OFFICIAL RULES – Vermont Poker League
For more rules see http://www.homepokertourney.com/rules_roberts.htm
The purpose of the league is to provide entertainment for Texas Hold’em enthusiasts in a atmosphere where there is no cash wagering of any kind. FREE poker means no entry fee of ANY kind! Establishments may NOT require minimum drinks, etc to participate.
21 & over only for prizes consisting of casino trips. However, an exception can be made if a player will turn 21 by the start date of the grand prize. This exception can be made ONLY if the sponsor establishment allows. The establishment also has the right to allow or refuse any person for any reason.
2. LEAGUE DATES
The sponsor location may establish league tournament dates which coincide with the league time frames.
3. POINTS BASED SCORING SYSTEM
Players accumulate points according to the scoring system based on finish in individual weekly tournaments. Depending on the contest, attendance points may be awarded to encourage participation. The tournament host must keep a record of the results of each tournament and report the scores directly to the website or the league office.
4. PLAYOFFS & CHAMPIONSHIP
Each league will send their highest ranked players (usually top 30%) to regional playoffs. The number (#of players) used to determine the top 20-30% is based on total attendance. Scoring calculation details available upon request. Players may compete in multiple leagues but may only qualify from one. See #9.
5. TOURNAMENT HOST
The establishment/sponsor is responsible for providing a “Tournament Host”. This person will oversee the setup of the tables/chairs, starting chip stacks, take registrations, manage chips, move players/breakdown tables, and report results. A secondary person should also be trained in to run the tournaments in case the regular host is unavailable. The host will need to have their undivided attention during the tournament.
Players must SIGN IN / REGISTER for each event. Each player must draw for their table & seat number. NO SUBSTITUTES. If there are seats available to play, any newcomers may enter.
7. LATE PLAYERS
Any open seats will be given to new players. There are NO LATE ENTRIES unless the host has arranged chips in an empty seat and instructs the players to deal the cards to the empty seat and post blinds. A late player may be allowed to take that seat up to the end of the first break, before the 100/200 blind level. If the seat is never claimed, the remaining chips are simply removed from the tournament.
8. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED – IMPORTANT!
Come early to guarantee a seat in the weekly tournament. Some locations may be popular and need to turn people away.
9. PLAYERS WHO REGISTER AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
Players will be allowed to register at different locations. HOWEVER, a player can only QUALIFY to advance to the league playoffs from ONE location. League officials determine advancing players based on rank (percentage based). When a person qualifies at 2 different locations, the site they ranked lowest in would be dropped. In some cases, the next player “on the bubble” would be moved up. It is important to check final rankings before playoff events.
10. STARTING CHIP COUNT
All players will start out with 2000 in chips. Chip values are as follows:
(8) 25 chips (usually green)
(8) 100 chips (usually black)
(2) 500 chips (usually purple)
Note: some may use alternative poker chips/colors.
11. BLIND SCHEDULE
USE A TIMER! Host must announce blind levels every 20 minutes using the following schedule. Break times can be adjusted to meet needs. Bigger leagues may adjust levels to 15 minutes if deemed necessary. *Blinds are capped when sum of blinds equal 10% of total chips in play.
|Break at end of this level – Convert 25′s|
|Break at end of this level – Convert 100′s|
|Cap* =< 28 players|
|Cap =< 40 players|
|Cap =< 60 players|
|Cap =< 80 players|
|Cap =< 100 players|
|Cap =< 120 players|
*-Depending on the number of players starting the tournament, it is not necessary to increase the blinds when the amount of the blinds reaches 10% of the total chips in play. Cap the blinds appropriately depending on the total number of players who started the tournament.
Players take turns dealing themselves. The deck should be shuffled 3-5 times and passed to the right for a legal cut. The tournament host may allow a designated dealer on each table on larger tables.
13. DEALER PROCEDURE
A. DEALER BUTTON. To begin play at the start of the tournament. The dealer will “high card” for the dealer button immediately prior to the start of play. This means the player who draws the highest card will start with the button. (The button determines who gets the first card, etc., and also determines the position of the “blinds”) In case two players get the same card: suit preference is spades-hearts-diamonds-clubs.
B. BLINDS. The person immediately to the left of the button will post the SMALL BLIND. The person immediately left of the small blind will post the BIG BLIND. See blind schedule. If a player leaves the table his hand will post & fold unless he returns by the time it is his turn to act. (His blind will be posted and the hand will fold when there is action).
SPECIAL RULES FOR USING BLINDS
1. The minimum bet or raise is the amount of the big blind. They remain the same even when the player in the blind does not have enough chips to post the full amount.
2. Each round every player must get an opportunity for the button, and meet the total amount of the blind obligations. Either of the following methods of button and blind placement may be designated to do this:
(Note: the league will use the DEAD BUTTON rule at regional and final tournaments.)
(b) Dead button – The big blind is posted by the player due for it, and the small blind and button are positioned accordingly, even if this means the small blind or the button is placed in front of an empty seat, giving the same player the privilege of last action on consecutive hands.
(see dead button rule diagram)
C. SHUFFLE. Dealer must shuffle the cards at least 3 times and the cards MUST BE CUT every hand. Dealer should not “overshuffle”, please keep games moving.
D. THE DEAL. Starting with the small blind position, each player is dealt two cards. Once betting action is over (pot is “right”), the dealer will then “burn” the top card on the deck, and turn up three consecutive cards (“Flop”). The dealer burns the next card before placing the 4th card (“Turn” or “4th Street”). The dealer burns the next card before placing the 5th card (“River” or “5th Street”).
