You make direct eye contact with the dealer, announce all-in, and toss in a few large chips. Now, it’s a waiting game. You’ve got to keep still and composed, giving nothing away to the villain.

Or, you could just walk away from the table. In the first few days of the 2024 WSOP, a player did just that. After four-betting all-in, they went for a bathroom break.

We’ll share stories of players going all-in, then walking off to washrooms or hot-footing it for flights.

WSOP Player Walks to Washroom After All-In

The 2024 World Series of Poker is at the Horseshoe and Paris convention centers in Vegas. The chance of winning or cashing in one of the nearly 100 events is sure to draw big numbers. On the opening day, a smaller event drew attention.

The $500 No-Limit Hold'em Event #2 began on May 28th and was only open to casino employees.

During one of the early levels, one player in the event raises to 1,500. They were 3bet to 4,500. The player responded by shoving all-in for about 65,000.

We don’t know exactly how long they waited for, but it seems that nature was calling. The all-in player hurried off to the washroom, leaving his chair empty. He was chased down by the WSOP floor manager though, who said he must return.

The plot thickens! The relief-seeking player said that he was actually a California poker dealer. He insisted that since no action remained for him to make, he should be allowed to visit the washroom. The floor manager didn’t agree and gave the player a warning.

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What Do The WSOP Rules Say About This?

The World Series of Poker Tournament Rules for 2024 state that players must remain at the tables or face a penalty. However, this only applies if they have action pending. When you go all-in, there’s no more action for you to make, freeing you up for a visit to the Paris Casino porcelain (in theory). (Rule 83. Action Pending)

Technically, leaving the table while still in a hand could go against Rule 108. Protect Your Hand. This section states that “Participants must always protect their own hands,” which obviously can’t be done from the seat of a toilet. But, a card cap, also known as a card protector, is a valid way to protect your hand in the WSOP. The player may have been using one.

An example of a card protector

According to their own rulebook, it appears that the player’s bathroom break might have been justified and within the WSOP rules. However, Rules 51 and 129 give the host properties the ability to make rulings, should something not be covered by the rulebook. They have the final say, should they decide this situation isn’t outlined in their rules.

But, if the house is operating using the TDA (Tournament Director Association rules, then leaving during all-ins is expressly forbidden.

Rule 31 of the TDA Rules and Procedures states,

Players with live hands (including players all-in or otherwise finished betting) must remain at the table for all betting rounds and showdown.

Leaving the table is incompatible with protecting your hand and following the action and is subject to penalty.

So, we advise carefully planning your bathroom breaks at the WSOP.

Let's see another all-in situation where a player left, but didn’t have to worry about rules or policies.

Learn about the iconic World Series of Poker chips used in the Main Events for over two decades, all the way back to 2000.

Read

Leaving For a Flight During a $330,000 Pot

Bill Perkins is a jet-setting businessman and high-stakes player, but those two things weren’t supposed to mix.

Behind the glass doors of The Lodge’s high-stakes poker room, a casual game of $100/$200 Texas Holdem was being streamed. Perkins and Handz were facing off.

Perkins raised preflop from the cutoff, a hefty $3,000 into $900. A player named Alex calls with , and Handz 3-bets with . He makes it $17,000, which Bill Perkins calls in position.

On a very low and threatless flop of , Handz follows up with a $20,000 bet into ~$37,000. Starting to play games, Bill min-clicks it to $40,000. Handz calls, of course.

The reaction of a man who's been min-raised for the price of a new car

As you’d expect, Handz checks the turn, but Bill checks back and doesn’t continue the aggression.

On the board-pairing river, Handz decides he’s probably able to get some value and bets $40,000. The pot reaches $157,300.

Bill waits less than 10 seconds and says,

“Honestly, this doesn’t even matter, because I have a plane to catch and that’s more important because my wife will be f***ing pissed. So, whatever happens, happens.”

Doug's reaction says it all

He stands up, says a few goodbyes, and leaves. About 5 minutes later, Handz folds and finds out he’s been bluffed by a man who’s not even in the same building. He’s probably about to be in a different time zone.

That’s a bluff few players can pull off, but hopefully it happens again sometime.

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