Who should have come third?



Rising Star
Hello - first time poster here, so please go easy. I want to ask who should have come third in this tournament, and why, and can you reference a source for the ruling please?

Context: I hosted my first home poker tournament a couple of weeks ago, as a fun social game for friends. NLHE freeze-out tournament, 9 players each buying in for £5, everyone got a 1000 chip starting stack. The top three places paid out, which is where I am looking for the correct ruling and the source.

In the last hand played (by which stage I had gone out, fortunately, and could just be ‘dealer’), four remaining players had:
A: 5,000 chips
B: 2,000 chips
C: 1,500 chips
D: 500 chips

They all went all-in (thanks guys), so if I had it right, this made the main pot and two side pots as follows:
Main (all four players): 500 each for a total of 2,000 chips
First side-pot (A B and C): 1000 each for a total of 3,000 chips
Second side-pot (A and B): another 500 each for 1,000 chips
(Plus player A had another 3,000 chips not in play)

At showdown their hands ranked from best to worst D, A, C, B.

Player D won the main pot and collected her 2,000.
Player A won the other two pots, and collected the remaining 4,000 on the table, making their stack 7,000.

Assuming I haven’t messed up too badly so far, we just went from four players to two. A and D are still in the game (they actually settled at this point), so deciding first and place was simple.

In the moment, not recalling a rule that would apply in this situation, I awarded player C third place because she had the better hand when B and C both went bust.

Since the game, I’ve read some posts which seem to say player B, with 2,000 before he pushed all-in should have beaten player C, with her 1,500 pushed, due to his larger stack before the hand. But none of these posts give a source or principal that applies.

Did I get that call wrong, and if so, please would you point me towards a source which explains how to award places when two or more players go bust in the same hand?

(See, you might get a chance to tell a stranger they were wrong, and if there’s anything the internet loves, surely this is it...! 😀 )

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Rock Star
My source is pokerstars MTT bubble mechanics. Don't have a link, but it's just from experience playing the game and taking that in mind I would say the following.. There is an all-in with 3 players at risk. Player D takes the main pot. Player A had player B&C covered, and a better hand. So Player A takes the side pots and player B&C go out in the same hand. In this case player B would take 3rd place considering his larger stack-size when the hand was started.


Rock Star
In the PokerStars Tournament Rules, it is stated at rule 2.2:

If two or more players are eliminated on the same hand, a player with more chips at the start of the hand finishes higher than a player with fewer chips. If all players started the hand with an identical number of chips, all players tie for that rank, and any prizes due to those players will be equally distributed between them. During hand-for-hand play (as described in rule 2.3), two or more players eliminated during a single 'synchronized' hand are treated as having been eliminated simultaneously, even if they are at different tables. Finishing order is then based on comparing stack sizes.

So, in your home tournament, player B should have finished third.


Rising Star
Thanks RocwX, that's exactly what I was looking for. It seems likely PokerStars handles this situation in the most normally-accepted way.

Still interested if anyone knows of a version of this rule from an authoritative source other than an online poker site (e.g. the Poker TDA rules). I don't imagine it will be much different, but just for completeness.

Thanks for your reply too Maurits92.

Having read RocwX's reply, I found RP-8: Hand for Hand Procedures in the 2017 Poker TDA rules. (I wasn't looking for 'hand for hand procedures' before because my game was a single-table tournament). That procedure suggests all players busting out in the same hand share the payout. Does that mean one option would have been for me to split the 3rd place winnings between B and C? I think I prefer the answers already given - B wins because B had a larger stack, so I'm only asking if there's more than one way to deal with this, and whether we ought to have a 'house rule' for this situation so it's not ambiguous.


Yes, who ever started the hand with the most chips. Pretty much every where you will see that.