What Do the Rules Say About Using a Push/Fold Chart at the World Series of Poker?


Episode 7 of the World Series of Poker on ESPN kicked off with a short discussion between Jason Mcconnon and Kenny Hallaert about a piece of paper.


Mcconnon, with 1,995,000 in chips just under the average of 2,526,500, brought a so-called push-fold chart that tells players which hands they should push and which hands they should fold in what position once down to a certain amount of big blinds.

Hallaert immediately objected to the use of the information on the sheet of paper. Mcconnon, however, seemed sure he was allowed to use it.

The first hand, action folded to Mcconnon and he picked up {A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} in middle position. With the blinds at 40,000/80,000 and an ante of 10,000, he reached for the papers in his lap to see how to play his 50 big blind stack. Hallaert objected and asked for a ruling.

What wasn’t shown in the broadcast was that the floor initially did not forbid the use of the sheets of paper. Hallaert asked for a second opinion and Tournament Director Jack Effel came to the table and ruled the following:

So listen, the way that any of those things work, it’s just like anything else. While you’re in a hand, you can’t use any kind of tools, you can’t use any aide, anything like that. When you’re out of the hand, you’re more than welcome to reference anything that you have, your notes or anything like that, but not during the play of hands.
What Do the Rules Say About Using a Push/Fold Chart at the World Series of Poker? 101
Jack Effel comes to the table to make a ruling
Mcconnon wasn’t convinced just yet, but proceeded to play the hand without checking the charts again. Mcconnon must have checked the WSOP rules before he started playing Day 6 of the Main Event because he seemed so sure.

What Do the Rules Say?
Let’s see what the WSOP 2016 Rules say on this subject.

The first rule in the 2016 WSOP rule book under the ‘Participant conduct and tournament integrity’ section is no cheating allowed. Technically, the use of the push fold chart could be ruled a cheating device, though that would be a very liberal interpretation of the rule. Read More