Poker News

The official rules for the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) were handed down this week, with tournament organizers adopting a cell phone rule that permits text messaging and Twittering at the table.

All cell phones must be turned off during play. However, as the WSOP regulations note, “Players not involved in a hand (cards in muck) shall be permitted to text/email at the table, but shall not be permitted to text/email any other player at the table.” Twittering of chip counts and memorable hands were staples of the 2009 WSOP, when the social media outlet exploded in popularity. Even poker legends like 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson have become engulfed in Twitter, with “Texas Dolly” now able to spit out additional blonde jokes while seated at the table of any 2010 WSOP event.

Any players who wish to talk on their cell phones must be at least one table length away from their seats while gabbing. Meanwhile, the WSOP logo policy in 2010 will remain the same as it was in 2009. No logo will be permitted that promotes drugs, handguns, lotteries, obscene material, pornography, libel, or “advertises any online gaming site that conducts business with U.S. residents.” Nearly every logo shown on ESPN television cameras in 2009 featured the dot-net version of the site’s URL. Meanwhile, Everest Poker, which had sponsored pro Antoine Saout at the final table of the 2009 Main Event, served as the on-felt sponsor of the tournament series. Everest Poker does not accept players from the United States.

Posters on TwoPlusTwo were quick to critique the 2010 WSOP rules, which incorporated revisions made by the Tournament Directors Association. One point of contention concerned late registration. The rule reads, “Any player registering for an event after all initial tables allocated for that tournament have been filled will begin play at the start of the subsequent level.” In the WSOP Main Event, for example, that could mean a player sitting out as long as two hours, the length of one blind level.

Fans of poker bad boy Phil Hellmuth may see the 11-time bracelet winner show up on time in 2010 thanks to a rule that governs “no shows,” players who fail to show up by the start of the third level of play. The rule mandates, “These players will have their chips removed from play and will not be eligible to participate in that event. The buy-ins for ‘no shows’ will be removed from the prize pool and placed on safekeeping in that player’s name at the main WSOP registration cage after the second level of play.”

Some posters on TwoPlusTwo questioned whether the “no show” clause meant that if a player saw they had a tough table draw, they could simply un-register by not showing up. Member “pineapple888” explained the dilemma: “It seems like you can register, wander by your table an hour into the event, and if there are too many pros/tough players for your liking, or there aren’t enough chips on the table, or whatever (no hot chicks at the table or railbirding), just wander away and claim your refund later without penalty.”

The action gets underway in the 2010 WSOP with the annual $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em event on May 28th. Also to be held on that date is the brand new $50,000 buy-in Player’s Championship, an Eight-Game mix of Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split Eight or Better, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High-Low Split Eight or Better, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. It takes the place of the $50,000 HORSE Championship, which drew a meager 95 players in 2009 after having 148 in 2008.

Also new on the docket in 2010 is a $25,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event that starts on June 30th. Many in the industry have questioned WSOP officials introducing a richer No Limit Hold’em tournament than the Main Event, whose buy-in is only $10,000. Nevertheless, the $25,000 Six-Handed contest is sure to attract some of the top names in the worlds of live and online poker.

Check out the official 2010 WSOP rules.

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