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Syndicate Rules Season VIII 2012-2013

Syndicate Rules House Rules Tournament Rules Disclaimer

Syndicate Rules:

    • Schedule: We will run a 16 tournament schedule and use a player’s top 12 finishes to determine his/her total points for the series.
    • Point System: The points structure can be found on the structure page.
    • Prizes: Our prize structure will be determined by the funds available and the events offered by the WSOP.
    • Grand Prizes: The Grand Prize will be a $10,000 buy-in to the upcoming WSOP Main Event plus $500 in cash.   Additional Grand Prize packages will be awarded depending upon available funds.
    • Guaranteed WSOP Seat Awards: Depending upon available funds and the events offered by the WSOP, additional guaranteed WSOP seats will be awarded.  These will range from $1,500 to $2,500 (+$250 in cash). Projected prizes will be updated throughout the season.
    • Grand Prize Options: The Grand Prize winners must play in the Main Event following the conclusion of the current season. If a Grand Prize Winner, cannot play in the WSOP Main Event then he/she must option it off to the next qualified player for a 10% stake in that player’s winnings at the designated WSOP event. Should this occur, then all prize packages would “shift down” accordingly in the standings.
    • Winners Options If any winner (excluding Grand Prize Winners) cannot play in the designated event, he/she can play in a lower buy-in event and receive extra cash in the amount of 10% of the original buy-in.  The remaining funds will go back into the Syndicate prize pool.  For example, if a player wins a $2,500 seat but chooses to play in a $1,500 event, he will receive an additional $250 in cash and the remaining $750 will go into the Prize Pool.  Any winner may also "buy up" into a higher value event at their own cost. The Syndicate’s share remains 50%.  Should any player not be able to play in a WSOP event then he/she must option it off to the next qualified player for a 10% stake in that player’s winnings at the designated WSOP event.
    • Discounted WSOP Seats:  From time to time discounted WSOP seats are available.  These should be purchased by the Syndicate or the winning player whenever possible.  When this occurs the money saved is retained by (or returned to) The Syndicate.
    • Qualified WSOP Events:  Players must play in an official WSOP “bracelet” event and any prize package that includes a buy-in of $5,000 or more must be used for a No Limit Hold’em Event only.
    • Prize Package Notes: All prize packages are good-faith estimates based upon reasonable projections, available funds and the tournament buy-ins offered by the WSOP. The Syndicate will publish updates when necessary.
    • Ties: In the event of a tie for any prize, a heads-up match will be played to determine the winner. This will be a best two out of three match with 5,000 chip starting stacks and 20 minute blinds (starting at 25/50 with no antes).
    • Formats: Our regular deep-stack tournaments will feature 15,000 chip starting stacks. The four "Majors" will have 20,000 chips starting stacks (See below for more information on the Majors). All tournaments will have a $125 buy-in. We will also be playing four re-entry tournaments which allow unlimited re-entries for the first 5 levels.  To re-enter a player must be out of chips and pay $125 for a new, full stack.  A “surrender” option is also available at the end of level 5.
    • Tournament Payouts/Escrow: At each tournament 50% of that event’s prize pool, will be awarded to the top finishers. The number of places paid is determined by the total number of players entered. The other 50% will be saved to pay for all the WSOP Prize Packages and to fund the playoff tournament. 
    • Majors: Events 4, 8, 12 and 16 will be “major” deep stack tournaments. These Majors will each have an 20,000 chip starting stack. All majors will have 30 minute blind levels. In addition to the normal cash payouts the top finishers will also receive bonus playoff chips that will be added to their starting stacks at the Playoff Tournament if they qualify for that event. These bonus chips will be awarded like this: 1st- 2,000 chips; 2nd- 1,500 chips; 3rd- 1,000 chips; 4th- 750 chips; 5th- 500 chips.
