World Series of Poker

2013 WSOP Official Tournament Rules Feature Few Changes

World Series of PokerThe 2013 World Series of Poker begins in less than four weeks on Wednesday, May 29. The 2013 WSOP Official Tournament Rules are now available on the WSOP website, with this year’s rules featuring only a few changes from last year’s rules.

Most of the changes and/or additions to this year’s WSOP rules are to be found among those collected in Section I (“Tournament Registration and Entry”).

Rule 11 includes some added clarifications regarding late registration for a few specific events. Whereas last year this rule simply noted players could register through the end of Level 4 for all events except the Main Event (where late registration was open through the first two levels), this year some further exceptions have been added.

Players can register for Event #55, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, through the first six levels. Meanwhile, late registration will also be available through the first two levels of the two shootout events, Event #9 ($3,000 NLHE Shootout) and Event #36 ($1,500 NLHE Shootout).

Rule 12 discussing how re-entries work includes some specific information for the events in which that rule applies — Event #3 ($1,000 NLHE Re-entry), Event #6 ($1,500 “Milionaire Maker” NLHE), and Event #58 (the $1,111 “Little One for One Drop” NLHE).

Rule 15 concerns the “No Show Policy” that states how players failing to show by the start of the third level of an event will be considered “no shows” with their stacks removed and buy-ins taken out of the prize pools. Affected players will be able to get their money refunded up until July 13, 2013. Last year there was an exception stating the rule didn’t apply to Shootout events, but this year that exception does not appear.

Rule 16 concerns stipulations restricting employees of various entities (the WSOP, the Rio, etc.) from participating in WSOP events. There’s an added section (“b”) this year stating that “Employees of ESPN, ABC Sports, or any company of The Walt Disney Company, and immediate family members of such employees, are not eligible to participate in any WSOP Event.”

Regarding the latter, Twitter exchanges this afternoon between Kevin Mathers (@kevmath) and Lon McEachern (@lonmceachern) suggest the addition merely clarifies an already understood guideline, with those employed by ESPN apparently allowed to play in certain events with permission beforehand.  McEachern’s co-host for ESPN’s WSOP telecasts Norman Chad final tabled the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card-Stud Hi-Lo event last summer, finishing sixth.

The next five sections — Sections II (“Tournament and Scheduling”), III (“Prizing and Seating”), IV (“Participant Conduct and Tournament Integrity”), V (“Participant Likeness and Image”), and VI (“Poker Rules”) — include no substantive changes from the 2012 rules.

However, the final Section VII (“Tournament Operations Policies and Procedures”) does include a few additions, including the addition of considerably more detail to the rule covering “Participant Disputes.”

Rule 111 and Rule 112 respectively note how on Day 1s play will conclude after 10 levels for events starting at noon and after eight levels for events with 5 p.m. starts. This year the disclaimer “unless otherwise noted on the structure sheet” has been added to both rules.

A quick glance at the structure sheets shows some noon events scheduled to play something other than 10 events on their Day 1s (e.g., Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees NLHE, plays 11). Also worth noting is the fact that Events #3 and #6 will be playing both of their Day 1 flights on the same day (à la the WSOP Circuit), with start times of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, among the 5 p.m. events — excluding Event #16 ($10,000 Heads-Up NLHE) — the 5 p.m. Day 1b flight for Event #3 ($1,000 NLHE Re-entry) will play eight levels and the 5 p.m. Day 1b flight for Event #6 (the “Millionaire Matchmaker”) will play nine levels. Also, Event #55 (the Poker Players Championship) provides an exception to the plan to play eight one-hour levels on Day 1 as they will be playing five 100-minute levels on that first day.

Finally, Rule 118 concerning “Participant Disputes” includes considerably more detail regarding the procedure to be followed when such cases arise.

Here is the 2012 version of Rule 118:

118. Participant Disputes: NRS 463.362 Resolution of dispute as to winnings, losses or manner in which game is conducted. Whenever a licensee and a patron have any dispute as to alleged winnings, alleged losses or the manner in which a game is conducted, the licensee and patron are unable to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of the patron and the dispute involves:
     (a.) At least $500, the licensee shall immediately notify the Board; or
     (b.) Less than $500, the licensee shall inform the patron of his/her right to request that the Board conduct an investigation.

And here is how the rule appears this year:

118. Participant Disputes: All participant disputes with Rio shall be resolved in accordance with Nevada law: NRS 463.362 Resolution of Disputes.
     1. Whenever a patron and a [gaming] licensee, or any person acting on behalf of or in
conjunction with a [gaming] licensee, have any dispute which cannot be resolved to the
satisfaction of the patron and which involves:

          (a) Alleged winnings, alleged losses or the award or distribution of cash, prizes,
benefits, tickets or any other item or items in a game, tournament, contest, drawing,
promotion or similar activity or event; or

          (b) The manner in which a game, tournament, contest, drawing, promotion or
similar activity or event is conducted, the [gaming] licensee is responsible for
notifying the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board or patron in accordance with the
provisions of subsection 2, regardless of whether the [gaming] licensee is
directly or indirectly involved in the dispute.

     2. Whenever a dispute described in subsection 1 involves:
          (a) At least $500, the [gaming] licensee shall immediately notify the [Nevada
Gaming Control] Board; or
          (b) Less than $500, the [gaming] licensee shall notify the patron of the patron’s right to request that the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board conduct an investigation.

     3. Upon being notified of a dispute, the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board, through an
agent, shall conduct whatever investigation it deems necessary and shall determine
whether payment should be made. The agent of the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board
shall mail written notice to the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board, the [gaming]
licensee and the patron of the agent’s decision resolving the dispute within 45
days after the date the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board first receives notification from
the [gaming] licensee or a request to conduct an investigation from the patron.
The failure of the agent to mail notice of the agent’s decision within the time
required by this subsection does not divest the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board of
its exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute.

     4. Failure of the [gaming] licensee to notify the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board or
patron as provided in subsection 2 is grounds for disciplinary action pursuant
to NRS 463.310 to 463.3145, inclusive.

     5. The decision of the agent of the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board is effective on the
date the aggrieved party receives notice of the decision. Notice of the decision shall be
deemed sufficient if it is mailed to the last known address of the [gaming] licensee and
patron. The date of mailing may be proven by a certificate signed by an officer or
employee of the [Nevada Gaming Control] Board which specifies the time the notice
was mailed. The notice shall be deemed to have been received by the [gaming]
licensee or the patron 5 days after it is deposited with the United States
Postal Service with the postage thereon prepaid.

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