Author Topic: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree  (Read 3023 times)

Brian Vickers

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"Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« on: April 19, 2015, 02:25:33 PM »
Example:

9 players remain in a tournament and  the top 8 are getting paid.  One player proposes that everyone throw in $20 for the bubble boy.  8 players agree, but 1 does not.  The 8 players all say "ok, well us 8 can still throw $20 in and if one of us is the bubble we get that money and if that other player is the bubble boy then we all just take our $20 back."

Does anyone see an issue with this?  (Please note that our venue does allow players to put money in for the bubble with the understanding that the house is not involved and the money can't come from the prize pool.  Usually one player collects it all and they put it in a cupholder or off to the side somewhere.  Typically when one person says no, they say "ok forget it" and move one.)

I don't want to give my opinion yet as I do not want to sway responses.

Thank you.

K-Lo

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 03:58:53 PM »
Usually, but not always, the holdout is one of the chip leaders who wants to take advantage of the bubble.

Allowing the "deal" to be made despite the person holding out is, in my view, collusion between multiple players, and should not be allowed.

Nick C

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 09:50:37 PM »
Brian: Your situation seems logical but I'm with Ken on this one. I'm not a big fan of any "agreement" even when they all agree.

Brian Vickers

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 08:27:39 AM »
Usually, but not always, the holdout is one of the chip leaders who wants to take advantage of the bubble.

Allowing the "deal" to be made despite the person holding out is, in my view, collusion between multiple players, and should not be allowed.


Ken, Iím curious how the term collusion applies here?  No one is conspiring secretly to gain an edge on another player.  The players are being very open, and in no way did they mention anything about playing at that holdout player or softplaying eachother, nor did they show any animosity towards that player. Iím not saying youíre wrong, I would just like a little more elaboration on that.

In my opinion, this is akin to an insurance bet at a blackjack table; there's a pot of money and only those that took place in that bet are eligible to win it.  Itís a consolation prize, essentially. 

The house does not have involvement in the distribution or collection of this money, nor could we enforce this deal in any way, but I feel that if we did not allow open discussion and agreement at the table, the alternative would be that players might make secret deals outside the room and that is what Iím looking to avoid.

Would like to hear more opinions about this.

Nick C

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 09:46:57 AM »
Brian: I know you want to hear from others but, while you're waiting...Did you ever see an argument take place after one of these "pre-arranged" agreements? I have, and it's too much trouble trying to sort them out. The casino and poker room have specific tournament rules and I don't think management needs to get involved in any side action. You are a Tournament Director, not a referee. ;D

Brian Vickers

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 12:58:28 PM »
Brian: I know you want to hear from others but, while you're waiting...Did you ever see an argument take place after one of these "pre-arranged" agreements? I have, and it's too much trouble trying to sort them out. The casino and poker room have specific tournament rules and I don't think management needs to get involved in any side action. You are a Tournament Director, not a referee. ;D

Keep in mind, our poker room does condone players to pay out the bubble on their own.  The question is specifically if the others could do it when one holds out. 

K-Lo

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2015, 07:30:54 AM »
Usually, but not always, the holdout is one of the chip leaders who wants to take advantage of the bubble.

Allowing the "deal" to be made despite the person holding out is, in my view, collusion between multiple players, and should not be allowed.


Ken, Iím curious how the term collusion applies here?  No one is conspiring secretly to gain an edge on another player.  The players are being very open, and in no way did they mention anything about playing at that holdout player or softplaying eachother, nor did they show any animosity towards that player. Iím not saying youíre wrong, I would just like a little more elaboration on that.


Good question. Making me think about it more deeply...

I guess I never thought that collusion always had to be a problem with secrecy, meaning although a collusory act is usually a secret one it doesn't have to be. I think I've accepted "collusion" in the poker context as having a meaning more like "agreeing to act in concert against another".

This reminds me a bit of the debate about whether or not we should be asking that staking arrangements between players at a final table be disclosed. I guess part of that debate involved discussing whether a presumption that players who have that type of relationship with each other will softplay each other, or at least act in ways in which they really aren't playing as they might if they truly were playing "one player to a hand", because their goal is to act in a way that furthers their collective interests. Since those types of arrangements haven't (yet) been made illegal, then at least disclosing that fact would put others on notice and could allow them to try to protect themselves accordingly, presumably.

I think the act that you describe has some similar issues, but goes way beyond that. If everyone else has agreed to pay the bubble, the opportunity for someone to actually be that bubble has been lost. It's fine if everyone agrees, but if not everyone agrees, it's hard for you to convince the holdout person that everyone else is going to play exact the same way as they might if they were all playing "one player to a hand" on the bubble.  I think that in effect they ARE targeting that holdout player and playing against them -- everyone else has acted as a TEAM for that particular decision, which will have a direct impact on the way the hand is played for all the hands after that which would have otherwise been "bubble" hands. So if it's not technically an issue of "collusion" in some books, I'd say it certainly is a violation of "one player to a hand" or some variation of that.

With respect to the insurance argument, I'd ask this... whose getting the insurance premium?  Not the holdout, presumably. If they are desperate to pay out the bubble, would it be ok to pay the holdout something until he agrees?  If I was the chipleader and the holdout, and you guaranteed me first place money, I think I'd agree to pay the bubble... ;-) 

It's a difficult problem because I do see not wanting to give an incentive for backroom deals. But I guess if they do a secret deal, they risk disqualification, and the house is not involved. I don't know... it's not an easy problem. "We know that there's a chance that you might steal from this guy when he's not looking, so at least if you're up front and steal from him when he's looking, then we're ok with that and it won't be stealing anymore." lol
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 07:48:36 AM by K-Lo »

WSOPMcGee

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 07:47:01 PM »
In addition to what K-Lo said on the insurance part, it would be only be insurance for the Hold-out player if the other players put up the money and included him in the payout in the event he is knocked out. He invests nothing but is insured to win a payout regardless. It doesn't change the team aspect, but at least he's insured. :)
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Spence

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Re: "Paying the Bubble" when one or more players don't agree
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 10:24:25 AM »
Would the tournament play out differently if there was an agreement made rather than no one said a word?  Probably yes.  At some point.  Someones decision will eb impacted by the fact that there will be some prize money for that bubble player.  Do not allow it under any circumstances.