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Controversy sparked at 2013 WSOP over Two Players speaking Russian

by Jeremy Olson on June 17, 2013

russia-pokerThe 2013 World Series of Poker has featured very little drama so far with most players being pretty cordial to one another. However, there was a major controversy in the Event #29 $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. tourney when two players were speaking Russian at Table 376.

Now the first thought might be to think that they were cheating. However, neither player was actually involved in the hand; instead, they were just chatting while out of the hand. But this still angered some grinders who felt as though they were being disrespectful to other players. WSOP floor personnel was called over to address the situation, and they said that players can talk in any language as long as they’re not in the hand.

Sarah Grant, who’s from PokerNews, got comments from a few notable poker pros on how they felt about the situation. Here’s a quick look at what some players thought about multilingual poker table conversations:

Maria Ho – I think that if they’re not in a hand, they should be allowed to talk in whatever language they want because it’s pretty much the same thing as you texting the person across from you at the table in English.

Marcel Luske – Normally, you should not do that (speak in different languages while others are in a hand). First of all, it does affect the game emotion. And the other thing, it’s a little bit disrespectful….There is a rule in place that says, you can step away from a hand and have your conversation away from the table.

Chino Rheem – I’ve played with foreign players a lot and sometimes there are lines crossed where they’ll be talking where it’s pretty clear that they’re not talking about any hands or colluding. But for the most part, I feel like if they’re not in the hand it’s okay.

Mike Matusow – It’s annoying. You can’t talk in a different language while some other people are still in a hand.