Standard Tournament Rules


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Games - Standard Tournament Rules

The following rules apply to ALL tournaments at EmpirePoker.com unless otherwise stated.

1. A "Tournament" is a contest in which all players start with an equal amount of chips and continue to play until one player remains and accumulates all the chips. (Blinds/antes are raised consistently throughout the tournament.) The exception to all players starting with equal chips is the EmpirePoker Million Semi-finals.

2. All Tournaments are freeze-outs (no re-buys).

3. Single Table Tournaments will begin within seconds after all Players are seated. Players choose their seat on a first-come, first-serve basis.

4. Multi-Table Tournaments have set starting times and players must Register in advance and to play. They may do so up to 5 minutes prior to the start of play. (Some tournaments may require more lead-time for Registration. Check the Tournament Lobby for details.) All seat assignments are randomly drawn prior to the start of the tournament. Tables will break down from the highest numbered table to the lowest numbered tables. When transferring players from one table to another (as a result of tables breaking down), the player's position from the blinds is taken into consideration when assigning a new seat. The system will be as fair as possible to players, to maintain the same distance from the blinds after the transfer.

5. In Hold’em and Omaha games, the Players “high-card” for the button immediately prior to the start of play. This means the player who draws the highest card will start with the button. In case two Players get the same high card, the suit preference of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs will determine who starts with the button.

6. Tournaments will continue until one Player wins all the chips.

7. When a Player loses all his/her chips, they are eliminated from play.

8. In "Limit Tournaments" (Limit tournaments are those which have a prescribed amount of betting at each level.), one bet and three raises are permitted for each betting round. When only two Players remain, there is no limit on the number of raises. In Pot Limit and/or No Limit tournaments, there are no limits on the number of raises.

9. Players are obligated to take their "Blinds". (A "blind" is a fixed amount of money, determined by the size of the game that is automatically put into the pot in Hold'em and Omaha tournaments prior to the hand being dealt.

10. The Small Blind is the player immediately to the left of the dealer button and the Big Blind is the player to the immediate left of the Small Blind. (It is possible for a player to take two Big Blinds in a row. For example, if he just had the BB at his table, which just broke down and then was randomly seated in the BB at his new table.)

11. When two Players remain, the Player due to assume the Big Blind will do so, and the Small Blind will inherit the button. The Small Blind or button will act first prior to the flop and second after the flop.

12. There are no breaks during Single-Table Tournaments. In Multiple-Table tournaments, a 5-minute break is taken every hour.

13. In Single Table tournaments, players start with 800 in chips and the Levels go up after every ten hands. In Multi-table tournaments, levels are on a ‘time’ basis and the time may vary depending on the tournament. Play continues until there is a winner.

14. The prize payoffs will be exactly according to the Payout Schedule (the "Payoff Structure") and there are NO deals.

15. If two (or more) players are eliminated on the same hand, the player who started the hand with the most chips will be awarded the higher finishing position.

16. Poker etiquette ("Etiquette") is expected from all Players. Those abusing proper etiquette may be asked by EmpirePoker Personnel to leave the Tournament and/or to stop playing at EmpirePoker.

17. There should be no soft playing during Tournaments. Soft playing is to not bet your hand to the fullest extent when playing against someone (usually friends and/or family). It goes against the spirit of the game and is considered cheating in some instances.

18. Players who do not act on their hand in time ("Time Out") will be Folded.

19. Our Tournament Disconnection Protection and Cancellation Policy applies to all Tournaments.

20. EmpirePoker reserves the right to alter the rules and render final decisions on all matters herein at its sole discretion. Rule changes and relevant decisions will be communicated accordingly via EmpirePoker via electronic and/or written means.

21. EmpirePoker reserves the right cancel or reschedule Tournaments at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.

22. If a Tournament is cancelled due to technical issues, any Player who was eliminated prior to this time will lose their buy-in and entry fee. The remaining Players will be refunded their entry fees and will equally divide up 50% of the remaining prize pool. The other 50% of the prize pool will be distributed to the remaining players on a percentage basis (based on their chip count when the tournament went down).

23. EmpirePoker reserves the right to amend the Tournament Rules and Policies at any time without notice to Players. Such amendments will become effective immediately upon being listed under the “Tournament Rules” section of the EmpirePoker website. It is the Players’ sole responsibility to review the Tournament Rules and Policies.

24. The rules and policies contained herein represent the complete understanding between Player and EmpirePoker with respect to Player’s activities at any EmpirePoker tournament, except as otherwise specified in the any rules pertaining to a particular tournament, as posted at the EmpirePoker website.

25. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, all use of the website by Player is governed by the EmpirePoker Terms & Conditions of Use. And in the event of dispute those terms and conditions shall apply.

EmpirePoker, July 3, 2003. This version 2 dated July 3, 2003 replaces the Version 1 in its entirely.

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