Treehouse House Rules – 08/2013

These are the house rules we follow. These rules are designed to minimize drama; please follow them.

[TH 1] : Rule Set. We follow these house rules, then 2013 TDA rules, then Robert’s Rules.

[TH 2] : Spirit of the Game [TDA Rule 1]. The Floor must consider the best interest of the game and fairness as top priority in the decision-making process. Unusual circumstances can on occasion dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over the technical rules. The Floor’s decision is arbitrary, capricious, and final.

[TH 3] : If The Dealer Didn’t Hear It, You Didn’t Say It. The Treehouse is loud. Speak up. For example, if you say “raise” but maybe only your neighbor hears it, that is 100% your fault. The Floor may rule against you if a problem results. Get the dealer’s attention (dealers: pay attention), announce your action (“raise”, or “4500″ or whatever it is you need to clarify), and make sure the dealer has heard you before you do anything else.

[TH 4] : Floor Rulings. Any player, in the hand or not, may request a Floor Ruling. Neil is usually the Floor unless otherwise delegated. If the Floor is in the hand the Floor MAY delegate the decision to another person at his discretion.

[TH 5] : Orderly Table, Clear Bets, Clean Pots, Correct Payouts: Don’t splash the pot. Don’t leave bets and folded hands splayed all over the place between betting rounds. Calculate side pots correctly using the overage method not the “multiply the short stack” method (which is often wrong because of other action). Don’t “just match the stacks” to pay out an all-in; count the stacks and clearly announce the amount to be paid.

[TH 6] : Dealer Makes Change. If you need change, declare your bet sufficiently loudly (see TH3) and before the oversized chip drops. Do not take change before action is complete. Dealer should make change from the pot at the end of the betting round. Other players should not change-out your bet while action is ongoing (try to break people of this habit). Read TDA Rule 53 and do not put out extra chips (e.g., 525 to call 325) in an attempt to make change easier; absent a verbal declaration such a bet is a raise per Rule 53.

[TH 7] : Blind Increases. Blinds go up on the next hand when the timer so indicates. We follow the TDA rule by imagining when a “real” dealer would be riffling the deck or pushing the green button. The previous hand must be completely over, pot paid out and cards collected before the timer goes off, or your next hand will be at the new level. In particular this means that if the timer went off while a complicated pot is still being paid out, you will be hit with a blind increase. Posting of blinds is not a factor in the decision. The Floor reserves the right to make you pay $1 into the points prize pool if you argue “but I was POSTED”.

[TH 8] : Penalties. The typical first penalty is sitting out 1 round (orbit). However, Floor has complete discretion and is not limited to only round-based penalties. Chip fines, disqualification, or pretty much anything the Floor can think of is possible if the situation warrants. You may end up doing the dishes.

[TH 9] : Nine Handed. The final table will be played 9-handed. In general at the Treehouse we try to avoid 10-handed tables though the TD has discretion.

[TH 10] : Your Fault, Your Problem. This is more of a philosophy than a rule. When there is no other way to decide a ruling, the ruling generally will be against the player whose actions (especially if careless or non-standard) brought about the situation requiring the ruling, or against the player who could have protected himself but did not. Pay attention and protect your own interests at all times. See also TDA Rule 2.

One Reply to “Treehouse House Rules – 08/2013”

  1. Current as of: 9/23/2014:

    Here I record some clarifications and any “standard practices” I use as TD:

    Break Order

    We break from the green table to the red table to the blue table. Late arrivals sit at the table with the fewest players, with reverse break order priority (blue over red over green if there are multiple equally light tables).

    Late Arrival Seat Selection
    Generally I attempt to seat late arrivals at the big blind or earliest (worst) position possible. If it is easy to squeeze a new player into a seat exactly at the big blind I will do so; however, in my discretion as tournament director I will often just seat the new player at any open seat.

    Late Entry in Shorthanded Tournament
    Late entries are allowed up to (through) the first break. Sometimes in short-handed tournaments (or wild train wrecks) the tournament may get close to the money before the break. Late entry is always allowed if there are at least three more players than paid positions. Late entry is NEVER allowed “at the money bubble”. Late entry at “one away from money bubble” (in other words, 2 more players than paid position) is usually allowed, but this is at the Director’s discretion. It may be disallowed at that point if there are short stack players who object and the TD agrees they could be unfairly disadvantaged.

