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Best of Dan Podheiser

Gaming Guru

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Poker Player Tweets of the Week: New rule sparks debate

13 September 2013

Poker players are an analytical breed, and they love to argue.

Lately, the big topic of controversy in the poker community has been the recently-implemented "First Card Off The Deck" (FCOTD) rule, which came to the forefront over the weekend in Barcelona. The rule states that all players must be within an arm's length of their seat before a hand is dealt, otherwise their hand will be instantly mucked.

Daniel Negreanu, one of the most well-known players on the circuit, was penalized under this rule during the early stages of the European Poker Tour €10,000 High Roller event. Negreanu vehemently argued against the decision, clearly unaware the rule had been changed by the Tournament Directors Association earlier this summer. The famed pro decided he didn't want to play the tournament anymore, and went all-in on his next hand and busted (he later apologized, re-bought into the tournament and came in second in the event, but that's not important).

Negreanu's outburst sparked a massive debate in the poker community over the merits of the FCOTD, which led to several sub-discussions on the topic. While many players have voiced their opinions on forums and social media, some have even written lengthy blog posts outlining their feelings on the matter (Matthew Waxman's post was the first to circulate, while Dan O'Brien's recent op-ed for PokerNews has garnered major attention).

Nevertheless, life still goes on, and this week we'll try to read into the minds of five poker players who always have something to say. Whether that "something" is always worthwhile is another debate entirely.

Tuesday, Sept. 10: Olivier "@olivierbusquet" Busquet

This is the best angle anyone has taken on the FCOTD rule so far. Aside from real world issues, like the fact that the U.S. and Syria were on the verge of beginning World War III as recently as last week, there's a lot of big stuff going on in the poker world. Have we already forgotten about the recent Full Tilt news?

I haven't seen one bad argument on either side of the FCOTD debate, and to me, that is the sign of a non-newsworthy topic. Whichever way the cookie crumbles, at the end of the day, the most the rule can affect is one hand of poker.

Good for you, Olivier Busquet, for rising above the masses.

Friday, Sept. 13: Tom "@sbrounder" West

Tom West is a tournament player with over $1 million in online winnings and some decent live scores on his résumé. His Twitter bio reads: "I'm Tom West, known as SBRounder online. My hobbies are grinding tourneys and losing crucial showdowns to bust out of those tourneys." I like his dry sense of humor.

As unlucky as West claims to be at crucial showdowns, he is clearly a luck-box here in two ways. Right off the bat, he must have an amazing girlfriend, considering she hasn't said anything about her birthday in the weeks/days leading up to it. Look, I get it; she might be trying to catch him, as he says. But I've been with my fiancée now for over five years, and every time her birthday rolls around, I hear about it for easily an entire month. "What are we doing for my birthday? What are you getting me? Where are we going? Guess what? My birthday is in 16 days, 12 hours and 13 minutes!" West should consider himself a lucky man in this regard.

If West's girlfriend is trying to catch him, he's again lucky by the sheer fact that he remembered her birthday. Most guys don't remember things very easily, especially when it doesn't involve them. I think even West would have to admit to some good fortune here, because if he did forget ... well, let's just say the "implied odds" of him getting some in the near future would have drastically diminished.

Monday, Sept. 9: Gavin "@olegsmith" Smith

We had a lot of fun at the Casino City headquarters trying to decipher what the hell Gavin Smith is trying to say in this tweet. It's almost like losing part of his molar affected his speech, and so he decided he'd express that same deficiency on Twitter. Then again, Smith isn't exactly a poet laureate to begin with.

Anyway, we came to the consensus that Smith lost a chunk of his molar and 1. Does not have dental insurance, and 2. Thinks a real, human dentist would perform what is most likely an expensive procedure in exchange for poker lessons.

Smith is known as one of the most feared players in the game, but I'm not sure I want to scratch the surface of what goes on in his brain. Whatever he does to be successful on the felt probably would not translate to the average human being.

Sunday, Sept. 8: David "@audavidb" Baker

David "ODB" Baker is referencing wide receiver Anquan Boldin's 13-catch, 208-yard performance in his San Francisco 49ers debut on Sunday in a 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers. Boldin, the top offensive weapon on the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl championship team a year ago, was acquired by the Niners for a measly sixth-round pack in this past April's NFL draft.

Ignoring the fact that the Boldin trade pretty much had to happen from the Ravens' standpoint (Boldin refused to take a pay cut, and the league's salary cap is tricky), Baker is clearly aiming for a bit of humor here. It was pretty obvious that Ravens fans were going to lament the loss of Boldin, quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite target. What made the trade even worse is that Baltimore was only able to muster a sixth-rounder for one of the top wideouts in the game. Oh, and while Boldin absolutely killed it in his 49ers debut, the Ravens were busy reeling from a 49-27 demolition last Thursday night against Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos.

That sixth-round pick, by the way? Baltimore never even ended up using it. Detroit used it to select Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick with the 199th overall pick.

Sunday, Sept. 8: David "@4viffer" Peat

David "Viffer" Peat may look like a bumbling, degenerate idiot when he plays TV cash games, but he's actually one of the most respected and feared high-stakes players in the world. And yet, he doesn't quite play the part.

I don't even know what this tweet is. Hong Kong is a must-see city in the world? What does that mean? Where else would Hong Kong be a must-see city? Mars?

Okay, I'm nitpicking here. But I also like how Viffer ended the tweet with a comma, as if he was leaving a cliffhanger for another tweet, perhaps one with profound insight into his trip to Hong Kong.

Peat sent that tweet out on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 9:04 a.m. EST. He hasn't tweeted since.
Dan Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.
Dan Podheiser
Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.