian poker room tournament director Tim Mix. When the tournament was down to 10 players, the chips were tallied. Linda Johnson, with the highest number of chips, won the first-place prize of $800. Second- through 10th-place winners Nick Gullo, Mike Green, Nick Kolich, Bill Topliff, Jerry Fuller, Susan Sandburg, Samuel Quinto, Mike Ward, and Bill Bruce, respectively, received $700 each.
To review the revised, combined, and added TDA rules, visit www.pokerTDA.com. Future suggestions, questions about rules, membership, or more information can be addressed by emailing AskTheBoard@pokertda.com.