PokerJunkie Op-Ed: DiVita's Exit Good For Poker - Poker Junkie
Michael DiVita won a seat into the Epic Poker League's second Main Event over the weekend, but when he went to register for the event he ended up being escorted from the Palms property.
The official line from the Epic Poker League is that DiVita voluntarily withdrew from the event, but it had come to light over the previous evening via other players that DiVita is a convicted sex offender.
Speculation is that this forced either the Palms or the EPL's hand to prevent him from playing in the event.
Either way, PokerJunkie blogger compncards explains why he agrees with the end result - especially if it was the Epic Poker League's decision.
It's About Damn Time
The official word regarding Michael Divita's absence from the Epic Poker League's latest main event is that he withdrew.
However, witnesses at the Palms claim that he was stalled, told he wasn't welcome to play, had his money refunded for the Pro-Am and was subsequently escorted out of the casino.
Whether you want to say he was kicked out or "asked" to withdraw by the Palms or the Epic Poker League is debatable.
The fact remains that it's about damn time someone did something regarding some of the elements in our game.
Divita is a convicted sex offender in California and was nearly convicted a second time but the witness refused to testify against him.
This is a prime example of the type of players that poker does not need to herald. In any way.
Poker is all about improving its image and eliminating these elements from the game is a great first step.
By the way, I do realize the official word is that he "withdrew."
However, I've never known withdrawals to come with a security escort out of the building and a ban.
Some of You Are Sick
I came across this information originally on a post on the TwoPlusTwo forums. Some posters did not see a problem with him playing in the event.
One poster went as far to say "as long as there aren't any children there, there shouldn't be a problem."
Some of you are just sick.
And, even though it's a ridiculous point anyway, don't automatically assume there aren't any children around.
Resort casinos have hotels and children accompanied by parents are usually found within most casinos at one point or another.
Regardless, what kind of message does that, or DiVita's accepted participation in any poker tournament, send to people about poker and its players?
Other Tours and Leagues Should Adopt Conduct Policies
A Code of Conduct is something that most professional leagues should think about adopting.
I realize that most leagues want to get as many people at the tables as possible, but at what cost to their image?
If the WSOP had a convicted sex offender at the final table of the Main Event, can you imagine the public outcry that Caesars would have received?
Same goes for the WPT.
If the poker world really wants to clean up its image, it has to take some hard stances.
It needs to clean out the criminals, drug fiends, molesters, etc in its events.
You can still have an edgy image without having criminals in your midst.
Hopefully others will take the EPL's lead in this matter.