You are the Tournament Director: Verbal Action Is Binding
We are in the later stages of the WSOP main event just a few places off the money. The button raises pre-flop and the big blind calls. The flop comes down 10, 6, 10. The big blind bets out, the button makes a big raise and the big blind moves all in. The button jumps up from his seat and moves away to a nearby wall where he stands with his head in his hands for over a minute. You approach him and explain that he has to make a decision. He says ‘fold, fold, fold’ and then moves back to the table. He looks at the chip stacks and notices that his opponent has a lot of small denomination chips. He realises that the final re-raise is only a small percentage of the previous bets and now a call is a distinct possibility. He asks for a count of his opponents stack. What do you do?
The Mob Verdict
All our tournament directors are in agreement here. Matt acknowledges that it’s not easy but the rule is that ‘verbal declarations in turn are binding’. It was a fact that Julian’s re-raise contained a lot of small denomination chips and that Russell had overestimated the amount. We believe that Julian had pocket sevens and Russell pocket jacks so it was a defining moment as Julian went on to finish second for $1,100,000 and Russell 6th for $150,000. The full result can be found here.
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