Last Monday, the European Poker Tour (EPT) fired off a Tweet asking its 50,000-plus Twitter followers if they were in favor of introducing the four-color deck at the upcoming EPT Barcelona next week. While the tweet didn't include a poll, the consensus among most of those replying seemed to be the four-color deck was not something they were eager to try out.
One of New Zealand's top poker players, David Yan, was one of the first to respond. He predicted the negative reactions, while seemingly not opposed to the idea himself:
@PokerStarsEPT you're not going to get close to a majority favourite, ppl have to get used to favour them (obv some ppl wont ever prefer)Follow @missoraclepoker
EPT Grand Final champion Steve O'Dwyer was less enthusiastic and asked for the four-color deck not to be used in the higher stakes tournaments:
We reached out to both Yan and O'Dwyer to get their full opinion on the subject:
"Personally I'd like to see four-colored decks introduced over time for similar reasons to online. It's just easier to see different suits. Especially when the lighting isn't that great, it's not always incredibly easy to see the suits/cards.
It might look weird at first, or even for a while, but the only real benefit of black and red is that it's the "norm"/tradition/people are used to it.
Practically I can see it being very hard to implement it realistically since people don't like change and it takes time to get used to it. It's tough to introduce people to the new cards and get them used to them, especially since it's arguably unfair to force players to use them when they don't want to. Especially considering the significant stakes, etc., of tournaments at (say) an EPT. Some people will never like it."
"I'm strongly opposed to using a four-color deck in live events because it exacerbates the game integrity issues with exposed cards stemming from sloppy dealing and inconsiderate players.
The best way to protect yourself from cheaters is to be overly paranoid and cautious. We're playing very high stakes during EPTs and using four-color decks makes life much easier for cheaters adept at tracking improperly exposed cards."
What Do You Think?
Last October, at the European Poker Tour event in Malta, the use of the four-color deck was introduced during some of the side events. Sarah Herring spoke to PokerStars Head of Live Poker Operations Neil Johnson, Mickey Petersen, and Luca Pagano about the four-color decks: