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TDA Rules
  • Schedule: We run a 16 tournament schedule and use a player’s top 10 finishes to determine his/her total points for the series.
  • Point System: Points are awarded in each tournament for places 1 through 15. The points structure can be found on the structure page.
  • Prizes: Our prize structure will be determined by the funds available and the events offered by the WSOP.
  • Grand Prizes: The Grand Prizes will be a $10,000 buy-in to the upcoming WSOP Main Event plus up to $500 in cash to help defray expenses.   Additional Grand Prize packages will be awarded depending upon available funds.
  • Bonus Grand Prize: If there are more than one grand prizes available, then the bottom grand prize will be awarded in a “bonus tournament” (see below for more info).  For example: if two grand prizes are available then 1st place gets a guaranteed Main Event package and the second seat will be awarded in the bonus tournament.  If there are three grand prizes available, then 1st and 2nd place will receive guaranteed Main Event packages and the third seat will be awarded in the bonus tournament.  And so forth…
  • Guaranteed WSOP Seat Awards: Depending upon available funds and the events offered by the WSOP, additional guaranteed WSOP seats will be awarded.  These will typically be to $1,500 buy-in events.  Each of these winners will also receive up to $250 in cash for expenses. Projected prizes will be updated throughout the season.  There can be a maximum of eight Guaranteed Seats.
  • Grand Prize Options: The Grand Prize winners must play in the WSOP Main Event following the conclusion of the current season. If a Grand Prize Winner, cannot, or chooses not to, play in the Main Event then he/she must option it off to the next qualified player (replacement player) for a 10% stake in that player’s winnings at the designated WSOP event.  The Grand Prize winner would also have the option of taking the replacement player’s seat.  In that case the Grand Prize winner would keep his/her original cash award, as would the replacement player.  Should the Grand Prize winner elect to not “trade” seats then all prize packages would “shift down” accordingly in the standings and all players would receive the cash award for the event they are now playing in.  In the latter example the Grand Prize winner would still retain 10% if the replacement player’s action.
  • Winners Options All winners must play in the WSOP Event following the conclusion of the current season.  Any winner (excluding Grand Prize Winners) can choose to play in a lower buy-in event. However, no player may play in an event with a buy-in of less than $1,000.  The remaining funds will go back into the Syndicate prize pool.  For example, if a player wins a $1,500 seat but chooses to play in a $1,000 event, then the remaining $500 will go back into the Syndicate Prize Pool.  Any winner may also “buy up” into a higher value event at their own cost. In either instance The Syndicate’s share remains 50%.  Should any player not be able to play in a WSOP event then he/she must option it off to the next qualified player for a 10% stake in that player’s winnings at the designated WSOP event.  The replacement player also receives the winner’s expense money.
  • Discounted WSOP Seats:  From time to time discounted WSOP seats are available.  These should be purchased by the Syndicate or the winning player whenever possible.  When this occurs the money saved, less a 15% commission for whoever finds the discounted seat, is retained by (or returned to) The Syndicate. 15% commission applies only to the amount of $ saved.
  • Qualified WSOP Events:  Players must play in an official WSOP “bracelet” event and any prize package that includes a buy-in of $5,000 or more must be used for a No Limit Hold’em Event only.  Winners may not play in gimmick tournaments such as the DraftKings 50/50 tournament. The Syndicate’s Committee may declare other tournaments to be ineligible for Syndicate play once the WSOP schedule is announced.  We also highly encourage players to choose big-field/big-prize pool events (like the Monster Stack) as these give the player and the Syndicate the best chance for significant earnings.
  • Prize Package Notes: All prize packages are good-faith estimates based upon reasonable projections, available funds and the tournament buy-ins offered by the WSOP. The Syndicate will publish updates when necessary. Expense money may be raised or lowered depending upon funds available.
  • Ties: In the event of a tie for any prize, a heads-up match will be played to determine the winner. This will be a best two out of three match with 10,000 chip starting stacks and 20 minute blinds (starting at 25/50 with no antes).
  • Formats: Our regular deep-stack tournaments will feature 25,000 chip starting stacks. The four “Majors” will have 40,000 chips starting stacks (See below for more information on the Majors). All tournaments will have a $140 buy-in. We will also be playing four re-entry tournaments which allow unlimited re-entries for the first 6 levels.  To re-enter a player must be out of chips and pay $140 for a new, full stack.  A “surrender” option is also available at the end of level 6.  There are also two “Special” tournaments: the first will emulate Day 2 of the WSOP Monster Stack event; the second will emulate Day 4 of the Main Event.  All tournament formats/structures can be found on the structure page.
  • Tournament Payouts/Escrow: At each tournament 50% of that event’s prize pool will be awarded to the top finishers. The number of places paid is determined by the total number of players entered. The other 50% will be saved to pay for all the WSOP Prize Packages and to fund the playoff tournament.
  • Majors: Events 4, 8, 12 and 16 will be “major” deep stack tournaments. These Majors will each have a 40,000 chip starting stack. In addition to the normal cash payouts the top finishers will also receive bonus playoff chips that will be added to their starting stacks at the Playoff Tournament if they qualify for that event. These bonus chips will be awarded like this:

