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Tournament Director's Summit Report

edited July 2017 in Poker News

I wanted to give everyone a quick report on the Poker Tournament Directors (TDA) summit I attended at the Aria in Las Vegas last week. As some of you know, I’m a certified poker tournament director, so I got invited to take part in the voting on some new recommended tournament rules/procedures. Three particular discussions struck me:

  1. CALLING THE CLOCK RULES – It was agreed that the current 1 minute to make a decision when someone calls the clock is too long. By the time the clock has been called, and the TD makes it to the table, too much time has already elapsed. The following suggestions were supported by most of the attendees: A) By default, start the clock with 25 seconds, and a 5 second countdown. B ) At the discretion of the TD, the clock can start with ZERO seconds, just a 5 second countdown, if a player is stalling or slowing down the game too often.

  2. SOFT PLAY – The consensus was that several of the soft play penalties will be removed, because it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a player is angle shooting, or just making a newbie mistake. For example, checking the nuts when last to act on the river – sometimes a new player doesn’t realize they have the nuts, and we don’t want to punish new players and lose their business.

  3. HANDS WITH TOO MANY / TOO FEW CARDS – There was some discussion about how long a player has to inform the dealer that their hand has the wrong number of cards. Once “significant action” has occurred, a misdeal can no longer be declared, and the hand is dead, without return of chips bet. The most common case (we’ve all seen) is that the dealer will forget to deal a second card to the player on the button. Often, significant action will occur before the button notices this. Should the player on the button still be allowed to get the top card off the deck? Usually, that's what happens, and the floor is never called. But there needs to be a standard about that.

When the final 2017 TDA rules come out, it will be interesting to see how these changes were incorporated!


  • hnallen68

    I personally would love to see a tightening up of the clock. While I don't regularly have to play with any Kassoufs in my local card room, I have definitely encountered the guy who takes 30 seconds to consider every hand, even if it's really a snap fold. Drives me crazy.

    Checking the nuts is probably the rule that I see the most confusion about. It comes up at least once every three or four times I play and there's never any consensus at the table about what the actual rule is (and the floors even get it wrong sometimes). I would be glad to see that one go.

  • nytider

    I saw the blog post today on this topic. Looks like some thoughtful applications of common sense. I especially like the clarification of the way ambiguous bet amounts will be interpreted.

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