WORLD TAVERN POKER
TD TRAINING GUIDE
World Tavern Poker would not be the #1 Poker League in the Country if it was not for the hard work and dedication of the Tournament Directors. Their main duty is to keep the game Fun, Fair, and Organized!
Most WTP Tournament Directors volunteer their time, receiving only a free meal, a small gift card, or a few dollars compensation. They generally take on this role for the love of the game (or perhaps because no one else would).
FOR ALL PLAYERS
Please be respectful of your TD as they are working hard to keep the game going at your bar. They may not know every rule, but rather than throwing out a 'complaint', consider assisting them by having the Rules and Guidelines handy on your smartphone. Players have a responsibility as well as the TD's to maintain a fun, friendly atmosphere for all.
Let's all help to build a GREAT atmosphere at our bars!
TD DECISIONS ARE FINAL
There are times that a situation occurs that is not covered by the Rules & Guidelines. If this type of situation arises, the TD's decision is final. If a player has an issue with their decision, they should discuss it in a friendly manner.
We are always looking for dedicated TD's! If you or someone you know is ever interested in stepping up to be a TD, please go to the TD Training Page here.
Best Customer Program
Please remember that hosting venues pay to provide World Tavern Poker for their customers. It is the players and TD's support and patronage that will keep the promotion going.
TD's can earn some awesome rewards for adhering to this program, including a seat to the National TOC Finals!
Please remind players to be respectful and don’t forget to take care of your servers. They work very hard for everyone in attendance!
GENERAL RULES FOR TD's
ADHERING TO WTP RULES & GUIDELINES
All TD's are expected to run their tournaments according to the Rules and Guidelines of World Tavern Poker. This includes the structure of the game, starting chip stacks, Bonus Chip Program, and other aspects of the league.adherance to the
TD's are expected to enter scores within 48 hours of the end of their last tournament. There are times when it may take longer – please be patient!
World Tavern Poker TD’s have a lot going on while running their games. That’s why it’s important for players to register online for tournaments so TD’s can utilize the printouts generated from each night’s registration list.
TD's: Make sure the correct seating arrangement for your bar is in place. If your printouts show more or fewer players per table than your bar tables can hold, contact TDs@WorldTavernPoker.com and this can be adjusted. This will auto-generate your seating based on the size and number of tables at your bar (some bars can fit 6 or 7 people per table, while others can fit 10).
TD’s should use this printout when seating players. Make sure to give them their table number when handing out chips for the game. If a player does not register online, you can assign them to the table with the least amount of people seated.
HELPFUL TIP: 10-15 minutes before game time, check how many people are seated at each table. If it turns out that one table has far more players than others, start to fill in lower tables as players arrive. This will help avoid almost all instances of re-seating, balancing (moving players), or creating a new table as game time nears.
Remember: World Tavern Poker is a social, inclusive game. Sitting with people you may not know is part of the fun!
NO BLIND STACKS
Please do not allow blind (or "dead") stacks to be placed for late arriving players. This often causes confusion and can result in misdeals that slow the game down for everyone. TD's should wait for the customer to arrive, then give them their chips.
The Tournament Director will attempt to keep the number of players at each table equal before and during the game. This is not always possible and play cannot stop because of it. Also, please don’t bug the Tournament Director every time you lose a player!
STARTING GAMES ON TIME
All TD's should start their games on time. Ask players to be seated 5 minutes before game time to make announcements. TD's should never start a tournament before the posted start time, though.
NOTE: If the 1st game looks like it'll run beyond the 2nd game start time, you can still get the 2nd game started on time. This is optional as having onlookers around the final table as the 1st game is ending does certainly add to the atmosphere. But if your bar has tight times to run games, feel free to have the 2nd game ready to go on time (and get it started on time) as the 1st game wraps up, especially if you have room to do so.
(NEW) LATE POLICY ADHERENCE
At all WTP venues, players arriving late can only take a seat if they arrive within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time of the tournament. This means if the scheduled start time is 7:00pm, a player has until 7:30pm to be seated.
All WTP venues and TD's are expected to adhere to this policy. The player must be in the building and checking in with the TD within 30 minutes of the game starting in order to play in that game.
TD's should instruct players where to generally sit when combining tables. When moving to a new table, players should try to sit in a similar position to where they were previously.
If 2 or less players move to a new table and one sits in the Big Blind, that player has the option of sitting out until the deal passes them.
If 3 or more players move to a new table, the table will re-ace to determine a new dealer position.
CHIPPING UP AT BREAK
All TD's are expected to follow the in-game guidelines of our tournaments. This includes chipping up at break (after the 500/1000 blind level).
When coloring up chips at first break, TD's should always round up to reduce the potential for collusion (players should NOT share chips for any reason). This means if a player has 1,100 chips to 'chip up', the TD should give them two black chips (2,000). If a player has 3,300 chips to 'chip up', they should receive four black chips (4,000), and so on.
At the 5,000/10,000 blind level, all black chips are removed. For every 5,000 in black chips, players receive one gray chip (worth 5,000 apiece). If a player has more than 5,000 but less than 10,000, they still receive two gray chips. So if a player has 21,000 in black chips, they will receive five gray chips (worth 25,000).
ADDITIONAL TD RESPONSIBILITIES
After registration is closed (20 minutes after game start), the TD must announce to the poker customers the total # for that game. This is not only good information for the customers to know, it also serves as a check for the TD in case they enter the wrong total when entering scores.
