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Joe Barnard AMA

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  1. #1

    Default Joe Barnard AMA

    Joe Barnard is the Chief Operations Officer of the International Federation of Poker and the Executive Director of the UK Poker Federation. He'll be logging in on the 13th of May from 8pm to 9.30pm (3-4.30pm EST) to answer questions!

    The International Federation of Poker champions poker as a skill game, with observer member status of the International Mind Sports Association and SportAccord. It has over 50 member states and works closely with Harvard and the recently established Mindsport Research Network.

    It also promotes a variation of skill called "Match Poker". This involves the same order of cards being dealt to all tables, viewed on individual smartphones and the tables' community devices, so each team receives each set of hole cards in the same positions. Scoring is based on the net change in chips for the team, and the team's collective skill in playing these hands determines their finishing position - not the cards themselves.

    Here's a video from IFP's European Nations Cup in Cyprus which used the smartphone "Match Poker" technology:

    As well as being involved in the UK Federation of Poker, he is also organising the Oxford Cup this year - a live student poker tournament whose last edition featured Gus Hansen as it's special guest.

    Please feel free to ask anything about the International Federation of Poker, Match Poker, the Oxford Cup or anything about Joe!
    Last edited by Pascal; 04-20-2013 at 01:52 PM.
  2. #2
    In a poker tournament, finishing positions are always determined and prizes paid out long before the luck factor has evened out. Can you think of any other sports where this is the case? Do you see this as a valid argument against considering poker a sport? Why (not)?
  3. #3

    What qualities a poker player should have? Please list the most important ones.
  4. #4
    Is poker a game of skill where women are worse players then men?
  5. #5

    Default Joe Barnard

    EU's Culture Commission approved the new regulation on online gambling.

    How do you think this is going to impact the industry?

    Is there any thing you would change on the new regulations?
  6. #6
    Hello Joe Glad to have you here...I have a couple of questions if you don't mind

    How would you describe poker and what does it mean to you?

    What do you think about the possibility of people playing (real money) live poker games in facebook or any other social network?

    Since you do deal with the legal and administrative elements in poker...could it be that sometimes you miss out on the "fun part"?
    Pre-Flop ou Post Flop...o importante é estar dentro de jogo
  7. #7
    We have less than a week before this event starts.
  8. #8
    This event starts in less than 3 days.
  9. #9
    Hello Joe Nice of you to have this AMA for us

    Can you describe the main differences of being Chief Operations Officer of the International Federation of Poker and being the Executive Director of the UK Poker Federation?

    When did you start growing a deeper interest for poker?

    What would be your dream for poker in the near future?
  10. #10
    Less than 24 hours to go until this event starts!
  11. #11
    Hello Joe Interesting job you have there Thank you for your time to answering these questions.

    What crosses your mind when you hear some people stating that poker is not a sport and just a simple game of luck?

    If one says that Poker is your life...would he/she be exaggerating or would it be the naked truth?
  12. #12
    Hi Joe!

    Thanks for agreeing to do the AMA I have a few questions:

    1. What is your personal opinion on Match Poker? Do you think it can ever be as big as big as "normal" poker?

    2. What would you say to the argument that Match Poker is a response to the problem of poker being perceived as gambling rather than a skill game, as opposed to a creation of its own?

    3. What is your favourite TV show?

    4. Would you rather fight a horse or a cow?

    5. Do you play much poker? What's your favourite type of game or tournament?

  13. #13
    Art1's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Европейский Союз
    Hello Joe!

    1) What do you think of the Chinese poker?

    2) Who is the best poker player in England?

    Thank you!
  14. #14
    Less than 12 hours to go until this event starts!
  15. #15
    Less than 6 hours to go until this event starts!
  16. #16
    If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to a dinner party you were hosting at your home, who would you invite and why? What would you want to discuss with them? What would you prepare for dinner?

    Do you believe in anything that the majority of others may not, like the Loch Ness Monster?

    Are you going to play in any WSOP events this year? If so, which ones?