    When balancing tables (moving a player from one table to another) the next player to be big blind is taken and put into the worst open position (the seat that will get the big blind soonest). If you have posted your big blind but no cards have been dealt yet you are the player to move; obviously you take your blind back. If a hand is in progress then UTG will be the player moved. As TD I will usually delay balancing if a hand is in progress. I will almost never pause the clock during this wait. While it’s true that the shorthanded table is “losing time” during this wait, the difference between the two tables is a whopping one hand of poker. We’re not pausing the clock for that; if the heavy table is taking a long time realize that their players are also waiting just as long for their next hand as you are. In some cases at my discretion I might take a player from the heavy table even while a hand is in progress; however, technically the TD is never supposed to balance while the heavy table has an active hand because there is ALWAYS a possible bust out.

    Note that, per TDA rules, an incoming balancing player can sit at ANY spot and will receive cards there, even on the button. The only time they will have to wait is if the only open spot is “in between” the button and the blinds and seating the player would cause someone to be the big blind twice.

    If the reason your table is shorthanded is that the BB just busted out, the incoming (“balanced”) player sits in the busted-out seat and takes the BB. This is explicitly explained in [2013] TDA Rule 10(A). The BB stays in the same physical seat twice, and UTG from the previous bust-out hand will be UTG again. There is still a dead small blind in this situation, it’s just that the dead small blind has no “seat”.

    I try not to create new seats during the balancing process. When I come to your table and ask where the open seats were, this is why I’m asking – in balancing the tables I’m trying not to insert a player between two players who have always been next to each other. There’s no particular reason for this other than it most closely approximates what would happen if we had permanently assigned seats (“you are at table 17 seat 8”). Admittedly, in the heat of battle it doesn’t always happen right and sometimes a player gets seated in a “new” seat in contradiction to what my stated preference/policy is. That’s poker.

    I try to keep the tables within 1 player of each other, but at my discretion as TD I may instruct the short table to keep going for a few hands. Usually this is done only when there are enough players (e.g., 9 vs. 7 isn’t such a big problem) and especially when it seems likely that someone might bust out on the heavy table this hand or next. The position of the blinds on the light table also enters into this decision because if the blinds are moving through existing players with no open seat among them then a few hands can be played without changing how the blinds will progress through the existing players and the potential incoming player. In such cases letting you play a few hands is to your advantage – you get more hands in while the clock is still moving vs sitting there staring at the wall waiting for an incoming player. Overall my goal is to strike a balance between keeping everything perfectly even vs the disruption of moving people. As with everything else in poker in the long run all this variance balances out.

    Redraw for 2-to-3 Expansion
    I rarely do this, but in cases where we decide to expand to 3 tables from 2 because of too many late arrivals I will do it “whatever way makes sense at the time”. Typically I do a “zippered TDA balancing” – I’ll take the BB from one table, then the BB from the other, then UTG/UTG, then UTG+1/UTG+1 etc and seat them in that order at the new table (so that the two BB players fill the first two seats, the two UTG players fill the next two seats, and so forth). Depending on the circumstances I retain discretion to do something completely different from this procedure – whatever gets the job done quickest. If I remember to do it right, the new table will draw for button rather than just setting it in seat 1. As with all things in poker, good and bad luck in the outcome of such a process all balances out in the long run.

    Usually, rather than expanding to a third table to accommodate late arrivals, I will make them wait for a bustout to create open spots. Perhaps this will encourage you to come on time in the future 🙂 … I may seat us 11 handed at break if there are still late arrivals needing a seat.

    As with the final table, if we have three tables we will redraw for two-table seating at 18, not 20.

    Reminder about deals for Points
    There is no deal-making for points. If you decide to chop a tournament you have three choices:

    • Points awarded strictly based on chip stacks. This is what happens if any remaining player, or the TD, objects to any other choice.
    • Alternatively, and only if everyone involved agrees (and the TD does not object), the remaining players may choose to divide the (remaining) points evenly. This option is available even if the money is not evenly divided. If any single remaining player objects to this, points will go by chip stacks.
    • You may be allowed to flip for finish order. Stack sizes and blinds will determine whether this is allowed, entirely at TD discretion.

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