You are the Tournament Director Series 5: Removing Chips During a Break
You are running a $10,000 Main Event and during the 1st break you notice a seat is open so you pick up the seat card but the dealer says wait there was a player in that seat and he had more than the starting stack. Just as the break is about over you see a player that you have never seen before sit down and start taking chips out of his pocket and putting them on the table.
What do you do?
If the player paid the required entry fee, I would disqualify him/her for taking chips off the table and concealing them. If the player did not pay the required entry fee, they would be disqualified, 86’d from all Caesars properties; gaming would be notified, and player could face a gaming conviction.
The rule says that a player is not allowed to remove chips from a table and/or put them in his pocket. I see this situation a bit more liberal as many colleagues. When the player returns I would ask the other players at the table if they recognize the player and if they remember his approximate chip count. If both matches I would give the player a warning and let him continue to play. If any fact can’t be verified by the players I would enforce the rule and disqualify the player.
From my experience these situation only happens with new and inexperienced players and it is no case of cheating.
The player has disqualified himself by removing the chips from the table and placing them out of view. I would notify the remaining players that chips are being removed from play as a result of the players actions.
He is disqualified from the tournament and his chips taken away. A player can not carry chips out of the table at any moment, he only will be able to do it by tournament direction request and because of the normal tournament development.
Depends on the player and I would investigate further but again fairness has to take precedent and I am probably going to allow 1st time player to remain in the tournament and disqualify a player that knows better.
Quite a very unpleasant situation! The first thing I have to do is to check identity of the player, trying to get any information, maybe cameras in the room and talking to the other players on the table! Also, because it is in the 1st break I can easily count the chips of the whole table and can calculate the missing chips!
In most of my tournaments I am running a chipcount every brake, so I could have an actual chipcount of the tournament and if it is on the 1st break, not moving players to this table, I am having a perfect count! Also in the $10k tournament we should having exactly information about seat drawing, so I can verify the player ID, too. I would give this player a penalty of two button rounds and a heavy warning, to disqualify would be too strong, because many players from the online business are playing the first time live and with good staff on the tables, it shouldn’t happen.
Chip security is essential in order to protect the integrity of the game. Chips must be visable at all times and any player who places chips into his pocket or hides chips will forfeit those chips and may be eliminated from the tournament.
As all of the player’s chips were in his pocket, I would eliminate him in this example.
FIDPA (The International Poker Rules) Ruling (Marcel Luske)
What do you do?
As a dealer ..Inform the management.
As a player ..ask the dealer to inform the management
As the management...
The I P Rule would be:
Non-value chips are used for tournament play and may NOT be removed
from the tournament area.
36.1 All chips must be clearly visible at all times during the tournament.
Players may not hold or transport tournament chips in any manner that
takes them out of plain view. A player, who does so, will forfeit the
chips and will face disqualification. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play.
3.3 Players are encouraged to familiarize themselves with 'The
International Poker Rules' and to take notice of any forced changes
and/or modifications posted in the tournament area. Lack of knowledge
regarding the rules may not be deemed as an excuse by a violator. An
unintentional error should be less serious than a deliberate violation
and may be ruled as such.
David Flusfeder (IFP - International federation of Poker)
IFP Rule #13: TRANSPORTING CHIPS: ‘Players may not hold or transport tournament chips in a manner that takes them out of view. Players who do so will forfeit the hidden chips and may be liable for disqualification. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play.’
In this case, there’s a clear ruling that the player is to be disqualified and the chips taken out of play.
Note: This situation was interestingly submitted by Matt Savage as it happened to him at the WSOP when he was TD.
JP McCann is quite right is his assertion that 'Chip security is essential in order to protect the integrity of the game' and the majority of our TDs take this issue so seriously that they are for enforcing the letter of the law without reference to the circumstances. Whilst it is true that TDs particularly in the USA often make a point of announcing the penalty for this infringement at the start of a tournament we still feel that this inflexible approach may sometimes be too harsh.
As Thomas Kremsner points out, it may well be quite easy to distinguish between inexperience and cheating and as Matt and Thomas Lamatch also note the identity of the player is highly relevant here.
If in the TDs judgement this is an honest mistake by an inexperienced player disqualification for a first offence is far too harsh, provided the TD can be reasonably certain that the right amount of chips have been bought back into play. However, it is a very serious breach of the rules and it is vital that TDs keep control of the location and visibility of the chips. For this reason we do not think a simple warning would normally suffice and we would favour perhaps a one round penalty along the lines of Thomas Lematch's response. This we feel would be proportionate for a first offence whilst taking into account it's seriousness.
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