WPA makes membership changes

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The World Poker Association announced this week it has modified its membership policies to better benefit the poker players who've signed on to the organization.

More than 1,400 members have joined the WPA so far, and now they will all be considered lifetime WPA members. Now anyone who is already a member, or anyone who joins in the future, will pay a one-time rate and not be required to renew on an annual basis.

The WPA has also reduced the Associate Member rate from $100 to the original $50, and it has reinstated the Friend category with its $20 membership fee. The Affiliate category is also reinstated.

"The WPA highly values the initial and ongoing support of the individuals and organizations that have joined the WPA. The primary purpose of the WPA has been and will always be to address tournament poker players' rights," said the WPA.

The organization has made some small steps this past year by holding the first WPA satellite event at the 2008 World Series of Poker with nine-handed starting tables and other activities.

Nine-person tables at tournaments is just one of the standards the WPA hopes to set in tournament poker. Its overall mission is to promote tournament poker as a professional sport and create economic opportunities for the players.

"The tournament poker player today, for the most part, remains outside the receipt of revenue from other sources (sponsors, television and ancillary revenue) generated via their participation in events," said the WPA.

The association pointed out that in most poker events around the world the players put in all of the prize money through the buy-in, while 6-10% is taken out by the organizers, and then only a small number of the participants make a payday in the events.

The WPA is hoping to change that, so that more profits go to the players.

For more information about the organization, visit WPAPoker.org.

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