1st– 2,500 chips; 2nd– 1,500 chips;  3rd– 1,000 chips;  4th– 750 chips;  5th– 500 chips.

  • Participation Points & Chips: For every tournament entered you will receive 5 points towards your season total.  Additionally, for every tournament entered you will receive 50 bonus playoff chips that will be added to your starting stack at the Playoff Tournament should you qualify for that event.
  • Playoff Tournament: There will be a final playoff tournament for the top 18 players that did not earn a guaranteed seat. To qualify, players must have played in at least 5 events during the season. The next five players that did not make the playoff, and played in at least 5 events, will be alternates and will be eligible to play if one of the above referenced players can’t participate. They will be invited in the order of their finish. Should there be a tie for the last playoff spot then all tied players will advance. Should a playoff qualifier choose not to play and there is a tie for the 1st alternate spot, then both alternates shall advance.
  • The Playoff Prizes:  At least four $1,500 seats will be awarded in a post-season playoff tournament.  All playoff winners will also receive up to $250 in cash for expenses.
  • Playoff Tournament Format: The Playoff tournament will feature a 25,000 chip starting stack and 30 minute blinds. Players will also be awarded 300 chips per place depending on their overall finish during the regular season. For example: if you are the bottom seed then you will get a starting stack of 25,000; the next would receive 25,300; and so on in increments of 300. Additionally, any bonus chips earned during the “majors” or for each event entered will be added to your stack if you qualify for this tournament.
  • Playoff Tournament Buy-in: There is no buy-in for the Playoff Tournament.
  • Playoff Tournament Start:  All playoff players must be seated before the start of level 10.
  • Bonus Tournament: This tournament is open to the top 9 or 10 players that did not already earn a Main Event prize package. Here are examples – this will include all Guaranteed seat winners plus from two to four playoff winners (depending on the number of prizes available):
    1. if the Syndicate has three Main Event packages plus nine $1,500 packages available then all winners of Guaranteed Seats (6) plus the Playoff winners (4) will earn entry into the Bonus Main Event Tournament.  In this scenario, there would be no alternate to the Bonus Tournament.
    2. if the Syndicate has three Main Event packages plus ten $1,500 packages available then all winners of Guaranteed Seats (7) plus the top three Playoff winners (3) will earn entry into the Bonus Tournament.  In this scenario, the fourth playoff winner would be an alternate to the Bonus Tournament.
    3. If the Syndicate has four Main Event packages plus eight $1,500 packages available then all winners of Guaranteed Seats (5) plus the top four Playoff winners (4) will earn entry into the Bonus Tournament.

First place in this event will win a Main Event package ($10,000 ME seat plus up to $500 cash for expenses).  The remaining players will retain their $1,500 seat packages.  This event will be structured to emulate the final table of the Main Event.  Players will receive more chips depending upon their order of finish.  See the structure for more details.

  • Syndicate Shares/WSOP Winners: For every tournament entered each player will receive one share of the Syndicate. If a Syndicate winner cashes at a WSOP event then he/she will take 50% of their post-tip (not to exceed 3% of profit), post tax cash prize. The remaining 50% of winnings will be paid to The Syndicate within one week of the event.  [For example – if a member plays in the Main Event and cashes for $25,000 and tips out $300 (2% if $15k) and withholds $5,250 for taxes (25% Fed./10% State) then the Syndicate would receive $9,725 (25,000 – 300 – 5,250 = 19,450 / 2) The Syndicate will then distribute this sum (less any current outstanding expenses incurred) back to The Syndicate players per the value of their vested shares. For example: if there are 400 total entries for the season and a player enters in 16 events then he would receive 16/400’s or 4% of the prize money. The winner will also keep his/her vested share.
  • Becoming Vested: A player must play in a minimum of 5 events each season to become vested and be eligible to receive Syndicate shares.  Any un-vested shares will be distributed evenly per the vested players’ shares.
  • Location/Food & Drinks: The location will be provided on the Evite for each tournament. Dinner and water will be provided — players should bring their own snacks and other beverages are BYOB. Any changes in venue location will be announced as needed.
  • Rake/Fee: The Syndicate does not charge a fee (or a rake) to play in its tournaments. The Syndicate makes no profit and all proceeds go into the prize pool for the group’s winners. The Syndicate is managed by its members. Each player is asked to bring $10 per event to help pay for the following: dinner, water, plates, napkins, utensils, cards, chips, tables, chairs, and various supplies.  Before determining the prize pool for the end of each season any shortfall in The Syndicate account will be covered.
  • WSOP Prize Pool: The funds available for the WSOP prize packages are determined with this equation: nightly entry fees, plus $10 per player donation, less nightly payout, less cost of dinner, less all other expenses = WSOP prize packages.
  • Starting Time & Seating: The Syndicate is a player-run league and it really needs your help to operate smoothly.  The following rules have been adopted to keep our tournaments organized and on time; and to be fair to all the players that want to participate.

(1) All players must check in no later than 15 minutes prior to the official start time. This is considered “on time”.  After that a player is considered late. Check-in starts 45 minutes before the official start time.

(2)  If a player cannot make it on time then he/she must notify us in advance.  This can be done by email or text up until the day before the game.  On game day please notify us only by text and please include your name and a realistic ETA. and 858-945-6766

(3)  If a player does not arrive on time (15 minutes prior to the start), and does not notify us, and we are sold out, then that player may lose his/her reserved seat to a player on the wait list. The late player would then become an alternate.

(4)  If a player needs to cancel then he/she must notify us no later than 6pm the previous day so that we can have time to find a replacement. A player that cancels late, or is a no-show, may lose his/her standing regarding priority entry qualification. If an entered player does not play, and does not cancel on time, and the event is sold out, and the Syndicate cannot fill the empty seat, then the player must pay $70 to the Syndicate to cover for the lost savings. This must be paid before entering any subsequent tournament.


(5) All players must arrive and begin play by the start of level 10.

Capacity/Invitations:  The Syndicate has limited seating capacity.  Priority for seating is given first to regular players from previous seasons, then to players that have participated regularly in the current season, and then to newcomers and then the rest of the list.  The Syndicate cannot guarantee that there will be space available at every event.