    • Participation Points & Chips: For every tournament entered you will receive 5 points towards your season total.  Additionally, for every tournament entered you will receive 50 bonus playoff chips that will be added to your starting stack at the Playoff Tournament should you qualify for that event.
    • Playoff Tournament: There will be a final playoff tournament for the top 18 players that did not earn a guaranteed seat. To qualify, players must also have played in at least 5 events during the season. The next five players that did not make the playoff, and also played in at least 5 events, will be alternates and will be eligible to play if one of the above referenced players can’t participate. They will be invited in the order of their finish. Should there be a tie for the last playoff spot then all tied players will advance. Should a playoff qualifier choose not to play and there is a tie for the 1st alternate spot, then both alternates shall advance.
    • The Playoff Prizes:  Four seats will be awarded in a post-season playoff tournament.  At a minimum, the 1st place and 2nd place prizes in the playoff will be $1,500 packages.  All playoff winners will also receive $250 in cash.
    • Playoff Tournament Format: The Playoff tournament will feature a 15,000 chip starting stack and 30 minute blinds. Players will also be awarded 300 chips per place depending on their overall finish during the regular season. For example: if you are the bottom seed then you will get a starting stack of 15,000; the next would receive 15,300; and so on in increments of 300. Additionally, any bonus chips earned during the "majors" or for each event entered will be added to your stack if you qualify for this tournament.
    • Playoff Tournament Buy-in: There is no buy-in for the Playoff Tournament.
    • Playoff Tournament Start:  All playoff players must be seated before the start of level 3.
    • Syndicate Shares/WSOP Winners: For every tournament entered each player will receive one share of the Syndicate. If a Syndicate winner cashes at a WSOP event then he/she will take 50% of their post-tip (not to exceed 3% of profit), post tax cash prize. The remaining 50% of winnings will be paid to The Syndicate within one week of the event.  [For example – if a member plays in the Main Event and cashes for $25,000 and tips out $300 (2% if $15k) and withholds $5,250 for taxes (25% Fed./10% State) then the Syndicate would receive $9,725 (25,000 - 300 - 5,250 = 19,450 / 2)  The Syndicate will then distribute this sum (less any current expenses incurred by The Syndicate) back to The Syndicate players per the value of their vested shares. For example: if there are 400 total entries for the season and a player enters in 20 events then he would receive 20/400's or 5% of the prize money. The winner will also keep his/her vested share. 
    • Becoming Vested: A player must play in a minimum of 5 events each season to become vested and be eligible to receive Syndicate shares.  Any un-vested shares will be distributed evenly per the vested players’ shares.  Should any Syndicate member win $250,000 or more at the WSOP then all players, vested and unvested, will be paid their full shares.
    • Location/Food & Drinks: The location will be provided on the Evite for each tournament. Dinner and water will be provided -- players should bring their own snacks and other beverages are BYOB. Any changes in venue location will be announced as needed.
    • Rake/Fee: The Syndicate does not charge a fee (or a rake) to play in its tournaments. The Syndicate makes no profit and all proceeds go into the prize pool for the group’s winners. The Syndicate is managed by its members. Each player is asked to bring $6 per event to help pay for dinner and water.  In addition, $2 per player is requested to pay for other expenses (plates, napkins, utensils, cards, chips, tables, chairs, supplies etc.).  This is a total of $8.  Before determining the prize pool for the end of each season any shortfall in The Syndicate account will be covered.  
    • WSOP Prize Pool: The funds available for the WSOP prize packages are determined with this equation: nightly entry fees plus $8 per player donation less nightly payout less cost of dinner less other direct expenses = WSOP prize packages.
    • Starting Time & Seating: The Syndicate is a player-run league and it really needs your help to operate smoothly.  The following rules have been adopted to keep our tournaments organized and on time; and to be fair to all the players that want to participate. 