E. HEADS UP. When only two players remain, the player due to assume the Big Blind will do so, and the Small Blind will get the button. The Small Blind or button will act first prior to the flop and second after the flop.
F. DEALER ERRORS. If a player is accidentally dealt a card face up (or a card is seen by someone else at the table), that card is placed face up in front of the intended player and dealing continues. The player then receives their second card once the dealing is completed. The exposed card is then used as the burn card. If a second card is exposed during the deal, a misdeal is announced and all of the cards are reshuffled and re-dealt.
House Rules to solve common errors:
|1||Dealer reveals burn card.||Revealed card is shown to all players. Dealer then reveals the appropriate card.|
|2||Player (A) shows hand before players (B & C) have opportunity to act.||Player (A) must play the rest of the hand with his/her cards exposed but can still win the pot and place bets. (best obvious hand rule)|
|3||Player bets out of turn||Player must take bet back and wait for his/her turn to act.|
14. BETTING PROCEDURE
In No-Limit Texas Holdem a player may bet any amount of his chip stack during the course of play. The minimum bet or raise is the amount of the big blind. The minimum raise would be the amount of the big blind. However, a re-raise must be at least DOUBLE the previous bet.
Before the flop. the player to the immediate left of the Big Blind is first to act (check or bet).
After the flop. The player to the left of the dealer button is first to act for remaining betting rounds.
15. ALL IN / SIDE POTS
If a player lacks sufficient chips for a blind or a forced bet, the player is entitled to get action on whatever amount of chips remains. In this situation, a “side pot” could occur for players with remaining chips.
Whenever a player is ALL-IN and all betting action is complete, all hands in play will be turned face up. When a player loses all his/her chips, they are eliminated from play and must LEAVE the table. If two or more players are eliminated on the same hand, the player who started the hand with more chips will be awarded the higher finishing position.
16. COMBINING TABLES/RESEATING
As the tournament progresses, players will be eliminated. To keep tables balanced with the same number of players, the tournament host will be required to reseat players. For example, you have 3 full tables (10 people), but one table has only 6 players. You should move 1 person from each of the full tables to balance each table with 9 players. Continue to move players as needed while players are eliminated.
New players (reseated) are dealt in immediately unless they sit down in the small blind or button position. In these two cases they must wait until the button passes. If a player is seated in the Big Blind position, the player must post the Big Blind and will be dealt in the hand.
If a table is reseated and 50% or more of the players are new to the table, then seats should re-drawn and a “high card” for the button immediately prior to resuming the session. The official time for the blind level should be paused during down time.
17. ENDING THE TOURNAMENT EARLY
Each tournament will simply continue until one player wins all the chips. In the unlikely event there is not enough time to finish the tournament, an end time will be announced at least 10 minutes in advance and the person with the most chips will receive 1st place. All remaining players will place according to their amount of chips. IN CASE OF A TIE: In the case where 2 players bust out on the same hand, the player with the most chips going into the hand will rank higher. In the RARE case that both players had the same amount of chips going into the hand, then the best poker hand will be the tiebreaker.
18. RULES OF PLAY
Players chips must remain on the table at all times, unless you are reassigned to another table.
All cards & chips must remain ABOVE the table top during play.
One player per hand. You may NOT ask ADVICE as to how to act during the action period. If you SHOW your cards to an active player at the table, you must show all players. (show one-show all).
No “splashing” the pot. Players are to place their chips in front of themselves so everyone knows exactly how much they are betting.
No “string bets”. A player must state their intentions (call, check or raise) before placing chips in front of them.
No “Table Talk” about a hand still in play. Players should NOT talk about their hand while others are still playing. AFTER the hand is played out, let the moaning & groaning begin.
Players are expected to conduct themselves with POKER ETIQUETTE. Inappropriate behavior like throwing cards that go off the table or violating any league rule repeatedly may be penalized by the tournament host. Penalties will range from verbal warnings to “missed time” penalties. A severe infraction such as abusive or disruptive behavior or “chip dumping” may be punished by eviction from the tournament and possibly the league.
20. LEAVING EARLY/ABSENT PLAYERS
Absent players are always dealt in, if a player is not present for the hand when it is their turn to act, their hand is folded, even if they are in the big blind and there is not a raise.
#1) Players must be physically present to take their seat and play at least one hand to be eligible for participation points. The league may disqualify players for participation points if it is clear they have no intention of playing (for example: checking in, then IMMEDIATELY leaving). Also, playing “all-in” for the sole purpose of busting out to leave early will be considered BAD ETIQUETTE.
#2) Players may NOT post & fold for a period of MORE than (2) full blind levels (in addition to the current level). If a player leaves the tournament and does not return within this time frame, their chips shall be removed and their position in the tournament forfeited. See #3 & #4
#3) Any player who must withdraw from the tournament early should DECLARE they are leaving (alert the host to withdraw his/her chips). Participation points are still awarded.
#4) In the interests of our sponsors, players will NOT be rewarded if they withdraw from the tournament early. Exception: any player who withdraws from a tournament AFTER they have made it to the points round will be rewarded the place/rank they withdraw at. Posting & folding (leaving temporarily), and permanently leaving (withdrawing from) a tournament are two separate actions. Players must declare their INTENTION if they are posting & folding because if they do not return they will sacrifice their points EVEN IF they have made it to the points round!
21. PROBLEM RESOLUTION
The tournament sponsor hostís decision is final on all disputes during tournament play. Please email or call the league to report problems. Please understand that the host’s decision is final once the next hand is played, even if that decision is technically incorrect.
League office#: (802) 797-4623 email: firstname.lastname@example.org