TD CHIP UP
Before the normal chip up on first break, the TD must show and announce their chip total to their table. The TD will then chip up all poker customers, including themselves. Before the next hand is played after break ends, the TD must again show and announce their chip total to their table. This informs and displays to customers that TD’s are chipping themselves up properly in a transparent way.
These rules for TD are in place to both protect the integrity of our game, and to make it more transparent to poker customers. TD’s can be falsely accused for adding more chips than needed at chip up, or inflating numbers at their games. We want our TD’s to be able to show they are doing it right, and our players can help by being attentive, but allowing them to do their job. Players and TD’s helping each other is what continues to make World Tavern Poker the #1 Bar Poker League in America!
BLIND TIMES & BAR HOURS
We highly recommend that TD's adhere to these timeframes in order to give players the most time to play while getting games started and ended on time.
To maximize the player experience and the host venue's opportunity to increase sales, blind times can be lowered as the game progresses. This means if you start blinds at 15 minutes, you can decrease the blind times as the game nears completion.
Example: Joe's Bar has 2.5 hours to run a game. They start with 15-minute blinds until the first break. Since about an hour and 10 minutes have elapsed when the 1000/2000 level starts, the TD can run the next levels at around 10-12 minutes apiece. Once play reaches the 5000/10000 level, keep blinds around 10 minutes, and get a player or the TD to deal the final table (to maximize hands).
Reasoning: This effectively gets games done on time AND gives the bar ample opportunity to sell menu items while a high number of players remain in the game. By keeping the times longer at the start, there are more opportunities for food and drink sales.
If you're a World Tavern Tournament Director or a venue looking to bring in a few more customers for your Poker Night, check out these great 'extras' that can make your Poker Promotion even more effective!
TD's: Please do not go "overboard" with too many promotions. Remember, World Tavern Poker has been around for over 15 years. The game will sell itself! But feel free to try some of these out and see which ones help your promotion.
Create a 'game within a game' by using Bounties in your WTP tournaments!
Bounties can be a great way to keep poker customers engaged and coming back each week. But please do not use bounties that can conflict with the Bonus Chip Program (remember, you can only award 5,000 extra chips on top of your starting stack for any regular season game).
We recommend selecting one or two poker customers at each table to be Bounties (give them a different color chip or item to show they are a bounty). Whoever holds that bounty when play reaches 8 players left - including the person originally given the bounty - reward them with an extra 15,000 chips. (You can even make whoever ends up the dealer or big blind in the first hand the bounty!)
You can also use an "all player" Bounty system where all poker customers receive a Bounty chip at the start of the game. Players collect these bounty chips as they knock others out of the game. Once play reaches the final 8, award extra chips for each Bounty a player has - OR, go the extra mile and keep a separate standing of total bounties earned for a prize every 4 weeks...or for the whole season!
Another idea: Take the Top 3 poker customers from last week and make them bounties this week! Just make sure you are not picking the same players every week.
These are fun and simple ways to keep customers engaged in your game. Please do not abuse bounties - either by picking the same ones over and over or by awarding more than the chips described above.
Our regular seasons are 24-weeks long with 2 weeks at the end for Tavern and TOC Championships. To keep customers engaged and coming back each week, offer opportunities at cool bar items (vendor swag, bar gift cards, % off your tab) in 4-6 week increments OR for the whole season for those who do well at your venue (similar to a Player of the Month promotion).
You can use the Tavern Rankings on the WTP website to monitor who's moving up during the season. Some experienced TD's keep a spreadsheet of results, which include extra stats like Top 3 finishes, Wins, and more.
It may be easier for tracking purposes to do 4 to 6-week 'dash' competitions. Please make sure to involve bar staff, who can help determine the best prizes to award.
Remember - you want to attract players without breaking the bank to do so!
Player(s) of the Month
Another way to reward poker customers for participating in your poker promotion is to award special prizes for those who play often or do well in a calendar month.
This requires a little extra work, but some TD's have taken it upon themselves to track how well their poker customers do over a 30-day period - then reward the top players (by games played, or by wins, final tables, Top 20's, etc.) with a gift card to the host bar.
TD's, be sure to coordinate with your bar management. Please do not spend your own money if it can be avoided. Remember, the idea is to keep customers engaged in the promotion and using gift cards for the bar is the best way to promote more patronage!
TOC Qualifiers (Top 3's)
Something that many players have come to know is that any time someone finishes in the Top 3 in a game, you hear "welcome to the TOC!"
This references qualifying for that bar's Mid-Season TOC (held at the midway point of the season) or Tavern TOC, held at the end of the season. Poker customers with a Top 3 finish qualify, and earn extra chips each time they get another Top 3 finish.
One way to spice this up is by keeping track of everyone who finishes in the Top 3. Do a drawing of everyone who has a Top 3 finish at various points of the season. You can award special prices on menu items, % off of tabs, or even gift cards to the venue!
Just make sure to coordinate this with your host venue's staff and/or management.
At different points of the season, World Tavern will offer extra chips to poker customers who bring supplies for teachers, children, homeless shelters, and more under our "Chips for Charity" banner.
If you are interested in running something similar more often at your bar, please speak to your bar management about finding an arrangement that works best for them. You may want to do Cans for Chips every week, but may not have the room to store all of those cans!
As well, any non-WTP run promotion for extra starting chips MUST fit within the Bonus Chip Program. This means you cannot exceed 5,000 in bonus chips at any time unless the promotion comes from the league. Please keep this in mind!
Talk to your bar staff or management about any extra prizes - including special deals like 20% off tabs - that you may be able to award to your poker customers!
Please contact TDs@WorldTavernPoker.com if you need any help implementing the above ideas - OR, if you have an idea of your own (we may feature it here!).