Author Topic: observers at a table  (Read 8863 times)

Golferdude

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observers at a table
« on: May 10, 2012, 07:46:50 AM »
OK, here is the situation. There are multiple tables in a tournament at a private event. At some of the tables there are people standing watching the action. What is the rule, or is there one on where people can stand, how close they can get, etc. Does it matter what location it is, 'free' poker vs casino style, etc. Had a situation where a person got busted out and sat down to watch his wife play and was told that was not allowed. Another player was also told that he couldnt stand next to a table to watch the action. Any insight would be apprecaited.

K-Lo

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Re: observers at a table
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 08:29:47 AM »
OK, here is the situation. There are multiple tables in a tournament at a private event. At some of the tables there are people standing watching the action. What is the rule, or is there one on where people can stand, how close they can get, etc. Does it matter what location it is, 'free' poker vs casino style, etc. Had a situation where a person got busted out and sat down to watch his wife play and was told that was not allowed. Another player was also told that he couldnt stand next to a table to watch the action. Any insight would be apprecaited.

Golferdude:

There is no standard rule on how close spectators should be to the table and whether or not they are even permitted.  As you can appreciate, room and table configurations will differ from place to place, so it is not realistic to set a fixed distance.  Regardless of the type of game it is, I believe the decision would be left in the hands of management or the tourney organizer as the case may be.  Some organizers will allow spectators to sit behind the player they are watching (e.g. spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend etc), while other organizers will insist that spectators watch from behind a rail (e.g. behind a portable tape barrier).  So what is allowed really depends on the particular venue and the will of management/organizers.

I think spectators are good for the game, and add to the fun and excitement.  When I TD "free" games, I have no problem generally allowing observers to sit behind the player they are watching (assuming of course that the player is OK with it);  for more serious money tournaments, I would be more inclined to have observers sit/stand a greater distance from the table or behind a rail.  

In my opinion, there are two general principles to keep in mind with regards to managing spectators:

1.  Being allowed to spectate is not a right but a privilege, and spectators should not be disruptive to the tournamant or the running of it.  So if someone is standing in a place where, although he is not disrupting the opponents, but he is in the way of the TDs and servers moving between tables, then I will ask him to stand somewhere else.  If there really isn't any room for spectators at a particular venue, I may have to tell him that we cannot accommodate spectators.  Of course, if I have suspicions that the observer is cheating (e.g. trying to see another player's cards and passing that information on), I would not allow him to spectate for obvious reasons.  

2.  The one player to a hand rule applies.  I would not permit spectators to comment on hands (whether of the player they are watching or of other players at the table) or coach a player at the table.  The issue of whether the player is permitted to allow the spectator to see his cards, and if so, is he obliged to show the hand to the table after the hand is done if asked is a bit more murky - I personally don't have an issue with a player discreetly showing his hand to a spectator as long as there is no subsequent coaching and the spectator is in no way influencing play with that knowledge.

Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 11:41:17 AM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Re: observers at a table
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 08:35:32 AM »
Golferdude,
 Good question. I am going to copy this from another post.

At the last Summit, Barry Greenstein made a brief appearance and voiced his concerns regarding a few issues he had with tournament clock management. He also mentioned  the close proximity of fans in the gallery. I think a rule that puts more distance between the gallery and tables, and restricts excessive celebration and noise should be introduced. Players jumping from the table and running over to friends and family members is getting out of hand. Normal civil celabration adds to the excitment, but it has to be controlled.

 Chet responded by saying that he felt the TDA should not get into issues about the gallery.

 Most casinos will allow spectators to sit behind player's in cash games as long as there are no objections. The spectators must not say anything related to any hand or disrupt the game in ay way. Tournament poker should never allow spectators to sit at the table (usually after they are elliminated), or they should not be allowed too close to the table, either. I don't know of any existing rule but I would be in favor of restricting spectators from being within 10 feet of any tournament table and I would also be in favor of removing any -pain in the ass- spectator from the cardroom.

 While I was typing K-Lo sent his excellent reply. I think we are pretty close as to how we feel about spectators.


chet

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Re: observers at a table
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:45:54 AM »
Well said both of you (K-Lo and Nick).

Just a bit of clarification as to what I meant in the prior post that Nick was referring to:  My position is that I don't think the TDA should get into rules that affect the physical plant of the location holding the event.  That is something that needs to be taken care of between the management of the location and the TD managing the event.  That said, I agree with K-Lo in this area.  And by the way, I do not speak for the TDA Board of Directors in any way. shape or form.

Other than Mike B, I think the other four members have contracted permanent laryngitis which is too bad as their input was always appreciated, even if some of us didn't always agree.

Chet

Golferdude

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Re: observers at a table
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 09:10:58 AM »
Thanks to all for your replies. This follows what I believed it should be. I did not think there was a set rule but wanted to get more inputs. Your replies were informative and well written. Thanks so much!!