Being a professional poker player with a name to reckon with does not give you the freedom to say whatever you want to say in front of other players, spectators and on international television. Bad mouthing is never a positive behavior and one that should not be emulated by other people.
This conduct unbecoming of a player is what prompted the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to impose stricter rules in its annual series of games. The decision to tighten sportsmanship rules came after Phil Hellmuth uttered some rude remarks to an opponent in the 2008 games after losing a large pot in the main event. His calling the other player an idiot and worst player in history was captured on television. At that time, the renowned poker champion of all time was only given a warning.
But the warning was only good for last year because for the 2009 WSOP, poker players who will display unsportsmanlike behavior will be forced to get out of the tournament. The management wants to see to it that the games to run in 50 days will proceed with every participant in a civil and courteous behavior. WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack pointed out that players have to respect the game.
There are penalties for those who don’t follow the rules. Unsporstmanlike conducts that will get penalized include taunting other players and intentionally playing hands out of turn.
The World Series of Poker is already celebrating its 40th year and for this year, two new events will be introduced. The games will take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino but the main event will not start until July 3.