Like any major sporting event, the organizers of the World Series of Poker want the attention of the fans and media in one place only: the action on the felt. However, in an event that lasts well over a month, it’s hard to stop a few off-the-table issues from cropping up from time to time.On Saturday, a dispute over a new rule for featured tables at the WSOP spilled out into the online poker world, as Jon Aguiar took to Twitter to complain about the happenings at the final table of the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em tournament. That tournament, which finished up on Friday night, ended with Nick Jivkov winning, Aguiar finishing 3rd, and Daniel Negreanu ending up in 5th place.But controversy stirred with four players remaining in the event. At that point, tournament officials began reminding the players that according to the new rules for featured tables, the players would be required to verbally announce their actions. The rule, which was presumably designed to help those watching the live coverage know exactly what is happening at all times during play, was roundly criticized by the players. The players were also upset when tournament officials refused to extend a break, even when all remaining players agreed they would like to do so.The next day, Aguiar continued to complain about the new rule via Twitter. Most of the poker world appeared to agree with him, but one fellow player made a rather harsh retort, telling Aguiar to “adapt and stop sounding like a complete b****.”Few would normally notice such a tweet, and even if they did, one person saying such a thing wouldn’t be news. But strangely enough, the official WSOP Twitter feed then decided to retweet the comment, setting off a firestorm.Almost immediately, some of the world’s most notable names reacted to the WSOP’s decision to retweet the comments about Aguiar. Negreanu called it “unprofessional,” while both David Sands and Steve O’Dwyer used the word “disgraceful.”As of late Saturday, the offending message had still not been removed from the WSOP’s Twitter feed, and the WSOP had not yet commented on either that incident or the rule that prompted the dispute.
WSOP, Action Heading Up Off the Felt June 3, 2012