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Contracts and Poker: A Study in Ambiguity

by Scott J. Burnham |  Published: May 09, 2018


A tournament director sent me the following question: “With blinds at 1,500-3,000, it was folded around to the player in the small blind, who announced ‘5,000 more.’ There was then some discussion around the table as to what the bet should be. I seem to remember one of your past articles about what to do when a player does not state clearly what he means. If you could clarify this for me I would really appreciate it.” This question presents a great opportunity to review what the TDA Rules say and how contract law can help fill in the gaps in the rules. Before you read on, if you were the TD, what would you decide in this situation and more importantly, why? Let’s make it a multiple choice question. I think the most likely responses are: A. 8,000 B. 6,500 C. 6,000 D. It is not a meaningful statement ...

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