You are the Tournament Director Series 2: If You Raise I Will Go All-in
This question was posted on the Mob Forum by ‘The Diamond’ on May 12th 2005.
In a tournament it’s folded to me on the small blind. I reach for my chips and the BB announces "If you raise I will go all in". I raise. He folds.
Should he be forced to go all in since he verbally declared he would if I raised?
This is not action out of turn as he is stating his intention if the player before him acts in a certain way. I see this as table talk ‘borderline’ as not in the spirit of the game and would give the player a warning for such behaviour.
I would not force him to go All-In. This is table talk and part of poker, this is a very grey area and one word could make such a big difference. The player in the small blind is having additional information and still can decide what to do.
Our rule is that verbal action out of turn is binding unless action has changed to that player. The player’s stated action is “I will go all in if you raise” and therefore the action has not changed and it appears he was shooting an angle and I would make him go all-in. It would definitely stop him from doing it in the future. I would actually feel better about this ruling if I knew who was involved.
I'd make him go all in. He's made a declaration, I know it's out of turn but he's made a declaration. I would force him to go all in.
I think that the player who had declared his conditional all in should be made to follow through on his verbal. If a player acts out of turn, he is committed unless he is following another player’s out of turn action. If he declares out of turn, he is bound by it e.g. if he says ‘raise’ out of turn, he must raise. Therefore the player declaring out of turn should be made to stick to his declaration.
This should prevent these situations happening again.
Poker is a game of bluff and this is verbal pressure. It only holds up if he says it when it is his turn to act, or if he just says “all in” prior to his opponent acting. Suggesting “I will go all in” is not the same as doing it.
Obviously a few differences of opinion with this one: We feel that in most card rooms if this actually happened the player would not be forced to go all in if a ruling was called for. Danny’s answer recognises the borderline nature of the scenario which we like. It’s a question of where do you draw the line. If player A says ‘If you do this, I’ll do that…’ and then player B says ‘…and if that happens I’ll do this,’ and then player C...
It depends on your attitude to table talk. Some would give a warning whereas others would just let it go.
We think that the player who has made the conditional verbal declaration does not have to follow through with the all in.
Incidentally we put this to the vote on the Mob Forum and the votes went 11 to 13 that he should be forced to go all in.
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