Originally Posted by Dealer-Guy
You cannot take your chips with you if you go on break. If you do, the chips are taken out of play meaning you are DQ'd from the tournament.
The only time a player can take chips off the table is if they are moved to another table or the table is broken. No one would be able to just walk up and take chips off the table.
You can NEVER take your chips off the table during a tournament unless you are moved as stated. And even if your table breaks and you are moving...keep them in your hand or in a rack, because you could even be DQ'd for putting them in your pocket during a table break move. Tourney chips always have to be on the table or in plain sight during a table break/move.
Since they can't be cashed out...there is much less motive for people to try and steal tourney chips. I have never seen it happen, although I am sure in some rare cases it has. I think there was a thread about Men the Master stockpiling tourney chips that his horses or he himself surreptitiously pulled off the table and had stored in a hotel room that caught on fire..and they were found.