LAS VEGAS, July 15, 2008 – Professional poker players Marcel Luske, “The Flying Dutchman,” and Michelle Lau will introduce The Federation Internationale de Poker Association (FIDPA) and “The International Poker Rules” (IP Rules), for tournament play, to promote poker as a sport and unite the poker industry on a global level.

In collaboration with leading industry professionals, Luske and Lau created the IP Rules to provide uniformity in card rooms and tournaments worldwide. With cooperation from the Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA), Bob Ciaffone, author of Robert’s Rules of Poker, Jack McClelland and Doug Dalton of Bellagio, and many other leading authorities and resources from around the world, the IP Rules allow the players and the industry to learn, play and operate by a single set of complete tournament rules to provide worldwide consistency.

The IP Rules consists of 80 technical rules, policies and procedures for tournament play, that reference and incorporate the latest version of the TDA’s 40 rules. The IP Rules provide a standardized set of tournament rules that are fully modifiable by a tournament director, tournament organizer or card room management. The IP Rules allow card rooms and tournaments to modify the rules in accordance to House Rules, State, Federal and Country Gaming Commission laws and regulations and/or the Tournament Director’s procedures and policies. All modifications made to the IP Rules will be provided to the players and will take precedence in that venue for the tournament.

The IP Rules serve as the official resource for players, dealers, floor people, tournament directors and the entire poker industry. The IP Rules were written in a player-friendly language and provide basic information for new, novice and professional players to learn and understand the fundamental rules needed for tournament play. The IP Rules also provides the industry with the essential information to train and operate with the necessary consistency.
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. New players and professional players finally have a resource from which to learn and play. Poker is a game that requires skill and knowledge and should be played with fairness and integrity.”

FIDPA will promote and implement the IP Rules by endorsing card rooms and poker tournaments worldwide. The FIDPA endorsement recognizes the leaders in the poker industry and acknowledges their commitment to excellence, professionalism and fairness. The FIDPA endorsement also represents their effort to unite and strengthen the poker industry through the use of the IP Rules.
Lau stated, “With the support of Doug Dalton and Jack McClelland at Bellagio, one of the world’s finest card rooms, FIDPA and the IP Rules are off to a great start. We still have a lot of ground to cover but the fact of the matter is that there really is no reason why a card room or tournament should not use the IP Rules as a base. 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.”
Bellagio is the first FIDPA endorsed card room in the world. FIDPA’s mission to unify and strengthen the industry begins with the education and implementation of a standardized set of rules. Known as the world’s No. 1 poker room, Bellagio has set the benchmark for the entire poker industry. Bellagio has adopted the IP Rules in conjunction with Bellagio Cup IV and the World Poker Tour’s main event which began Friday, July 11.

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. Bellagio is happy to support both domestic and international tournament efforts which in turn will strengthen our position as the leader in the industry. We look forward to a successful partnership with FIDPA.”

In 2002, as the founding father of the International Poker Federation (IPF), Marcel Luske successfully created and developed a governing body for the European poker world, raising standards and bringing awareness to the sport of poker. With the international growth of poker, Marcel Luske decided to restructure this European organization to expand his vision worldwide and the former IPF has reemerged as FIDPA. In 2008, Marcel Luske, Founder and President and Michelle Lau, Co-Founder and CEO, began their mission to broaden and increase participation by ensuring the game is played with fairness and operated with professionalism in player friendly environments.
As an international organization, FIDPA connects the poker industry, organizations, federations, and its players by providing support, information, and communication, to elevate, educate, and connect the poker world on a global level. will be launched in late 2008.

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Contacts: Michelle Lau, (702) 308-2808
Scott Ghertner, (702) 650-7565
MGM MIRAGE Public Relations