    (1) All players must check in no later than 15 minutes prior to the official start time. This is considered “on time”.  After that a player is considered late. Check-in starts 45 minutes before the official start time.

    (2)  If a player cannot make it on time then he must notify us in advance.  This can be by email until noon on game day and by text after that.  Please include your name and a realistic ETA.

    (3)  If a player does not arrive on time (15 minutes prior to the start) , and does not notify us, and we are sold out, then that player may lose his/her reserved seat to a player on the wait list. The late player would then become an alternate.

    (4)  If a player has to cancel then he/she must notify us no later than one hour before the scheduled start time.   If an entered player does not play, and does not cancel on time, and the event is sold out with a wait list, and the Syndicate cannot fill the empty seat, then the player must pay $62.50 to the Syndicate to cover for the lost savings. This must be paid before entering any subsequent tournament.

    (5) All players must arrive and begin play by the start of level 6th.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.

    Capacity/Invitations:  The Syndicate has limited seating capacity.  Priority for seating is given first to regular players from previous seasons, then to players that have participated regularly in the current season, and then to newcomers and then the rest of the list.  The Syndicate cannot guarantee that there will be space available at every event.

    ·         The Wait List:  If a tournament sells out then you may get on the “reserve” list.  Simply send an email to sdsyndicate@san.rr.comPlease include your mobile number in your email.  If space becomes available via cancelation or otherwise, then reserves will be notified in the order that we received their email.  If no space becomes available then a reserve is welcome to come by on tournament day to see if there is an opening.  There is no guarantee of a seat.  Reserves that are present at the tournament will take precedence over those waiting at home or elsewhere.

    ·         No Show/No Call: It is disruptive to our tournaments when a player signs up but does not attend. It is also disruptive when a player arrives late without notifying us of his/her intentions.  As noted above – late players (without notifying us) may lose their seats to a reserve and become alternates. Additionally, players who sign-up but do not play and do not cancel in time or at all (one hour prior to start) must pay $62.50 to the Syndicate to cover for the lost savings. This must be paid before entering any subsequent tournament.

    ·         Starting Late:  All late players will start with blinded down stacks.  If you start with a new stack we assume 2 orbits per level and break each level into two halves

    • Format/Schedule Change:  The Syndicate reserves the right to change the schedule and/or the Format as needed.  With a schedule made several months in advance it is typical that a couple of dates need to be changed.  Likewise, The Syndicate’s goal is to have the tournaments end at a reasonable time - so the format may be adjusted from time to time to ensure a timely finish.
    • There will be no chopping at any of the tournaments. We play to win!

House Rules - Basic Syndicate Procedures

We use these House Rules plus the Tournament Directors Association rules to govern play.

  • Dealers: There are no set dealers - the deal is rotated around the table. The dealer is in charge of the hand so please pay close attention to the action. Don't deal without blinds and antes in.
  • Shuffling/Cutting: Cards are shuffled after the hand by the dealer that just dealt the hand. After shuffling, place the cut card on top of the deck and pass it forward.  The new dealer cuts the deck and then deals.
  • Misdeals: If first or second card is exposed it is a misdeal. If any other card is exposed it is replaced by the burn card after all other cards are dealt. The exposed card becomes the burn. If two cards are exposed it is also a misdeal.
  • Missed Hand: If you are not in your seat when it is your turn to act then your hand will be mucked.
  • Moving Players: To balance the table we take the next BB and move him/her to the worst position at the new table.
  • Follow The Action: If you bet without realizing there was action in front of you, your action is binding.  If your bet is less than 50% of the previous bet then you can call the remainder or fold and forfeit your chips.  If your bet is between 50% and 149% of the previous bet – then you are obligated to call.  If your bet is 150% or more then you must double the bet for a raise.
  • Mucked/Dead Hands: Each player must follow the action and act in turn. If you do not protect your hand or you muck out of turn, even by mistake, your hand will be dead.
  • Chopping: There is no chopping in The Syndicate. We play to win!
  • Cleanup: As you bust out please help take a moment to help keep things clean. Then we'll take a short break before the final table to cleanup/breakdown anything possible.

