(This is based off of a twitter rant I went on Feb 9th. Screenshots of said tweets at bottom of post.)
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.)
****Added my Twitter feed from Feb 9th, discussing some of the contract. Hopefully not too hard to follow. Read each image from the bottom, up.