You are the Tournament Director: Chips in Play or Not?
Situation: a player sits down in a NLH cash game with a walkman, a Starbucks coffee and a packet of cigarettes. He puts his chips on the table and plays a few hands. The chips in front of him amount to about $1500. He passes for a few minutes until he gets involved in a big pot heads up. He bets $500 and his opponent raises $1000 announcing that he wants to set him in. The new player, who has the nuts by the way, now produces a $5000 chip that was behind his cigarette packet. His opponent objects. How do you rule?
The Mob Verdict
In tournament play tournament directors and floor men, as well as dealers and other players, are constantly asking for all big chips to be in clear view. In the WSOP 2006 it was a rule that the biggest denomination chips were actually placed on the top of the chip stack. In cash games this rule is not so often enforced but maybe it should be. All of our TD’s agree here that the chip doesn’t play, all of them that is except Marty.
Marty acknowledges that the player is pulling a ‘stroke’ but says that the chip plays because had he been asked he would have had to ‘declare it in play’. It is a little unfair to push the burden of one player making all his chips visible to everyone else having to ask if there are any more in play.
The most sensible rule is that the chip doesn’t play and we would watch this player in the future as well as make sure that he doesn’t clutter the table up with personal belongings.
There is even an argument that nothing, except for the chips and the cards, should be allowed on top of the poker table.
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