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The MS Poker Tournament has been the primary fund raiser for the HartmanMS team since 2004. Looking for a way to bring together the community and support their charity, the HartmanMS team has consistently brought together a great group of people to have a fun afternoon and evening of casino style poker. We have had an amazing group of dedicated donors and volunteers throughout the history of the event and can't be more thankful to have their continued support. The event has been extremely popular with typically 75% of our players returning year after year, and many traveling long distances to participate. 

We are also thankful for all of our great restaurant and food sponsors who have also contributed to our event over the many years, keeping out donors and volunteers well fed, while also reducing the costs of hosting this event. Congratulations to our Hall of Champions, and thanks to everyone who has donated and participated in this event and has helped us donate over $100,000 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Tournament Rules
(extracted from Robert's Rules of Poker)

Texas Hold’em General Rules:

In Hold’em, players receive two downcards as their personal hand (holecards), after which there is a round of betting. Three boardcards are turned simulataneously (called the "flop") and another round of betting occurs. The next two boardcards are turned one at a time, with a round of betting after each card. The boardcards are community cards, and a player may use any five-card combination from among the board and personal cards. A player may even use all of the boardcards and no personal cards to form a hand (play the board). The best possible five card poker hand, using any combination of hole cards and community cards, wins the pot.

Best Hands in Order of Precedence are:

Straight Flush

Four of a Kind

Full House (2 and 3 of a kind)

Flush (5 cards of the same suit)

Straight (5 cards in a row, you may NOT wrap around the Ace i.e. King, Ace, One, Two, Three)

Three of a Kind

Two Pair

One Pair

High Card (Aces are high)

Tournament Rules:

While the primary focus of this tournament is for fun, there are several rules which must be followed to allow the game to be as fair as possible for all participants. Violation of any of these rules may be grounds to forfeit your seat in the tournament. The house ruling will be final with respect to any issues.

Etiquette: The following is NOT permitted:

  1. Collusion with another player or any other form of cheating.

  2. Throwing, tearing, bending, or crumpling cards.

  3. Deliberately acting out of turn. A player who checks out of turn may not initiate a bet or raise on the next turn to act (they may however call a bet).

  4. Reading a hand for another player at the showdown before it has been placed faceup on the table.

  5. Revealing the contents of a live hand in a multihanded pot before the betting is complete.

  6. Making statements or taking action that could unfairly influence the course of play, whether or not the offender is involved in the pot. (i.e. "I would have had two tens and two threes if I stayed in…)

  7. Players must keep their cards in full view and preferably on the table.

  8. A verbal statement denotes your action and is binding. If in turn you verbally declare a fold, check, bet, call, or raise, you are forced to take that action.

  9. Rapping the table with your hand is a pass.

  10. String raises are not allowed. To protect your right to raise, you should either declare your intention verbally or place the proper amount of chips into the pot. Putting a full bet plus a half-bet or more into the pot is considered to be the same as announcing a raise, and the raise must be completed. (This does not apply in the use of a single chip of greater value.)

  11. Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that has been called, even if the opponent's hand or the winning hand has been mucked.

  12. A player who mucks their cards before the final bet is complete does not need to show their cards, and another player may not request that those cards be shown.


  1. When placing a bet, call, or raise, please stack your chips so the dealer can verify the amount bet.

  2. The number of raises in any betting round is unlimited.

  3. All bets must be at least equal to the small blind, unless the player is going all-in.

  4. All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, except for an all-in wager.

  5. A wager is not binding until the chips are actually released into the pot, unless the player has made a verbal statement of action.

  6. If there is a discrepancy between a player's verbal statement and the amount put into the pot, the bet will be corrected to the verbal statement.

  7. If a call is short due to a counting error, the amount must be corrected, even if the bettor has shown down a superior hand.

  8. A player who says "raise" is allowed to continue putting chips into the pot with more than one move; the wager is assumed complete when the player’s hands come to rest outside the pot area.

  9. A player who declares all-in and loses the pot, then discovers that one or more chips were hidden, is not entitled to benefit from this.


The Showdown (declaring a winner)

  1. A player must show all cards in the hand face-up on the table to win any part of the pot.

  2. Cards speak (cards read for themselves). The dealer assists in reading hands, but players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared. Although verbal declarations as to the contents of a hand are not binding, deliberately miscalling a hand with the intent of causing another player to discard a winning hand is unethical and may result in forfeiture of the pot.

  3. You must declare that you are playing the board before you throw your cards away; otherwise you relinquish all claim to the pot.

  4. All side pots and the main pot will be split as separate pots, not mixed together.



  1. The top five cards ONLY count (ties will not be broken by a 6th card)

  2. Ties will result in the pot being split evenly among the players with matching hands.

  3. An odd chip will be broken down to the smallest unit used in the game and divided as evenly as possilbe. Any remaining portions will remain in the pot.



  1. Initial seating will be determined by random draw.

  2. A change of seat is not allowed after play starts, except as assigned by the director.

  3. The lowest denomination of chip in play will be removed from the table when it is no longer needed in the blind or ante structure. All lower-denomination chips that are of sufficient quantity for a new chip will be changed up directly.

  4. An absent player is always dealt a hand, and will be put up for blinds, antes, and the forced bet if low.

  5. If you are not present when it becomes your turn to act, your hand is dead.

  6. As players are eliminated, small tables will be broken with the goal of maintaining a reasonably balanced number of players at each table.

  7. The appropriate starting amount of chips will be placed on the table for each paid entrant at the beginning of the event, whether the person is present or not. Absent players will be dealt in, and all chips necessary for antes and blinds will be put into the pot.



  1. You must protect your own hand at all times. Your cards may be protected with your hands, a chip, or other object placed on top of them. If you fail to protect your hand, you will have no redress if it becomes fouled or the dealer accidentally kills it.

  2. If you drop a card on the floor out of your hand, you must still play that card.

  3. If the dealer prematurely deals any cards before the betting is complete, those cards will not play, even if a player who has not acted decides to fold.

  4. If the first holecard dealt is exposed, a misdeal results. The dealer will retrieve the card, reshuffle, and recut the cards. If any other holecard is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. The exposed card may not be kept. After completing the hand, the dealer replaces the card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used for the burncard. If more than one holecard is exposed, this is a misdeal and there must be a redeal.

  5. If the flop contains too many cards, it must be redealt. (This applies even if it were possible to know which card was the extra one.)

  6. If the flop needs to be redealt because the cards were prematurely flopped before the betting was complete, or the flop contained too many cards, the boardcards are mixed with the remainder of the deck. The burncard remains on the table. After shuffling, the dealer cuts the deck and deals a new flop without burning a card. [See "Section 16 – Explanations," discussion #2, for more information on this rule.]

  7. If the dealer turns the fourth card on the board before the betting round is complete, the card is taken out of play for that round, even if subsequent players elect to fold. The betting is then completed. The dealer burns and turns what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card’s place. After this round of betting, the dealer reshuffles the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not including the burncards or discards. The dealer then cuts the deck and turns the final card without burning a card. If the fifth card is turned up prematurely, the deck is reshuffled and dealt in the same manner. [See "Section 16 – Explanations," discussion #2, for more information on this rule.]

  8. If the dealer mistakenly deals the first player an extra card (after all players have received their starting hands), the card will be returned to the deck and used for the burncard. If the dealer mistakenly deals more than one extra card, it is a misdeal.

Hall of Champions
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