The following are basic TDA Rules reminders

  • Verbal is Binding: If you say one amount but toss out a different amount - whichever happened first counts.
  • No String Bets: Say "raise" or the amount of your bet - or bet all in one motion.
  • Out of Turn Action: May be binding (if the action to you has not changed). Watch the action and act in turn.
  • Showing/Talking: Don't show your cards or talk about your hand to anyone while there is still action. Don't talk to players who are in a hand or ever try to influence the action. This includes players in the hand.
  • The Cards Speak: The hand determines the winner, even if the player misses it or calls it wrong.
  • TDA Handout: Click here for a printable TDA Rules Handout.

Please Note: While we use these house rules and the TDA rules as guides, the "Floor" or Tournament Director has discretion due to the unique nature of The Syndicate.  Since we do not have professional dealers there is an increased possibility for error or disagreement. Every attempt will be made to follow the established rules while keeping the game as fair as possible.


Tournament Rules:



Rules Version 2011 TDA Rules Version 2.0, released Sept. 22, 2011


The PokerTDA is comprised of poker room personnel from around the world whose objective is to draft a standardized set of rules for poker tournaments. The TDA has developed the following tournament poker rules, which supplement the standard or “house rules” of this card room/casino. In case of conflict between these rules and the rules & regulations of the applicable gaming agency, the agency rules apply.

Click here for the TDA Rules Handout.  Click here for the TDA Rules Longform.


General Concepts

1: Floor People

Floor people are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness as top priorities 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 floorperson’s decision is final.


2: Official Language

The English-only rule will be enforced in the United States during the play of hands. English will be used in international play along with the local or native language.


3: Official Terminology of Tournament Poker

Official terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like: bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, pot (in pot-limit only), and complete. Regional terms may also meet this standard. The use of non-standard language is at player’s risk because it may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear. See Rules 36 & 44.


4: Communication

Players may not talk on the phone while at the poker table. House rules apply to all other forms of electronic devices.


Seating Players; Breaking & Balancing Tables

5: Random Correct Seating

Tournament and satellite seats will be randomly assigned. A player who started the tournament in the wrong seat with the correct chip stack amount will be moved to the correct seat and will take his current total chip stack with him.


6: Special Needs

Accommodations for players with special needs will be made when possible.


7: Breaking Tables

Players going from a broken table to fill in seats assume the rights and responsibilities of the position. They can get the big blind, the small blind, or the button. The only place they cannot get a hand is between the small blind and the button.


8: Balancing Tables

A: In flop and mixed games when balancing tables, the player who will be big blind next will be moved to the worst position, including taking a single big blind when available, even if that means the seat will have the big blind twice. Worst position is never the small blind. In stud-only events, players will be moved by position (the last seat to open up at the short table is the seat to be filled). The table from which a player is moved will be as specified by a predetermined procedure. Play will halt on any table that is 3 or more players short.

B: In mixed games (example: HORSE), when the game shifts from hold’em to stud, after the last hold’em hand the button is moved exactly to the position it would be if the next hand was hold’em and then frozen there during the stud round. The player moved during stud is the player who would be the big blind if the game was hold’em for that hand. When hold’em resumes the button for the first hand will be at the position where it was frozen.


9: Number of Players at Final Table

In flop games, the final table will consist of 10 players. In six-handed games, the final table will consist of 7 players. In stud games, the final table will consist of 9 players. In a seven-handed event (example: 2-7 draw lowball) the final table will consist of 8 players.


Pots / Showdown

10: Declarations

Cards speak. Verbal declarations as to the content of a player’s hand are not binding; however, any player deliberately miscalling his hand may be penalized.


11: Face Up for All-Ins

All cards will be turned face up without delay once a player is all-in and all betting action by all other players in the hand is complete.


12: Showdown Order

In a non-all-in showdown, at the end of the last round of betting, the player who made the last aggressive action in that betting round must show first. If there was no bet in the last round, the player to the left of the button shows first and so on clockwise. In stud, the player with the high board must show first. In razz, the lowest board shows first.


13: Playing the Board at Showdown.

A player must show all hole cards when playing the board in order to get part of the pot.


