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Join Date: Jan 07
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  1. (I updated my blog with screenshots of my Feb 9th twitter which show dissection of the contract. Please go there to see the tweets.

    First things first, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Tristan Wade. I have been a part of the poker community for over twelve years (playing and more.) Involved with, and consulting for, the present best mid-major poker tour (DeepStacks) for over five years. If there is one thing you should never have to question about me, it's how much I care about poker and the growth of the game. I haven't been handed anything from poker. Nobody has gifted me sponsorships, thrown money at me to be a part of a company, or anything like that. You probably haven't had that happen to you either. I have busted my ass, and continue to do so, to make a positive impact on the poker industry and the game of poker. Most people have no idea about that.

    Being that I was actually eligible for the GPL draft, I looked into it. I have known the leagues founder, Alexander Dreyfus, for over three years. I have information that most people don't, but I still did my due diligence regarding the draft and the contract associated with it. I read through it once, then a couple days later, dissected the contract while live tweeting about it. I raised many questions and points that ANYONE who signed the contract should know and care about. I was simply looking out for my fellow poker-playing-peers and making it known what they are getting themselves into. Many people signed the contract without reading it.

    A few days have passed, and some of that excitement has blown over. The only person connected to the GPL who reached out to me was Dreyfus. Nobody else. I was working on getting on a Skype/Twitch stream with Mr. Dreyfus so we could discuss the issues with the contract. If schedules match up, that still might happen. I'd love to reach more players who signed the contract and don't know what it fully entails. This is where my gripe lies. Now I see other people who are connected with the GPL coming forward and giving their two cents on the topic.

    I take exception when any of the biggest names in poker use their platform to spread bad information or altered opinions to the public. After all, they have the biggest reach, right?

    I found it disgraceful that Daniel Negreanu would write a blog about the recent GPL questions, gently touch on the topic, and not say one thing that actually had to do with the topic at hand. I believe this shows his disconnection with the actual poker community.

    Negreanu mentions that he has "one of the best poker business minds available to read any and all contracts that come across my desk." Then goes on to say "I haven't read the contract personally. I saw a few excerpts from it that some players raised issue with."

    Well Daniel, why didn't you have your super agent read the contract for you and tell you how awful it is? Why didn't you look at it yourself? How can you expect to talk about a contract or a topic that you put no energy or effort into researching? You are one of the hosts for the GPL draft (so in some way you are connected to it), you should have taken some time to see what your fellow poker players are signing up for. Instead of talking about the direct issue with the contract, you sidestep the whole conversation and talk about contract generalities, your upbringing in poker with sponsorships, and how the state of the industry has changed in the year 2016. You end your blog saying "when a free roll is dropped in your lap with either no, or minimal risk, it seems like it might be worthwhile to give it a shot."

    You didn't actually read the contract. You don't even know what the players are giving or receiving... but since you put it that way, SIGN ME UP!!

    Daniel Negreanu is one of the biggest names in the poker world, and he wrote a half-ass blog about the GPL. Defending and encouraging sign up with absolutely no information on the topic. You are poker's true hero. Way to be responsible with your voice and platform, particularly when it comes to something of this magnitude, and involves all of your poker playing comrades.

    I have seen other people involved with the GPL come to the leagues defense as well. After all, this is what they are contractually obligated to do. Why aren't they concerned about the contract? They too have a platform that many people pay attention to. Are they misleading others?


    Back to the main point of this piece...

    I am all for the growth of poker. Nobody should EVER question that about me. I hope new ventures come, ideas are birthed, and the game can continue to reach more people while entering a healthy, legal, space. Hell, I even wish success upon the GPL and those involved. After all, I was considering being a part of it too...


    I am under the belief that things should be done the right way. I am completely against poker players being taken advantage of. This is what I understand is happening if you signed the standard GPL Player's contract. The team managers have different contracts and more incentive. Maybe some of the players who are in the draft have a different contract than the one posted on the site. I strongly encourage anyone who signed into this agreement get with a lawyer immediately and go through it. You will see how one sided the contract is. It should scare you. Don't blindly follow your poker friends because you trust them and think they are reputable. Find out for yourself. If, after all of that, you are still interested, then I wish you success. I only had your best interest at heart.

    **Paul Oresteen (who has been in the poker/media world for a while) took heed to my tweets and created some of his own. He reached out to two lawyer friends and had them go through the contract. We will most likely use a platform other than twitter (blog, video, twitch, etc), to give more input and dissect parts of the contract. Many of the 203 eligible players still have no idea what they signed into.

