American pro Jesse Jones announced the launch of his World Poker Association (WPA) non-profit organization in a press release yesterday.
The new association aims to become the official umbrella organization of tournament poker and is determined to unite tournament players under one banner by protecting the rights of players and taking the world of tournament poker into the "major leagues." Hailed as the only member-based association for tournament poker in the world today, it is not directly affiliated with any for-profit poker entity.
The WPA will reconcile tournament issues by establishing a uniform set of standards to govern tournament poker. It seeks to unite all entities of tournament poker into a single, member-based sporting organization along the lines of the MLB, NFL, FIFA, NHL, and PGA.
Founded by 17 of poker's most recognized and respected names, the non-profit organization has attracted more than 100 members since its inception. Founding members include Rob Hollink, Casey Kastle, "Kill Phil" author Blair Rodman, and world-renowned tournament director, Matt Savage.
"The WPA is designed to become the 'PGA of Poker,'" said founder Jesse Jones. "Professional standards will position the WPA and tournament poker among the other great professional sports organizations of the world. We invite all members of the poker community to join us in the creation of the World Poker Association."
As the governing body of tournament poker, WPA will establish member-based committees that will incorporate a "One Voice, One Vote" policy for all tournament poker entities. Members will address the critical issues impacting tournament poker today including a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct, uniform tournament rules and rankings, and players' rights and benefits.
The WPA will also form relationships with media enterprises, incorporate international associations, support governmental and regional issues as they impact tournament poker, and contribute to worthy charitable causes.
"It is my dream that one day tournament poker will command the respect, participation and sponsorship that other sports have attained," said Jones. "With player and industry support, I know tournament poker will find its rightful home in the major leagues."
Eligible members include pro poker players, amateur poker players, tournament directors, dealers, casinos, online poker tournaments, poker tours, and poker enthusiasts.
Please see www.wpapoker.com for further details.