Should Poker Be Policed Like Other Sports?
Annie Duke has taken the offensive in her feud with Daniel Negreanu. On her blog, she has written an open letter to PokerStars about their apparent refusal to separate themselves from Daniel's comments.
Before you read any further, go read Annie's blog on the matter.
I do like how she states the blatantly obvious early on:
" It is no secret that Daniel and I donât like each other."
Really? I could have never guessed. :-)
In seriousness, I am glad to see her take up for herself and in addition, I like the fact she is calling out PokerStars on the matter. It is apparent that they are going to back his play on this. Yes, many of you in the U.S. are going to quote me the first amendment. That does not mean what he said was right.
It does make me wonder how far that support would go. For sake of argument, what would have happened if the story would have come out that Daniel called some black pro a nigger. What if he had called Vanessa Rousso or Katja Thater a cunt? Does the fact that Annie is sponsored by UB play at all into this?
First, I am not saying Daniel would do that. I am just speculating. And as Annie brought up earlier, what would happen if this type of behavior was done by an NFL player or executive to a female. How about Baseball or any other sport. There would be fines, suspensions, etc.
While many poker players are good guys and gals, there are many that are down right despicable. And on top of that, there is little that is done in the poker world to prevent this type of behavior. Unless you are a blatant cheat, you can almost get away with anything. Yes, you might get a penalty during a tournament if you mess up, but that is it.
Poker does lack a discipline system to police its players. As such, this type of behavior will go off many times without consequence. Thang Luu broke a dealer's hand and all he got was a one year suspension from Harrah's properties only. Nothing else. What will happen in the Daniel scenario? From the looks of things nothing.
If nothing else, this scenario is just another example how that poker players need to be policed better if poker ever wants to truly be considered mainstream. Some will argue that since players pay to play, they shouldn't be held to as strict as standards. While many players do pay to play, what about the pros that are sponsored. Shouldn't they be held to a higher standard since they are being paid to play for a site?
While we will probably never be able to fully control poker players, I do think that more should be done. Players that step out of line should be penalized just like in any other sport. Poker considers itself a sport and it should start policing like other sports. If such a system were in place, maybe someone would think better of spouting off about another player to the media in fear of being fined or suspended.