Poker continues to become an even bigger global phenomenon, and while the game transcends different cultures and languages, there is a need for universally standard rules for tournaments. The Federation Internationale de Poker Association (FIDPA) is attempting to do just that.
FIDPA is an independent, international, governing body for the poker industry focused on establishing standardized rules to broaden and increase participation on a global level. The organization stemmed from the International Poker Federation (IPF) founded in 2002 by poker pro Marcel Luske. The IPF was created to raise the standards and awareness of poker in Europe, but Luske soon realized the need for that worldwide. In 2007, Luske and fellow poker pro Michelle Lau founded FIDPA and went on a mission to establish a standardized set of rules, policies, and procedures that would allow the players and industry to play and operate with consistency.
FIDPA put forth the The International Poker Rules (IP Rules), which incorporate and reference the latest version of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) rules, as well as consider input from leading poker authorities from around the world to compile the fairest rulings and procedures from an industry and players perspective.
Lau also realizes the importance that standardized rules may have on legalizing Internet poker.
“One of the most important things that we are establishing, along with organizations like the PPA, is that in order to have the public and government recognize poker as a legal, skill-based game, we need to have a standard base of rules to ensure that the game is played and operated with fairness,” said Lau.
The organization has gained steam, and poker rooms are seeking the FIDPA's endorsement to ensure its players a fair place to play. Bellagio, the World Poker Tour’s official Las Vegas casino, became endorsed by FIDPA in July. All tournaments follow the IP Rules.
“When players come from Europe to Bellagio, they are going to feel like they will get the same rulings here as in back home in Europe,” said Bellagio Tournament Director Jack McClelland. “We have a lot of international players, and we would like to make them feel comfortable.”
FIDPA continues to spread its word and recently announced its official endorsement of the World Poker Congress, an annual meeting that acts as a connection between land-based and online poker operators, taking place Oct. 29-30 in Budapest, Hungary.
“In order to take the steps and make the changes necessary for the growing poker industry, events like the WPC are essential,” said Luske in a press release. “The WPC brings together the casinos, cardrooms, leading industry professionals, and the players onto one playing field, seated side by side. The lines of communication across the seas and the tables must be open in order to grow, improve, and learn from each other. The WPC is an event that can help with this challenge.”
Any cardroom seeking information on adopting the International Poker Rules to gain a FIDPA endorsement can contact FIDPA at (702) 308-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.