    For non-professional players, what do you think is more important in the context of playing poker over the long haul - winning or simply enjoying the game and the camaraderie of others?

    What's the craziest superstition you've ever been told someone has re their play? Do you have any?
  17. #17
    - How did you get involved in the poker industry?

    - What's your best story? (Doesn't have to be poker related.)

    - How has Match Poker been perceived thus far? What are the top 3 positive aspects, and the top 3 criticisms?

    - Most people who aren't familiar with poker don't understand it's a skill game. In the shortest way possible, how can you explain to the general public that there is indeed skill involved?

    - What are your thoughts on US poker law and recent casinos opening in Nevada? Do you think state-to-state poker is a step in the right direction?
  18. #18
    What do you think about some Poker player's attitude towards people with "common" jobs? For example, those who don't respect very much a barwoman or something like that.

    Pablo Paglayan - Argentina
  19. #19
    1) What do you think about that poker can be included in the list of sports on the Olympic Games?

    2) Do you have any talisman?
  20. #20
    Do you think there will be another poker boom if poker is legalized over all US states?
  21. #21
    Less than 3 hours to go until this event starts!
  22. #22
    Hi Joe, whatcha know?

    What do you feel is the future of Poker, both in the Uk, and the rest of the world?

    What do you think about the changes in the UK Gambling regulations as it refers to online poker?

    Do you think No Limit Holdem will remain the most popular game spread in casinos and online? Do you feel Omaha might gain further in popularity?

    What do you feel is the true picture in the newly regulated US markets? Who holds the power, who's scared, and how far behind the European based software are the casino backed US facing sites?
  23. #23
    Who do you think is/was the best poker player in the history of the game? Who do you think is the best current poker player and why?

    Who do you think is poker's best present ambassador?

    What professional player do you think would have the best chance at affecting change to America's attitude towards online poker at the federal level? Why?
  24. #24
    What country has produced the best online players in the world based on their financial success and longevity? What about live?

    How important is social media to the organizations and events you represent? How important is it to poker in general? Is there one medium that's more relevant/useful than the others?

    Do you think the US should adopt gun control laws similar to those that the UK currently has?

    Do you really think Barbara Walters will retire next year or do you think her announcement is just a publicity stunt?

    Do you think the IRS really targeted members of conservative groups like the Tea Party? Do you think the IRS needs to be audited? If so, do you think US taxpayers would benefit?

    When do you think William and Kate's baby will be born? Are there a lot of pools about this in the UK?
  25. #25
    Less than one hour to go until this event starts! The password has now been released to Qualified Members!
  26. #26
    Hello everybody, thanks for having me on here. Some VERY interesting questions I see! I'll certainly do my best over the next hour to provide some equally interesting answers...
  27. #27
    So let's start with the most obvious one... Who I'd fight over a horse or cow... @Pascal (12)

    Many poker players have probably played a H.O.R.S.E while eating a cow, but I've done neither! I stick to Hold'em mainly and have been vegan over half my life! Also being a pacifist I think I'd have to yield whoever was the opponent or try some Crocodile Dundee-type weird stuff to win by default...
  28. #28
    I guess the other obvious starter was @givememyleg (17)

    How I got involved...

    I founded the Oxford Uni poker society to get a bit of decent poker equipment for games with my mates. This kinda then took over my life as I tried to make it bigger and bigger and get more and more universities involved in competitions. The annual Oxford Cup is still going strong (next one on Sunday 9th June) and I guess I've never stopped promoting poker since.
  29. #29
    @givememyleg (17)

    A good story from the early days is when Phil Hellmuth came over the for 2nd Oxford Cup event... He arrived a few days early and accepted our invite to play 10p/20p cash in the college common room! He arrogantly played two tables verbally covering all bets and ended up with the society record of most money lost in one night! Was really great fun - Phil Hellmuth is a great guy and I still have a signed $1 bill framed on my wall from his visit... He didn't have enough English cash to cover his losses!!!
  30. #30
    @Esterno19 (9)

