In a heartfelt e-mail sent to the members of the World Poker Association, founder and professional poker player Jesse Jones made an passionate plea for members to step up and assist him in the running of the three year old organization.
The e-mail detailed the tumultuous history of the WPA, which Jones started with $100,000 of his own money back in 2005. “The mission was to represent tournament poker players worldwide, establish uniform tournament rules, procedures, structures and payouts and to improve playing conditions for players,” Jones stated at the beginning of the letter, which was sent to the 1400 member organization. He then went on to discuss how the organization has grown and some of the problems that it has faced.
Jones, a throat cancer survivor, admitted that his own health issues prevented him from continuing in a leadership role with the WPA. With this in mind, an original Board of Directors was chosen by the membership in 2007 and an entirely new Board was seated at the beginning of this year. It was at this point that some problems emerged.
“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 stated. He 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 organization.
Rodman left the Board soon afterwards and Jones has been diligently attempting to advance the cause of the WPA. During the run of events at the 2008 World Series of Poker, Jones says, “I had very serious discussions with an individual who was planning an international tour and sharing the proceeds with the players. Those discussions ended because of philosophical differences.” He also stated that he had other discussions with some prominent players about taking more of a leadership role with the WPA as well, but that the people he had spoken with were not able to step up at this time.
“I take full responsibility for falling short in leading the WPA,” Jones admitted in the e-mail. “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.” With that stated, Jones has sent the call for some of the membership to step up and assist him with the future of the WPA.
“I welcome three to five individuals who have leadership skills and business expertise to send me an email with their interest and background,” Jones said. “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 also is potentially seeking support from major players in the online poker world.
Jones finished his message by saying, “When I put in $100,000 of my own funds to found the WPA, I did it with the knowledge that it may fail and the money may go waste. I was encouraged by the initial response and support. It’s up to you, the members, whether it succeeds in its mission.” For more details on the World Poker Association and perhaps join in advancing it towards their goals, visit the World Poker Association website and contact founder Jesse Jones there.