    ***The contract is public, and can be found here (GPL league site.)

  2. It's funny... on the night I tweet:

    There's a slew of silly drama in the poker community. Let's not harbor it. #Ambassador
    — Tristan Wade (@TristanCre8ive) July 2, 2014

    I return to blogging. You probably heard about Daniel Colman, I am not going to give an interview or explanations. I'm here for a reason. The same way Colman was on his way to winning over FIFTEEN (15) MILLION DOLLARS in the $1,000,000 buy-in One Drop poker tournament. [One Drop is a great foundation that raises money to fight poverty worldwide by supporting access to water and raising awareness about drinking safe water. Look them up.] Throughout the event (and after the tournament was won) Colman apparently didn't want to give interviews on anything other than the charity. No self promotion, no winners speech, but he's a nice kid. I don't know what he actually did, how he acted, or what was said. What I do see is what the poker media is immediately saying about him.

    The poker media isn't being assisted in something that is essential to their job. A champions interview! Who wouldn't want to give an interview after winning such a prestigious event?! Wait a second. What if it was the biggest tournament of the year, and it was going to be nationally televised, all SIX hours! What kind of message would you like to send on that platform, if you were in Daniel Colman's shoes? He is being portrayed as the villian, while Daniel Negreanu is being praised like a white knight savior. Negreanu is doing exactly what the media thinks every champion/poker player should do. He has reason to. Maybe this was all a ploy by PokerStars. If Daniel doesn't win, he will receive more publicity when Stars pays off the second place finisher to keep quiet and not do an interview. Brilliant move! The media fell for it! I'm sure ESPN will too!

    People think Negreanu is a great ambassador for poker. I totally agree he is. But look where he stands in comparison. Mr. Negreanu is at the absolute peak of the commercial poker world. His involvement with PokerStars has put him in a position that few, if any, will reach. He has it ALL (when it comes to poker.) He has a good reason to be an ambassador. He gets paid for this role. He directly benefits from being a great ambassador, among the other things he's involved in.

    Getting paid a poker sponsorship is rarely happening for poker players. What do you have to do to get to Daniel Negreanu status in the poker world? How many tournaments (in a row) do you have to win to get on a salary? Or a free tournament buyin? Maybe health care? Fine! We will settle for food comps. Wait, this banana costs $2.75!?! For ONE!?!

    (Photo Cred: @TomKoral)

    Things like this are what we deal with as poker players. This is just ONE issue. It's not easy being a professional poker player. Ask any of us. Although some definitely make it look easier than others.

    In the One Drop event, $111,000 of the buy-in went to charity. The forty two poker players paid over $4.6 MILLION to charity. What did they get in return (besides the obvious charitable benefits and water bottles they received)? How much does the Rio/WSOP make throughout the series? What about ESPN off of the television broadcasts? A discounted weekend poker rate is $220 a night? SIGN ME UP! $30 for two eggs and toast in the morning? I'm out of comps!! Poker players are spending the money. What are the big businesses giving back to the community? Are they worth what we are paying them?

    Without what has happened in the past, poker would not be where it is today. I understand that, and am thankful for it. Without doing something about the present, the future won't ever change either. The poker is an infant. It's new. It's changing. Take Black Friday three years ago. Before then, the majority of poker players STILL weren't making money off sponsorships or endorsements. Something needs to be done for the community and game to grow.

    There's a reason why you see the same people sticking around. Grinding it out. We aren't stupid. We know how to find our edges. Calculate our equity. Access the situation. Pick our spots. Sometimes we even diversify for a more profitable, long-term return on our investment. There isn't any compensation for poker players from most of the people we do business with. They offer a service and we pay for it because we have to. After all, we're dealing with casinos. Casinos don't like to lose. Casinos only play with an edge, but that's a whole separate topic...

    Poker media, back to you. I don't know why more wasn't immediately explained. You're trying to cover one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Deliver your best work. Let's talk about something that will help the industry grow. You guys are just as responsible for that. Why are intelligent poker players like Olivier Busquet and Haralabos Voulgaris sticking up for Daniel Colman in that situation? I imagine it to be a pretty good reason. The main point is: If Daniel Colman didn't want to do something, he shouldn't have to do it. Period. There were anonymous businessmen who played the event too. What if one of them won the tournament and didn't want to be in the spotlight for it.

    There are bigger issues we should focus on in the poker industry. The whole community. It starts with the poker players, the customers. The media, venues, tours, poker sites, casinos. Everyone should share the same cause: bettering the industry as a whole so we all win. Or at least bettering yourself. That'll help too. Hopefully this situation highlights a hidden side to the promotion of poker, and what can be done on said platform. I think what happened is a positive thing. It applies pressure in spots that haven't been tested before... And I like it.

    The WSOP Main Event is coming up... Excited for that one!

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