Professional poker player Jesse Jones, who in 2005 put at risk $100 000 of his own money to found the World Poker Association to represent tournament players, has appealed for help in keeping the body going.
Ill health and differences of opinion with the WPA's board have left Jones alone at the helm of the troubled organisation, and this week he emailed the WPA's 1 400 members asking for volunteers to step forward and help in running the body.
Jones wrote in his email: “The mission [of the WPA] was to represent tournament poker players worldwide, establish uniform tournament rules, procedures, structures and payouts and to improve playing conditions for players.”
He went on to outline the reasons for the mass resignation of the board earlier this year, writing: “I disagreed with the leadership as I felt they had been “pushed through” and made my feelings known to some of the board members." Jones also disagreed with the assessment of yearly membership fees and other ideas that the newly elected Board was bringing up. Two weeks after the leadership of the WPA was chosen, nearly all the members, save Jones and fellow pro Blair Rodman, had resigned their positions, leaving Jones and Rodman to helm the organisation. Then Rodman resigned, leaving Jones on his own.
Jones does not spare himself in the email: “I take full responsibility for falling short in leading the WPA,” he admits. “For whatever reason the right mix of leadership or the lack of proper marketing of the WPA has prevented the WPA from growing into a size befitting tournament poker. I welcome three to five individuals who have leadership skills and business expertise to send me an email with their interest and background. Being a board member means devoting time once a month at board meetings, via conference calls or in person, and devoting additional time to special projects or committees,” he wrote, adding that he included online tournament players and operators in his invitation.
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