In an effort to strengthen and unite the poker industry worldwide, professional poker players Marcel Luske and Michelle Lau have established the Federation Internationale de Poker Association (FIDPA) and the International Poker Rules (IP Rules). Their goal is to establish an international set of rules and standards for poker card rooms and tournaments to provide consistency, clarity and fairness. Luske said, "As poker has exploded, the beauty of having one set of rules that everyone can learn and follow is such a big step for the game and as a sport."
The IP Rules consist of 80 technical rules, policies and procedures for tournament play that also reference and incorporate the latest version of the poker Tournament Directors Association's 40 rules. These rules are fully modifiable by a tournament director, tournament organizer or card room management with the proviso that any modifications must be provided to the players before the tournament begins.
According to Lau, "A standardized set of rules are desperately needed, as a professional poker player traveling around the world to play in tournaments, there is absolutely no way to know the different rules in every country or even from venue to venue. By allowing tournament directors to make and disclose any necessary modifications prior to a tournament, we can now know the rules, simply note the changes and be able to ensure the rulings are made are fairly."
FIDPA will promote and implement the IP Rules by endorsing card rooms and poker tournaments worldwide that adopt the rules. The first card room to be endorsed by the FIDPA is the Bellagio, which operated the recent Bellagio Cup IV tournament and WPT main event under the new IP Rules. Jack McClelland, Director of Poker Tournaments at Bellagio, said, "We have a large number of international poker players who compete in our tournaments on a regular basis. We want to make sure they are comfortable with the rules and hope to maintain consistency in rulings worldwide."