Author Topic: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.  (Read 11494 times)

MikeB

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What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« on: November 26, 2009, 12:18:32 PM »
There's a long-running discussion about what, if anything, might be done to standardize a rule about what the remedy, if any, should be if a "protected" hand is mucked inadvertently by the dealer.

First, do you believe there is such a thing as a protected hand, and if so, what does a player have to do for their hand to be considered "protected"?

And secondly, what do you think is the appropriate remedy for the injured player?

And if you have specific examples of "protected hand" situations you've had to deal with that would be quite helpful also. What were the circumstances and how did you end up ruling? Would you change that ruling in hindsight? Be respectful of other's opinions, there's no 100% right or wrong answers on this topic...
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 12:22:01 PM by MikeB »

Georg

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 03:05:55 PM »
Final Table of a 60 people tournament. 5 Players remaining UTG moves all in (announces all in and moves his cips forward). Has one chip (it was a 1.000 chip there were 100, 500 and 1000 in play) on his cards. The cards are behind his chips. All fold to the big blind who has about the same amounts. The BB wants a chip count to know if he was covered. The dealer starts to count the chips and also removes the one chip that protected the players cards. After the dealer finish the count he takes UTG no unprotected cards and mucks them. Immediately the BB and UTG tell the dealer but his cards are already lost in the pile.

Before the BB asked for a count UTG showed me his cards because I have been standing behind him for about 10 minutes. Then I left the table and was called again when the hand was mucked. I still remembered his hand (black queens) but I asked him anyway what his hand was. Then I retrieved them from the muck and gave them back to the player. The BB complained that his hand should be dead, and he should protect his hand. I explained that his hand was protected (I could have proved that because we had a camera at that table) and that it was the dealers fault. I also told him, that I had seen the hand before it was mucked and was 100% sure about it.

I think it was not that hard. If I did not know his cards, I would still ask him about them and take the from the muck. If he can not remember both cards including suit then we have a problem. I have seen players only look at one card an push all in.

If the cards can not be determined then we could also return all bets to all players (as we would with an invalid deck) and replay the hand.

We could also rule, that if the dealer can take a players protected hand, that it was not protected well enough. That would probably be the easiest way.

Georg

pokerfish

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 11:34:09 AM »
This is a horrible situation and very odd that this particular hand you, the TD, saw. That said, I would never return all money to each player. I would only work to find a suitable remedy for those still in the hand. Why should the blinds and/or those who put money into the pot on earlier streets get a rebate>? They've already given up any interest in the pot and know that money is gone. I agree we should redefine what a protected hand truly is. I know that a dealer would have to pry the cards from my hand to kill them.
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mdillahunty

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 06:26:30 PM »
IMO, the hand wasn't protected by the player. The player did at one point have his hand protected, however, protecting your hand is not a matter of making any effort at all to protect it. The player in this case would recieve his/her raise back but loose the amount of the call unless the cards were readily identifiable by the dealer. If the dealer said they were realatively sure the players cards were two of say four or six cards on one edge of the muck, I would ask the player to identify their two cards and attempt to retrieve them. I can't see digging throug more than a couple cards out of the muck as the more cards you have to pick through, the more the odds go up that any two cards picked will be there. The players responsibility to protect their hand does not end by placing a chip (especially one that is now part of a bet) on their cards. IMO.

Like Pokerfish, the dealer would have to physically pry the cards out of my hands to kill them.

LeScribe

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 11:15:03 PM »
If you want a good example of that kind of situation in the biggest tournament, you can see it here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlGSXlDB-GA


The case is very know here, in France, because the player involved is Estelle Denis, a very popular TV host, and also the national soccer team's wife.
She was deep in the tournament, this happened during Day 5, and made all-in with a pair of Aces.
She finished a bit later, in 203th out of 6500.
Bruno
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pokerfish

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 11:22:25 PM »
Sorry to disagree with you but this is not the same as the question posed. This hand, while tragic, is clearly NOT a protected hand. The dealer is wrong but so is the player. While she has my sympathy, leaving your cards without protection invites this type of error. While she seems like a nice lady, I've seen players who have a vendetta against and AH player just wait for this situation to much a live hand.... yes, it does happen on purpose (although that certainly isn't the case here). This, unfortunately, is a very easy decision.
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LeScribe

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 04:27:39 AM »
Yes, of course, there was no protection at all on since she put all of her chips in front of her, comparing to the case Georg explained and were the dealer took the protecting-last-chip himself.

