You are the Tournament Director: It Would Never Happen?
The play is three handed during a WSOP final table. The event is not being televised. Player A has 48% of the chips in play, player B 49% and player C 1%.
Player C passes pre-flop and his two opponents go to war until all their chips are in the middle of the table. You are called to the table and before the cards go on their backs a spectator (who you know to be a family relation of player C) approaches the table, grabs player A’s two hole cards and mixes them with player Cs.
How do you rule?
Now consider the same scenario except that the final table is being televised and that both hands were shown to the lipstick cameras before the hand was grabbed. Comments?
Would I ever consider trying to find out what his hole cards were? I don’t think... I mean obviously if the cards were retrievable that’s one of ways you would do that... they are mixed in with the two discards but there are only two discards. I would have definitely eliminated player C. The only thing I would have had to go to the tape and obviously this could take some time, would be to potentially give player A a chance back in the tournament. But it would be tough, it would be tough to do that as well but I would say I would eliminate player C so that wasn’t an issue and then... Should Player C definitely be penalised? Definitely, you know if there’s a relation it shouldn’t reap a reward from it.
(b) If televised...
I would go to the tape. I would go to the tape and give him his hand back.
I would recreate the pot and give A & B back their chips and issue a 20 minute penalty or disqualify player C.
Now that we know the players hands, I would recreate the hands and play the hand out and disqualify Player C into third place.
b) Yes it would, it’s such an important pot, you would have to play the tape back. I nearly felt I had to do so in a televised event on one occasion.
(b) If televised...
If cameras available – check them and give them their correct cards back, same as above otherwise.
The Mob Verdict
You have probably guessed that this was made up. Of course (as Liam so kindly pointed out) it would never happen – it would be very unlikely to anyway. But with YATTD we tried to find a few extreme situations to see how our directors would react.
So the intruder was a family relation of player C. Should that mean that player C is penalised. Matt would automatically award him 3rd place prize money and Jack would at the very least give him a time penalty. What about if the relative hated player C and that was what he wanted to happen? Unless there was a history to this we believe that action to be a bit severe.
Mel and Marty would have the spectator evicted from the building. We would go further and bar him from any poker events, as a player or spectator that we were able to.
To kill Player A’s hand seems a bit much. Yes it is a player’s responsibility to protect his own hand but in the interests of fair play each situation has to be looked at and reviewed in isolation for ‘the good of the game’. In this regard of all the answers we liked Thomas’s the best. It is the most logical and fairest and looks at all the various possibilities.
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