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You are the Tournament Director Series 4: What are His Options?

The blinds are 50/100 in a NLH tournament - UTG calls 100 - UTG+1 (who has 5000 in chips total) throws in 150 saying nothing - what are his options? And…  If he then passes and his chips are left in the pot is action reopened to UTG when action gets back to him?

Matt SavageMatt Savage:
His only option is to RAISE to the minimum of 200.

Thomas KremserThomas Kremser:
UTG+1 player made a string raise of exactly 50% and has 2 options; he can fold and 150 stays in the pot or he can complete his raise to 200. If he folds the action is not reopened for the UTG player.

Jack EffelJack Effel:
The only option UTG + 1 has is to place 50 additional chips into the pot making the total bet 200 to the next player in line. WSOP rules state, “if a player puts in a raise of 50 percent or more of the previous bet but less than the minimum raise, he or she will be required to make a full raise. The raise will be exactly the minimum raise allowed.” In this case, 50 is fifty percent of 100; therefore, UTG + 1 is forced to make the bet 200 total to play.  

Nicolas FraioliNicolas Fraioli:
I would tell the player who throws 150 that he reach the 50% of the raise and has to complete the raise to 200 or he can fold and loose his 150 but it won’t reopened the action to UTG.

Dave SimpsonDave Simpson:
Once he bets 50% or over the bet of 100 he does not have a choice, he has to make up the bet to a full raise of 200. Action is then reopened. If he then passes his cards out of turn he will receive a warning/ penalty for doing so and I would also remind him to make his intentions clearer for future bets.

Tab DuchateauTab Duchateau:
We use the half or more rule in this situation. The player who put in 150 would be forced to put in the 200 as a standard raise.

The Mob Verdict

Quite a simple one on the face of it but this question is asked so frequently at the poker table we thought it might be an idea to discuss it.

According to our panel of TDs there are two clear ways to deal with this situation. Either the player must make up the raise to 200 and he has no other option or he may choose between making it up to 200 or he may fold leaving the 150 in the pot.

If the player makes it up to 200 the action is reopened to the limper, if he doesn’t it is not.

Matt, Jack, Dave and Tab say he must complete to 200. Thomas and Nicolas say he has the option.

If we had to make a definitive rule on this we would go with the majority here forcing the player to make the bet up to the minimum raise of 200. The most important thing though is that whichever rule a card room uses they should use it consistently and fairly. Nothing is more frustrating for players than having two different floormen rule different ways at different times.

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