ESPN's WSOP commentator Norman Chad has written a column on the state of modern live poker. In order for the game to continue to thrive and turn around bad press, a change in player behavior is needed, he says.
Norman Chad has issued a wakeup in his column in the Washington Post, asking poker players to behave more civilized and thoughtful on and off the tables.
Chad is a long-time fixture in the World Series of Poker, where he works as a commentator for the series' official media partner ESPN on the many hours of live broadcasting every year.
In this capacity, Chad has been able to follow the developments of the game, and he now calls out for poker players to act more responsibly as poker enters times of great challenges.
"Poker is at a crossroads - the game is under siege, both from outside forces and from within. As a poker community, we either step up and be more productive citizens or step back and lurk in the shadows of mainstream America."
Especially the happenings of Black Friday last year have presented the poker community with enormous challenges, Chad writes.
"(…) since Black Friday, some of the younger, online players have stumbled into card rooms - such as my poker home in Los Angeles, Hollywood Park - with all the social prowess of a fire hydrant. The don't talk or listen very well - uh it's called a conversation - because they have been trapped in their bedrooms since their teen years, shades down, with the laptop screen illuminating their entire world six ot 12 hours a day, clicking, 'bet', 'raise' or 'fold'," Chad writes.
"Anyway, to all of you online and offline pokerati, I'm asking you to realize we are surrounded by fellow humans. So let's interact with these other Homo sapiens in a more civilized fashion," he adds.
Chad then goes on to list a number of suggestions how to do this, including dressing better and keeping an eye out for friends or family with gambling problems.
While Chad is normally to be found in the commentator's box during the World Series, he has this year managed to bag a decent result as a player too, playing in Event #42, the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.
The event was won by Ukrainian up-and-comer Oleksii Kovalchuk, while Chad made it to the final table before busting in sixth place for a $36,093 payout.
Read Chad's full column in the Washington Post here.