I use to say, at the beginning of my tourneys :
"Don't let your cards unprotected. If one of my dealer burns your hand, I will agree with my dealer and won't give your cards back.
When you see poker players on TV with some kind of lucky-charm on their cards, it's not only about superstition !"
  :P
Bruno
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Georg

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 04:32:09 AM »
I had this hand last week:

5 Players left blinds are 5000/10000 UTG moves all in with 3000. Dealer takes his cards away. I was called.
I was thinking about two things here, first if I rule his hand dead, his tournament would be over because he bet all in with less than the small blind. Second while the dealer took his cards away and put them where the muck usually is, these were the only two cards in the muck so identification would not be a problem. I gave back the cards and told the player to protect them.
After the tournament another player that was in that hand came over to me to complain because a few days before the following happened to him:
First level of a rebuy tournament, Blinds 25/25 one player moves all in with 650 some folds two calls and some folds again. The dealer mistakenly takes away one card of a calling player and I get called. So the guy has only one card, the other in a pile of 14 cards. I ruled his hand dead and did not give him back any part of his called 650. After my ruling the guy starts to argument with me and does not give back his remaining card. After some explanation I told him that if he protected his first card as well as his second we would not be discussing this  ;D

While both players did not protect their hands I could have also killed the first hand but the circumstances - only two cards in the muck and - allin with less than the small blind lead me to my decision. What do you think?

Georg

pokerfish

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 10:25:30 AM »
An incorrectly mucked hand is always sad.... IF it is possible to correctly and safely return the cards, that generally is what I'll do. If the ONLY cards in the muck are his it is a no-brainer (except in extreme cases). If a player still has one card and there are 14 in the muck, I "may" ask him to ID the missing card and if we know the approximate area of the muck it's in see if it is.... that said, it also would be easy to guess one card. I would be funny to play "let's make a deal" and ask him to ID the card. IF it's there he gets it back.... if it isn't (and he's taking a shot) he's DQ'd. But I digress.... there are times I would let a player play a hand with too few cards and this might be one of them.
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LeScribe

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 11:27:38 AM »
I would be funny to play "let's make a deal" and ask him to ID the card. IF it's there he gets it back.... if it isn't (and he's taking a shot) he's DQ'd.

I heard this story, but don't know if it's really true :

Few years ago, during the WSOP (ME ?), the French player Thomas "Fougan" Fougeron had his hand mucked by the dealer.
The TD was called and he made this kind of deal with Thomas.
He told him : "Tell me your EXACT cards (with suit) and if I find them in the muck, I give them back to you. If I don't, you are disqualified and I won't let you play any other tournament of the WSOP !

Frightening, no ?  ;D
Bruno
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WSOPMcGee

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2010, 10:32:58 PM »
Don't know if there's much more that we can do. I'm sure it's been discussed thoroughly. I suppose you could call it 'no action' because the hand has been killed, but I believe you would encourage more shot taking then a little bit if that were the case. I think that the current rule of receive the uncalled portion of your bet back is more than fair as with the Estelle Denis ruling. That's why the onus is the player to protect their hand. That's why we allow card protectors on the table. That's why you don't release your cards to the dealer until you receive the pot!

But since were sharing ruling here's two!

