Thursday, May 10,2012 : WORLD SERIES OF POKER RULES EASED
More flexibility on chat and celebrations
With the 2012 World Series of Poker just weeks away, organisers held a media briefing this week, outlining a more moderate application of the rules on chat and over-exuberant celebration at the tables
WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, said players will now be allowed to discuss the contents of their hands while the action is still in progress as long as they don't show their cards and as long as no other player in a hand has a decision to make.
Explaining the more flexible approach, Eiffel said that talk at the table was an integral part of the game of poker, and the objective was to allow players to loosen up and enjoy themselves.
"We stream these events to showcase poker's best and what we see are players sitting in their shells," Effel said. "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."
Ty Stewart, the WSOP Executive Director, noted that poker on television was becoming more entertaining, and that it was appropriate that player banter be given more freedom.
"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," he said.
On the celebration front, Eiffel said the distinction between wild and disruptive antics and reasonable celebration of a victory had to be made
"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," he said.
"No Tournament Director at the WSOP should be confused with Paul Bart: Mall Cop," Stewart added. "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."
Television rail birds will again enjoy extensive coverage from ESPN this year. The network has plans to broadcast three WSOP tournaments: 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 after the customary hiatus once the final table has been set. The Main Event final table will feature hole cards shown for every player in every hand.
The $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop will air live on July 3rd.