    I guess I'm currently more involved with IFP activity than UK affairs at the moment - the difference I suppose is the type/scale of events. The IFP's Nations Cup events in Match Poker occupy the majority of my time at the moment. We've just had the European one in Cyprus and head to Asia and the Americas later this year before the finals in Nov/Dec. In the UK I started off working in the area of student poker (ran the University Poker League for a while after leaving Oxford), and then jumped at the chance to get more involved with the UK Poker Federation and IFP in general. Poker most certainly is a skill game and it's a dream job for me promoting it!
    Last edited by Joe Barnard; 05-13-2013 at 03:51 PM.
  31. #31
    @Biazellag (3)

    Gus Hansen says it much better than me when he described if Richard Dawkins would be a good poker player... He was the guest of honour at the last Oxford Cup and his speech can be found here... Is classic stuff...
    Last edited by Joe Barnard; 05-13-2013 at 03:51 PM.
  32. #32
    @Pascal (12)

    Match Poker is what I'm really enjoying developing at the moment...

    It definitely started out as a response to people not accepting regular poker as a skilful game and is great in highlighting some (certainly not all) of poker's skilful elements. However, the more the team went into the more it became a really great creation in its own right.

    Never before has it been so easy to compare different playing styles. There is nowhere to hide when someone is playing exactly the same cards as you - one can no longer blame the cards!!! The sheer amount of stats we can generate from the events is staggering too. Every single action is logged by computers so that we can review play and really get into detailed analysis.

    For the ENC see: and specifically the replayer tool and event reports/videos!
  33. #33
    What do you guys think about playing with smartphones instead of real cards? - it definitely is the future of Match Poker at least!!!

    And it is isn't the intention to surpass regular poker. Regular poker is GREAT! It definitely helps promote regular poker, however, and showcase the skill involved and has proven to be hugely popular for international team events where pro players have willingly played for no money but simply for the honour of official titles and national pride!
  34. #34
    @HeyYou (23)

    Only a feeling/instinct and what one has read etc. can influence the greatest poker player of all time... I'll go for Stu Ungar
  35. #35
    Many pros also deem Phil Ivey to be at the top of the game at present... Who am I to go against this?

    But to really prove it, what the game needs is STATS and a true world championship open to everybody regardless of buy-in... Great sites like The Hendon Mob show results of cashes etc. but do not list all the times players have bought in. Hard to know therefore if a player is a winning/losing player overall.

    Match Poker at least generates stats galore and other IFP events in future will also aim to do likewise. I'd love to see a rigorous test of pure poker ability worldwide that say produces some child genius world poker champion from a remote corner of the earth. A world championship conducted as other mind sports are might just do this one day. And in the Olympics (@CBON, 19) some day... Sure!!!
    Last edited by Joe Barnard; 05-13-2013 at 03:53 PM.
  36. #36
    @Biazellag (4)

    Are women any worse at poker than men? I don't see any reason why, but bring on such contests! I've seen a lot of passion from players playing for their country... Could be a lot of fun to see Men v Women events!!!
  37. #37
    @Cruelsebastian (6)

    I don't see any issue with real-money poker on Facebook and other social networks personally. However, the majority of poker players worldwide now play for no money and for the love of the game... That is great!

    The IFP does not deal with any buy-in events - we are campaigning more in the direction of poker as a sport with no buy-ins but sponsored prize pools and rankings and ratings etc. instead.
  38. #38
    @dlbarlowe (16)

    Is winning or enjoyment more important for non-pros... A no brainer - if it's not fun don't play!!! But more often than not it's a helluva lot of fun
  39. #39
    Well guys, I've answered a few there... It's been fun! But if there's no more for now I guess I'll shoot... Please feel free to contact me anytime ( for any specific enquiries about the IFP, UKPF and indeed Oxford Cup.

    IFP Website:
    Facebook page (please like):

    Also calling all students interested in this year's Oxford Cup on 9th June...
    Here's the group to go to for info...

    Good night all!
  40. #40
    Awesome, thank you so much Joe! Some great answers and I'm really looking forward to watching the IFP grow in the future

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