Poker Players Amazed Dealer Didn’t Understand ‘Color Up’ Request

What does “color up” mean? That’s the question someone new to poker might ask. It’s also likely the question an unemployment staffer in Nevada is asking the likely former 2022 World Series of Poker dealer who mistakenly removed players’ poker chips from the table, sorted them by color, and put them away.

Yesterday, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler tweeted:

Apparently at Table 495 the dealer thought the “color up” meant to bring in ALL the player’s chips at the table on break and rackemup.

Therefore the 1 hour delay.

These things happen.

I’m sure they’ll sort it out as best they can.

Poker players who took to Twitter were incredulous that a croupier at an event as prestigious as the World Series of Poker wouldn’t know what “color up” meant.

However, these are the initial tournaments of the WSOP. “The Housewarming” $500 tournaments are so large, they’re taking place at Bally’s Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas. 

That’s perhaps why an apparently inexperienced dealer made the WSOP cut. Word has it that the person in question was fired on the spot for the mistake.

What Does ‘Color Up’ Mean?

Poker tournaments break periodically.

The players’ chips have to stay on the table, and the dealer watches over them. Stakes escalate as the tournament goes on, and surviving players’ stacks grow as others are eliminated.

Eventually, the smaller denomination chips players had at the beginning of the tournament become irrelevant. For instance, once the antes reach 100, there’s no need for 25-denomination chips anymore.

The floor would then announce “color up” at the next break. The dealers are then supposed to collect everyone’s 25s and replace them with the correct number of 100s.

The lower denomination chips come out of play. It’s possible the rookie dealer watched their counterparts removing them and mistakenly thought all the chips were going back in the well.

To rectify the problem, WSOP officials had to review camera footage to try to establish how many chips each player was supposed to have. It was time-consuming, and surely embarrassing for the series organizers.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. She also spent a dozen years in various roles relating to marketing. Those positions included 11 years as a senior editor with Target Marketing magazine, as well as her ongoing freelance work for Adweek. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, as well as a master's degree in journalism from New York University. To become a source, email [email protected]