We are just a few weeks away from the start of the 2012 World Series of Poker, and the organizers of the tournament have announced that they have lightened their stance on celebrations and table talk.
Jack Eiffel, the Tournament Director for the WSOP said that players will be able to talk about the contents of their hands while the action is ongoing, given that they don't show their cards as long as other players have decisions to make at the table.
Speaking about the shift in rules, Eiffel said that the WSOP wanted players to be able to enjoy themselves. "We stream these events to showcase poker's best and what we see are players sitting in their shells. We've made it to where it's a little more open by extending the talking strategy, but we're asking for players who make the streamed or televised tables to verbally declare their actions and the amounts of them so we can get a little more talking at the table."
WSOP Executive Director Ty Steward said: "We've tightened poker up so much that players are afraid to use verbal strategy to out-man their opponents, which has been integral to poker. It takes poker back to its fundamental basis and its strategic intent. As a result, you get good TV."
Regarding the new stance on player celebrations Eiffel added: "It's not a problem to celebrate a hand. It's okay to let that out. We don't feel it's okay to be disruptive, though, but we've rewritten the rule to say we want you to celebrate, just don't be crazy. It's up to our discretion."
"No Tournament Director at the WSOP should be confused with Paul Bart: Mall Cop.
There were cases last year where celebrations were penalized. A poker room isn't a church. We just think we need to set the tone to bring some of the fun back."