Yeah again, disqualification is absolutely not
the correct penalty for this if it's his first offense. At most I'd expect something like sitting out for one round of the button.
Here's the TDA rules: http://www.pokertda.com/view-poker-tda-rules/
This action breaks Rule 62, as the player has "read a hand that hasn't been tabled"
Players must protect other players in the tournament at all times. Therefore players, whether in the hand or not, must not:
One-player-to-a-hand is in effect. Among other things, this rule prohibits showing a hand to or discussing strategy with another player, advisor, or spectator.
- Disclose contents of live or folded hands,
- Advise or criticize play at any time,
- Read a hand that hasnít been tabled.
Here's TDA Rule 66 B about warnings, penalties and disqualification:
B: A penalty may be invoked if a player exposes any card with action pending, throws a card off the table, violates one-player-to-a-hand, or similar incidents occur. Penalties will be invoked for soft play, abuse, disruptive behavior, or cheating.
I guess the appropriate reaction depends on whether you classify this as "violating one player to a hand" or "cheating". I think a penalty is absolutely warranted in this case as the violation was obvious and egregious. But let's look at the options:
Penalties, in escalating order, are generally:
- Verbal warning
- One or more missed hands
- One or more missed rounds
I don't think a verbal warning is enough, though if it was the first and only time the player had done this, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what the floor person opted for. Missing anything up to one round of the button is where I think this falls.
Even if the floor did opt for the nuclear option and disqualify the player BTW, those calling for that player's remaining chips to be given to the other player are wrong: TDA Rule 66 D:
D: Chips of a disqualified player shall be removed from play.
That means nobody gets them.
If anyone is on Twitter and wants the definitive answer BTW, just tweet at Matt Savage. He quite often responds to queries like this one with what he would do in the same situation.