14: Asking to See a Hand.

Except where house policy requires a hand to be shown or provides an express right to see a hand on request, asking to see a hand is a privilege granted at TD’s discretion to protect the integrity of the game (suspicion of invalid hand, collusion, etc). This privilege is not to be abused. A player who mucks his hand face down at showdown without fully tabling it loses any rights he may have to ask to see any hand.


15: Killing Winning Hand

Dealers cannot kill a winning hand that was tabled and was obviously the winning hand. Players are encouraged to assist in reading tabled hands if it appears that an error is about to be made.


16: Awarding Odd Chips

The odd chip goes to the high hand. In flop games when there are 2 or more high hands or 2 or more low hands, the odd chip(s) will go to the left of the button. In stud, the odd chip goes to the high card by suit. However, when hands have identical value (ex: a wheel in Omaha/8) the pot will be split as evenly as possible.


17: Side Pots

Each side pot will be split separately.


18: Disputed Pots

The right to dispute a hand ends when a new hand begins. See Rule # 19.


General Procedures

19: New Hand & New Limits

When time has elapsed in a round and a new level is announced by a member of the tournament staff, the new level applies to the next hand. A hand begins with the first riffle. If an automatic shuffler is being used, the hand begins when the green button is pushed.


20: Chip Race

When it is time to color-up chips, they will be raced off with a maximum of one chip going to any player. The chip race will always start in the No.1 seat. A player cannot be raced out of a tournament: a player who loses his remaining chip(s) in a chip race will be given one chip of the smallest denomination still in play. Players are encouraged to witness the chip race.


21: Chip Stacks Kept Visible & Countable

Players are entitled to a reasonable estimation of an opponent’s chip count; thus chips should be kept in countable stacks. The TDA recommends clean stacks in multiples of 20 as a standard. Players must keep their higher denomination chips visible and identifiable at all times. Tournament directors will control the number & denomination of chips in play and may color up at their discretion. Discretionary color ups are to be announced.


22: Deck Changes

Deck changes will be on the dealer push or level changes or as prescribed by the house. Players may not ask for deck changes.


23: Re-buys

A player may not miss a hand. If a player announces the intent to rebuy before a new hand, he is playing chips behind and is obligated to make the re-buy.


24: Calling for a Clock

Once a reasonable amount of time has passed & a clock is called for, a player will be given a maximum of one minute to make a decision. If action has not been taken before time expires, there will be a 10-second countdown followed by a declaration to the effect that the hand is dead. If the player has not acted before the declaration, the hand is dead.


25: Rabbit Hunting

No rabbit hunting is allowed. Rabbit hunting is revealing any cards “that would have come” if the hand had not ended.


Player Present / Eligible for Hand

26: At Your Seat

A player must be at his seat by the time all players have been dealt complete initial hands in order to have a live hand. A player must be at his seat to call time.


27: Action Pending

A player must remain at the table if he has a live hand.


Table Talk/Disclosure:  This section is from the Official WSOP rules:


1.       Participants are obligated to protect the other Participants in the Tournament at all times. Therefore, whether in a hand or not, Participants may not:

1. Disclose contents of live or folded hands,

2. Advise or criticize play at any time,

3. Read a hand that hasn't been tabled,

4. Discuss strategy with an outside source.


·         The one-Participant-to-a-hand rule will be enforced.


Special Exceptions

·         A Participant is allowed to mention the strength or content of his/her hand if no other Participant in the hand will have a decision to make.

·         In heads-up events or when down to the last two Participants in a Tournament, Participants may speak freely regarding the contents of their hands.

·         The Floor Person reserves the right use his/her judgment to determine if one Participant intentionally helped another Participant.


The full set of WSOP Rules can be found here:  WSOP Official Tournament Rules

Disclaimer:  This website was donated to The Syndicate and is updated by a volunteer.  Please understand that any information found on this website is subject to change.  It is your responsibility to receive, read and understand all rules and communications from The Syndicate.




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