Just learned from the WSOP about some interesting news concerning the summer blowout tourney series. There will be some rule changes during the WSOP, and some of them are not necessarily backed by the TDA.
Though there are still a ton of tournament series out there—some of them with much better TERs in their smaller events—the World Series of Poker is still the 600lb gorilla of the bunch. So when they make a rule change, it will most likely have repercussions throughout the tournament world. And though these changes are more the relaxing of two strict rules that have caused a lot of controversial penalties, it will be interesting to see how they play out.
1. Verbalizations allowed — You will now be allowed to talk about your hand if there is no action left. There’s no longer an automatic penalty for talking about your hand when you’re last to act. The rule change as explained to us was a little vague, and I am concerned about how it is going to be enforced. If we had trouble understanding it in a small meeting, how are the hundreds of dealers and floor people going to deal with it?
2. Celebrations Allowed — Again, this is a relaxing of the excessive celebration rule, and the enforcement of this is even more troubling. The definition of excessive will be up to the floor, but they are being guided to allow people to celebrate.
Obviously, with the expanded TV coverage of the WSOP this year, these rule changes are intended to make better TV for the casual viewer. Hopefully, it won’t turn into a distraction that detracts from the game instead.
The final change is that the November Nine will now be the October Nine. The WSOP has no interest in going heads up against the US Presidential elections.