re: Poker & Protecting your hole cards
From the official rules of the WSOP
rule# 30 states:
Verbal declarations in turn are binding. Action out of turn may be binding.
if the player is acting in turn than this rule applies and may be binding if declaring out of turn. I guess the latter at the discretion of tourney director maybe an honest mistake they will overlook
But I guess you gotta declare your house rules before time so no one can say anything, heres a link to the rules so maybe copy them and set them in place for your home game. hope the mods don't mind me putting link if so I apologize