  • The Wait List: If a tournament sells out then “reserves” will be notified if a seat becomes available.  A reserve is welcome to come by on tournament day to see if there is an opening though there is no guarantee of a seat.  Reserves that are present at the tournament will take precedence.
  • No Show/No Call: It is disruptive to our tournaments when a player signs up but does not attend or arrives late without notifying us of his/her intentions. As noted above – late players (without notifying us) may lose their seats to a reserve and become alternates. Additionally, if a tournament is sold-out and we are unable to find a replacement,  then players who sign-up but do not play and do not cancel in time (by 6pm the previous day) must pay $70 to the Syndicate to cover for the lost savings. This must be paid before entering any subsequent tournament.
  • Starting Late: All late players will start with blinded down stacks.  We assume 2 orbits per level and break each level into two halves.
  • Alternates: we have limited space for alternates but if you are one and you get in then you will start with a full stack and must post the blind or wait for your big blind to start.
  • Format/Schedule Change:  The Syndicate reserves the right to change the schedule and/or the Format as needed.  With a schedule made several months in advance it is typical that a couple of dates need to be changed.  Likewise, The Syndicate’s goal is to have the tournaments end at a reasonable time – so the format may be adjusted to ensure a timely finish.
  • There will be no chopping at any of the tournaments. We play to win!


We use these House Rules plus the Tournament Directors Association rules to govern play:

  • Dealers: There are no set dealers – the deal is rotated around the table. The dealer oversees the hand so please pay close attention to the action. Do not engage in conversation and/or use your phone etc. while dealing.  Don’t deal without blinds and antes in.
  • Shuffling/Cutting: Cards are shuffled after the hand by the dealer that just dealt the hand. After shuffling, place the cut card on top of the deck and pass it forward.  The new dealer cuts the deck and then deals.
  • Big Blind Ante – The Syndicate uses the big blind ante format where the big blind posts an ante for the table that equals the big blind. The ante should be brought to the middle of the table.
  • Misdeals: If the first or second card is exposed it is a misdeal. If any other card is exposed it is replaced by the burn card after all other cards are dealt. The exposed card becomes the burn. If two cards are exposed it is also a misdeal.
  • Missed Hand: unless you are on official Syndicate business then if you are not in your seat when the last card is dealt then your hand will be mucked.
  • Moving Players: To balance the table we take the next BB and move him/her to the worst position at the new table.
  • Follow the Action: If you bet without realizing there was action in front of you, your action is binding.  If your bet is less than 50% of the previous bet then you can call the remainder or fold and forfeit your chips.  If your bet is between 50% and 149% of the previous bet – then you are obligated to call.  If your bet is 150% or more then you must double the bet for a raise.

Do not use your phone or other electronic device or be otherwise distracted (like reading a book or magazine) while you have a hand or are dealing.

  • Mucked/Dead Hands: Each player must follow the action and act in turn. If you do not protect your hand or you muck out of turn, even by mistake, your hand will be dead.
  • Chopping: There is no chopping in The Syndicate. We play to win! (This includes NOT paying the bubble)
  • Cleanup: As you bust out please take a moment to help keep things clean. Then we’ll take a short break before the final table to cleanup/breakdown anything possible.

The following are basic TDA Rules reminders:

  • Verbal is Binding: If you say one amount but toss out a different amount – whichever happened first counts.
  • No String Bets: Say “raise” or the amount of your bet – or bet all in one motion.
  • Out of Turn Action: May be binding (if the action to you has not changed). Watch the action and act in turn.
  • Showing/Talking: Don’t show your cards or talk about your hand to anyone while there is still action. Don’t talk to players who are in a hand or ever try to influence the action. This includes players in the hand.
  • The Cards Speak: The hand determines the winner, even if the player misses it or calls it wrong.


Please Note: While we use these house rules and the TDA rules as guides, the “Floor” or Tournament Director has discretion and may use this discretion due to the unique nature of The Syndicate.  Since we do not have professional dealers there is an increased possibility for error or disagreement. Every attempt will be made to follow the established rules while keeping the game as fair as possible.


Please understand that any information found on this website is subject to change though any rule changes will be announced to all current players.  It is your responsibility to receive, read and understand all rules and communications from The Syndicate.

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