Let’s face it – Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas poker rooms aren’t exactly popular with the majority of today’s live and online poker players. With the Las Vegas Sands Corp CEO’s billions of dollars backing a federal bill to prohibit internet gambling in the US, a pro-poker organization promoting LVS-owned poker rooms would be akin to a Mennonite joining the NRA. Yet, despite all that, the Tournament Directors Association has decided to have its 2015 TDA Summit at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
The location of this year’s annual TDA Summit was announced yesterday by Matt Savage, Executive Tournament Director for the World Poker Tour (WPT). Savage posted on his Twitter account:
The 2015 @PokerTDA Summit will be held June 16-17 at Venetian Las Vegas. Registration details to follow shortly. Send your local TD please.
— Matt Savage (@SavagePoker) March 26, 2015
The moment that tweet hit the internet airwaves, poker players began unleashing their fury.
Professional poker player Zo Karim (@PakmanMMA) from Florida said, “@SavagePoker @PokerTDA worst place to host anything poker related? #FuckAdelson”. He then quipped that the TDA Summit can be held at his studio at Palms Place, saying “there’s only like 13 people showing up right?”
And what would a poker-related debate of any importance be without the input of Daniel Negreanu? The Canadian poker pro was quick to share his opinion on the matter, suggesting that it must be a hoax. “This is the most EPIC and elaborate April Fool’s Joke of all-time…you got everyone riled up with this one, am I right?”
2013 WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess (@RyanRiess1) seemed a bit more serious when he offered to let the TDA “Host it at my house instead #FuckAdelson”. More poker players chimed in on the conversation as well, all denouncing the Tournament Directors Association for the chosen locale, (and many using the same 4-letter expletive to describe their not-so-favorite anti-online gambling casino magnate).
Alexandre Dreyfus, director of the Global Poker Index, question the odd choice of the Venetian, saying it “make(s) no sense”, followed by yet another, far more generous hosting offer.
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) March 26, 2015
Before long, however, Dreyfus began to change his tune. It was noted that, as an organization, the TDA does not have a great deal of money, and the Venetian is comp-ing the conference and board rooms necessary to host the event, just as they did in 2013. With that in mind, the GPI director started asking everyone to stop shooting the messenger, and give Matt Savage some slack.
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) March 27, 2015
Savage did say that, when the 2015 TDA Summit was scheduled, no other venue was willing to provide anything as elaborate as the free services and space the Venetian was offering. However, now that GPI has presented a proposition to cover 100% of all costs to move the event to any other (non-Sheldon Adelson owned) venue, and the scheduled date is over 2 months away, perhaps the TDA will take this opportunity to back poker players across America and change the location.