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Meeting With WSOP Officials
By Harry Demetriou (19/07/2006)
Well today at 11-00am I went along to The Rio Boardrooms to meet with Jeffrey Pollack and four other high ranking WSOP officials (Gary Thompson, Robert Daily, Howard Greenbaum, David Patent).
I have not been a happy camper at The WSOP this year (nor last year for that matter) but at least this was an opportunity to meet face to face with the organizers and express some concerns.
I was accompanied by three fellow players in Tony Bloom, Brian Wilson and John Gale.
Prior to arrival at The Rio we met up at The Bellagio Cafe to decide on our best strategy which we felt was not to try and get bogged down with specifics but more to try and work towards getting agreement on how to go about exchanging views with them with a view to moving forward and improving both the organizers and players lots. After all whatever has happened in the past is now history so we may as well concentrate on the future.
On arrival we got the formal introductions out of the way and then moved on to express our concerns as players about some of the perceptions that we had (rightly or wrongly) about things that concerned us.
Although individual things were brought up as examples to demonstrate various points this was not the time or the place to try and address those points specifically.
As I have posted extensively on my grievances in various public forums both here and elsewhere and requested an audience with The WSOP this is a report back on how things went.
Generally I would have to say that the meeting went well.
There was a feeling that those present were prepared to listen to our concerns and that in general we were really talking about a communications problem.
There was also a welcomed acceptance by those present that some of the criticisms raised were valid and that there was great room for improvement. It was also acknowledged that the players perceptions of things may not always be accurate and that many of those perceptions could be inaccurate due to conclusions being made on heresay and rumour.
Overall then I would say that I would sum up the meeting as follows:
No clear lines of communication between the players and the WSOP officials appears to exist and as such much of what was going on in the tournament area was not getting back to persons responsible for dealing with those issues.
It was also felt that somehow not all information was filtering down to the players from the organizers and that this was something that needed to be addressed along with improvements in the manner in which information was distributed.
I would say then that this meeting was about identifying what to do with our concerns and to whom to go to get those concerns addressed.
It has left me hopeful that there will be future meetings (not necessarily with those specifically mentioned above on either side) where concerns and points can be raised and addressed.
Currently I am going to put together (after consultation with other players and anyone who wishes to contact me) a list of general areas of concern that can be brought up directly with the relevant persons within The Harrah's/WSOP organization with a view to improving things for the future.
Obviously there will be an endless list of things that need addressing but for the time being I plan on starting with some of the more major and general issues.
eg Foreign Player Registration/Tax Witholding/ITIN's would be considered a major general issue whilst Food/Toilets/Food Vouchers would be considered lesser ones (not that they are unimportant just not first priority).
Here's to an optimistic and bright future for The Players and WSOP as we are never going to have one without frank and honest exchanges of views.
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