It involves two players fluent in Russian, who spoke Russian to each other during a hand. They were both out of the hand at the time. Many poker rooms in the U.S. have "English-only" rules for tables. But in this case, a WSOP official ruled the players could speak in Russian "on the side" because they were out of the hand.
The video report we saw didn't reveal what the players discussed in Russian. It could have been President Vladimir Putin's pending divorce. But it could have been poker strategy -- so we can understand why others at the table would be annoyed by what they did.
Perhaps the WSOP might consider applying some guidance from the Bible:
If anyone speaks in a tongue, two - or at the most three - should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. - I Corinthians 14:27
Why would the apostle Paul bring up this issue? Because some early churches had people who spoke in different languages. Even modern churches have this; you may know of congregations which have separate weekend services in English, Spanish, Korean or some other dialect.
Paul's instruction is that when everyone gathers together, the emphasis should be on unity....
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. - I Corinthians 14:26
By having one "official language" during a service, everyone can understand what's said. That way, everyone can profit from it. We think the same principle can apply at a poker table. There's no question about what others are doing or discussing if everyone speaks the same language - and if players need assistance in speaking English, an interpreter can help.
We're interested in your comments about this issue. In the meantime, feliz jugando. (Spanish for "happy playing.")