Allen Kessler calls out masked man on Twitter
Phil Ivey doesn’t have any, neither does Tom Dwan, while Phil Hellmuth squeezes his into submission. For some poker players, however, it takes a lot more to hide those tell-tale twitches at the table…and at the WSOP at least, wearing masks are against the rules!
Allen Kessler was one of the first calling the masked man out publically on Twitter and informing players that this is against the rules:
If you see this character at any table today please notify a floorperson immediately.
— Allen Kessler (@AllenKessler) June 9, 2019
The camouflage baseball cap, huge headphones and mirrored shades may be a fashion faux pas, but the big no-no at the WSOP is the massive face covering scarf – seen here in all its glory
— PozitiveVibezZ (@PozitiveVibezZ) June 7, 2019
Emily Larson follows suit…
The floor may not have acted first time round, but when Emily Larson got involved it was soon game over for the ridiculously-clad boy in the stripey scarf…
called the floor, showed her the rule & she made the dude take his scarf off his face. He told me prior to calling the floor that he was going to play as he liked, he was going to put it back on, and I was welcome to call the floor. So I called the floor immediately
— emily (@OhDagEmily) June 9, 2019
Covering your face is clearly against the WSOP rules
The rule governing such situations, as pointed out by Emily and re-inforced by ‘poker lawyer’ Mac Verstandig, is pretty clear:
“Participants may not cover or conceal their facial identity. Tournament officials must be able to distinguish the identity of each Participant at all times and may instruct Participants to remove any material that inhibits their identification or is a distraction to other Participants or Tournament officials. Participants may wear sunglasses and sweat shirts with hoods, but may be asked to remove them if Tournament officials cannot identify them.”
Our villain wasn’t alone in covering up, Philippines pro Mike Takayama apparently recognisable to some despite his best efforts…
This shit should not be allowed pic.twitter.com/Lf2KsbGhWf
— Asher Conniff (@misterashmoney) June 7, 2019
It took a while, but eventually Phil Hellmuth was dragged into the melee, his characteristic ‘can’t read me’ pose questioned as to whether it was any different from wearing a face mask or scarf…
— Drama (@JohnnyDrama01) June 7, 2019
The debate over what should and should not be allowed at the poker table has raged for years, and this January reared its head once again at the PSPC…
Example of face covering in above poll. I’m also interested why you think it should/shouldn’t be allowed and if you feel getting tells and social interaction is a part of game. Would playing with more players like this affect your enjoyment? Also remember this is a job for some. pic.twitter.com/IAkQtek2ED
— Matt Savage (@SavagePoker) January 8, 2019
69% of poker players vote for a ban of masks/scarfs at the poker table
Matt Savage’s poll of over 2000 players and followers showed a resounding 69% in favour of outlawing Christoph Vogelsang’s attire or anything like it.
In 2017 the Commerce Casino hosted the California State Poker Championships, with an event dubbed ‘The Social Experiment’, following Tournament Director Association founder Savage’s rules.
What we saw was a $350 buy-in, $100k Guaranteed tournament that punished those wearing headphones, sunglasses or hoodies, with mobile phones also on the contraband list.
When Patrik Antonis launched his eponymous Poker Challenge event in Tallinn, Estonia this year, a ban on using hoodies – or anything else – to cover the face was included.
Phil Laak was one of the first big-name pros to combine hoodies with sunglasses at the table, over the years inventing more and more outlandish combinations…including this one for the 2017 WSOP Main Event
The 10,000$ Main Event!!
— Phil Laak (@PhilLaak) July 9, 2017
Of course, not everyone can attain the levels of slack-jawed inscrutability that Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey have mastered…
…but for many there has to be a line drawn between a player’s choice of what they want to wear, and what is acceptable in the wider poker sense; security, televised events, promotion of the game.
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