30 Jul 12
"I Get 30 Ruling Tweets A Day" - Interview with Matt Savage Part 1
Today we speak to the executive tour director of the World Poker Tour , Matt Savage, to discuss an unusual niche he has carved out for himself in the poker world.
Few people can claim to have as big a standing in the live poker scene than legendary tournament director Matt Savage. Matt has presided over some of the biggest tournaments in the world, worked hard with the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), and is the executive tour director for the World Poker Tour.
When he is not working, or playing poker, he can be found answering players' poker ruling questions on twitter, under the handle @SavagePoker.
"It's nice to have the respect of the players"
Matt Savage: It just naturally evolved, I was constantly answering questions via email because of the TDA, which had an "ask me" email address that we had given out.
When I started using twitter, everyone just moved on over there; it was just an easier way for people to ask questions of me.
What happens now is, when people are out playing tournaments and they see a rule they don't like or understand, they instantly pick up their phones and tweet me.
It has got to the point where I am asked questions about events I'm not even involved with. In some respects it has become a little problematic - some of the TDs for the events I'm being asked about feel a little bit slighted, because they feel like players are going over their head, to a person that doesn't even work there properly.
PokerStrategy.com: How many rulings questions are tweeted to you a day?
Matt Savage: It really varies depending on what time of year it is, obviously during the WSOP I get quite a few more. During the summer in the neighbourhood of 25-30 a day, any other day maybe 5-10.
PokerStrategy.com: Do you answer every question you are asked?
Matt Savage: I respond to pretty much everybody, but if it is something that should be known, or is a commonly asked question, I'll just directly reply to them using the @ signal at the front of the tweet.
PokerStrategy.com: Do you think answering so many rulings questions in public might help the rules of poker get standardised?
Matt Savage: For sure. Obviously when we started the TDA that was the goal, but when you get the same questions over and over again, people start to understand how that rule is, and then they don't have those questions any more.
"The most commonly asked question is the one chip rule"
|Matt Savage at the tables
Matt Savage: The most commonly asked question is the one chip rule (whereby if only one chip is thrown over the line it is classed as a call, not a raise, unless declared verbally), when players are new to the game they don't really understand that rule, and I understand it is difficult for them.
The pros completely understand that rule and get a little tired of me answering it all the time. At the same time I want to help everybody from the first time player to the top professionals, I don't mind answering the same question over and over again.
PokerStrategy.com: Do other tournament directors and dealers panic when you play poker yourself in their events?
Matt Savage: The WSOP is when I get to play, it is interesting because when a ruling comes up at the table, many times they just ask me. I tell them: "guys, I can't answer that for someone else's tournament". I even get called over to other tables, but I have to shake my head.
It is nice to have the respect of the players, but at the same time it becomes a problem when I'm actually playing in an event.
Join us later on this week when Matt will be discussing the upcoming World Poker Tour season.
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By Barry Carter
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