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New WSOP Rules to Curb Unruly Behaviour on Tables

World Series of Poker has revised it’s rules considering behaviour on poker tables. Phil Hellmuth’s outburst in last year’s tournament, may have been a factor in this revision.

The disclipinary system is meant to help the floorpersonnel to deal with these kinds of situations more effectively and in a uniform way. The scale of penalties extends from warning to sitting out a full round of blinds. A log will be kept about all warnings and penalties by the tournament officials.

Here’s the rule 36 from the new WSOP tournament rules 2009 (PDF, 218Kb)

“36. Harrah’s prohibits the use of obscene or foul language in any public area of the casino at any time. Any player who uses such language or makes a foul, profane, obscene or vulgar statement, or speaks abusively or in an intimidating manner to another player, a dealer or a Tournament staff member, will be penalized. These penalties will be levied based on Rules 31, 53 and 54.”

Small recap: On the fifth day of the 2008 WSOP, Phil folded AKo to Cristian Dragomir’s bet after flop. Phil threw his cards on the table face up and the table asked Cristian to show his, Dragomir promptly revealed T4s with which he had called Phil’s hefty pre-flop re-raise . Hellmuth lost his cool and called Dragomir the “worst player in the world” and “idiot,” repeteadly. The floor person issued a warning to him for berating another player.  Undeterred, “The Poker Brat” continued his verbal barrage against Dragomir until he received a one-round penalty which he was supposed to suffer the next morning. Overnight preceding the one-round penalty, Phil had a private meeting with Jeffrey Pollack (WSOP Commissioner) , after which the floorperson’s decision was overruled. Hellmuth did apologize to Cristian for his behavior the next day.

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