WSOP Loosening Stance on Table Chatter, Player Celebration[ return to main articles page ]
WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who has apparently been working out in earnest ahead of the 2012 WSOP, told the media that players will now be allowed to discuss the contents of their hand while the action is still going on: "You can say whatever you want about the contents of your hand and disclose the contents of your hand as long as you don't show your cards and as long as no other player in a hand has a decision to make. If no other player in the hand has a decision to make, you can speak freely."
Effel shared the back-story to the rule change: "We’d like to see more players talk at the table because we feel it's an integral part of the game… If a player is all-in and there's no one left to act, you can say, 'I have two aces and a flush draw. I know I have you beat.' Obviously, there will be errors, but we're trying to get you guys to loosen up a bit and talk. We still want to protect against soft play and collusion."
If you've watched the live broadcasts of the WSOP on ESPN or online, then you know players have been largely reticent in recent years, perhaps in part due to the WSOP's regulations. "We stream these events to showcase poker's best and what we see are players sitting in their shells," Effel (pictured) observed. "We've made it to where it's a little more open by extending the talking strategy, but we're asking for players who make the streamed or televised tables to verbally declare their actions and the amounts of them so we can get a little more talking at the table."
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart elaborated that poker on television becoming more entertaining is a side benefit of allowing players to banter: "We've tightened poker up so much that players are afraid to use verbal strategy to out-man their opponents, which has been integral to poker. It takes poker back to its fundamental basis and its strategic intent. As a result, you get good TV."
Also changing in 2012 is the WSOP's stance on excessive celebration, which it instituted following the antics of Hevad RaiNKhAN Khan (pictured) in 2007. Effel relayed, "We feel we went a little extreme with Hevad Khan jumping and having outbursts. We put a rule in place that prevented players from enjoying their success and celebrating when they won a hand. It's not a problem to celebrate a hand. It's okay to let that out. We don't feel it's okay to be disruptive, though, but we've rewritten the rule to say we want you to celebrate, just don't be crazy. It's up to our discretion."
Stewart joked, "No Tournament Director at the WSOP should be confused with Paul Bart: Mall Cop. We want to have an authentic experience where people are excited about winning unthinkable money. They should be able to have excitement. There were cases last year where celebrations were penalized. A poker room isn't a church. We just think we need to set the tone to bring some of the fun back."
ESPN plans to broadcast three WSOP tournaments this year: the Main Event, the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, and the WSOP Circuit National Championship. The final tables of the One Big One and Main Event will air live on a 15-minute delay, with the latter taking place on October 30th. The Main Event final table will feature hole cards shown for every player in every hand.
Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news.
that makes sense to me, but isn't what the rule says...
If you are HU, you have an opponent which means another player has a decision they have yet to make. "If no other player in the hand has a decision to make"
kind of stupid, seeing as there is ALWAYS another player when a hand is being played, lol.
I hope it is just a poorly worded or misquoted rule, because if not, its just terrible.