When I talk about the spokespeople in poker what I’m referring to are the people that when they speak, very few people disagree with them, or that their message carries such weight that even the people that do disagree have to take a moment’s pause before responding. Now some people are better suited to talk about different areas of the game than others, so what you’ll find in the upcoming list is a group of five players that may not be able to argue every issue individually, but could put forth the best argument on any poker topic by choosing the best representative.
So here are my five choices for the people that should be representing the poker world, along with the areas where their expertise is most applicable.
- Representing the best interests of the players, Daniel Negreanu
When it comes to voicing their opinion about what is right and wrong in the poker community nobody can hold a stick to Daniel Negreanu. Whether you agree or disagree with Negreanu you have to give him a lot of credit for his sincerity and his passion regarding any topic that adversely affects the way poker players are treated or the way people view the game.
- Representing the legal aspects of the game, Greg Raymer
When you need someone to appear on MSNBC or Fox News the clear choice is Greg Raymer. Raymer has the legal background, the speaking skills, the seriousness, and most importantly the poker chops to hold his own with laymen.
- Representing the poker industry, Matt Savage
If there is a question over a particular rule, or how a gray area situation should be handled Matt Savage is the go-to guy. Savage’s decisions are usually a discussion-ender, with only a few of his opinions ever be questioned.
- Representing the long-term solvency of the game, Phil Galfond
When Phil Galfond speaks, the poker world listens. Galfond is able to breakdown topics affecting the poker world in clear, logical, ways and rarely does anyone argue his conclusions.
- Representing the bridge between players and the poker industry, Mike Sexton
Mike Sexton has found himself on both sides of the fence, first as a player and now as an ambassador for the game, and because of this he is able to see things from all sides. Although the final decisions may rub some people the wrong way (like his dress code comments) Sexton is the embodiment of compromise, looking to find the best solution and keep both sides happy.
- Honorable mention: Doyle Brunson
Doyle’s comments are a bit more euphemistic these days, but when the Godfather of Poker speaks, people still absorb every word. Doyle has the experience and street-sense that is sometimes needed to end a dispute.
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