Debate Rages over Poker Congratulations

1 week ago
Debate Rages over Poker Congratulations
10:14
10 Apr

As an intense and draining game filled with strong egos and big money on the line, the sport of poker is no stranger to conflict and controversy. Pro Aaron Massey has recently raised heads in the Twitter-sphere, noting his utter frustration at being congratulated for losing, which he sees as pointless as well as empty.


The issue here, as Massey paints it, comes from the idea that, in many of these cases, players can lose out fairly significant sums, or otherwise be immensely disappointed in their own performance. Getting congratulated in this manner feels disingenuous, and so he'd rather the World Series of Poker avoided this action in the future.

Not everybody, however, was on board with this idea. Dealer Miranda Miller Tipton raised no offense with Massey's idea but rather noted the problems which this could cause with the spectator and dealer side of the equation. Instead, she asked whether there should be a guideline for exceptions, to better cater to all of the player's and their tastes.

Some, like pro Darryll Fish, were somewhat less diplomatic.


As the debate still rages, it does raise interesting questions as the current rules, the modification thereof, and the overall image which the highest level of poker wants to project. Poker is, after all, an intense experience when entering the final few hands.

Of course, there are other choices for gamblers, with the ever-growing market of major slot-focused casinos being a standout in this regard. These other forms allow players to go at their own pace and, while winning can give much the same rush, and the welcome bonuses for many of these casinos make them less stressful to enter, they’re very different experiences at their core.


Some think poker should always be combative, sticking to the older attitudes against the rising tide of progress, whereas others think the game needs to fundamentally evolve. Something always being done the same way because that is the way it has always been done is hardly reason enough for many, yet changing a game also means risking a move towards the alienation of the old and devoted.

So what are your thoughts on the matter? Would you consider congratulations after a heartbreaking or crushingly disappointing loss to come across as sarcastic rather than genuine, or do you see this as being an inseparable part of the WSOP experience?


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Writer and semi-retired poker pro from Edinburgh (UK).Read more

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