1. I'm called to the table - two players are all-in, there's a board with a river and Player A hollering in Arabic along with broken english and Player B speaking in a very thick English accent from the UK. The player A has tabled 33, the player B had tabled AQo after the money went in on the turn. The Dealer says to me "I thought player B said fold, and he threw his cards face up and I mucked them." The board was AK10, 10, J and now Player B's hand was pulled out of the muck by the dealer! So I said to the dealer, "You thought he said fold, and that was on the turn, but you went ahead and put out a river card?" Player A is in hysterics because he wants the hand killed. Player B is emphatic that he said call and thus tabled his hand. Luckily this was a very good group of players and were very astute as to what had happened as I had to ask the table what they had seen and heard. To a man, the table had said that player B had called and I awarded him the pot to the dismay of Player A, who told me that "I hope you can sleep well tonight! That's a bad decision!"  :D

2. I'm called to the table - we are at the river and a showdown. The dealer misreads the hand and mucks the winning cards. After protest, the dealer does not even know what two cards were tabled for the showdown and they are deep in the muck. In most cases this is easy as you can't kill winning hand that was tabled. But the dealer doesn't know what cards were tabled. So I asked the player what two cards he had. He said 4c 4h. There was a 4card heart flush on the board. Mind you the muck is 14 cards deep. I turned the muck over to inspect and sure enough those two cards are in there along with the 4s. Luckily the 4d was not in the muck as the 4 of diamond could easily be confused with the 4 of hearts. But not two black 4's. I awarded him the pot. Had those cards not been in the muck I would award the pot to the other player.



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Stuart Murray

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 05:09:36 AM »
Don't know if there's much more that we can do. I'm sure it's been discussed thoroughly. I suppose you could call it 'no action' because the hand has been killed, but I believe you would encourage more shot taking then a little bit if that were the case. I think that the current rule of receive the uncalled portion of your bet back is more than fair as with the Estelle Denis ruling. That's why the onus is the player to protect their hand. That's why we allow card protectors on the table. That's why you don't release your cards to the dealer until you receive the pot!

I agree with wsopmcgee,  I think the current rule is robust enough as is,  I don't really think we should be hunting the muck pile for cards - otherwise we would supply dealers with discard trays and retrieving mucked hands would be a doddle as they would all be stacked in the correct fold order.

Nowadays everyone accepts the rule very easily and most actually feel stupid with themselves for loosing their hand, one on tuesday this week announced raise at a button deals game then killed her own hand, I was called ruled the hand dead and required her to call any outstanding bet on the table.

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thegreatiam

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 03:29:03 PM »
i would like to add my opinion here as not much has really been said on the negative aspect of this situation, and its a problem we have in a lot of tournaments.
my example is purely hypothetical, just an argument i use for people who like to assist the players by making every effort to retrieve mucked cards. As a given most TD's feel that the player who had his hand mucked incorrectly has our sympathy and would try to retrieve his cards provided he can identify them. while i can agree with the sentiment i can never seem to bring my self to actually give these cards back to the player. the rule clearly states that players are responsible for their own cards and as such should suffer the consequences. otherwise the begin to use the TD as a crutch and become even more careless with the cards.
so my example:
As a TD you have been watching the play of one player, i assume you have a previous relationship with the player as a regular in the tourney, he has begun to show you his hands. you see him push all in with 2 black queens and the dealer mucks his cards. you rule that the hand is retrievable and give him his cards back. you saw them and you are the authority, fair enough.
I am a new player in the club, i have experience and im fairly knowledgeable of the rules. iv been playing in your game and watching you laugh and joke, particularly with 1 player on my table, i get short stacked and raise with jacks, your friend shoves, he's a little careless with his cards and they end up in the muck.
how does it look to this player when the TD whips out 1 of the only 3 hands im scared of and declares them live. even tho the rules state otherwise. is he going to feel robbed or cheated here? Are you giving those cards back because he's your friend? are you both in on a scam?

I know my self as a TD that you believe the right thing is being done and the accidental muck is the dealers fault so he should get the hand back, but i also believe we never really know how our customers think, do we want to put ourselves in a position where people can accuse us of cheating even tho its false.
this is why i'll never get those cards from the muck. i apologise and sympathise, but at the end of the day, like pokerfish said, I've never had a hand mucked by a dealer.


also as an aside, i think the actual description of the rule should be adjusted, the word protected is a little vague in this context. i.e is my hand protected with a chip, or do i have to keep hold of my cards?

Nick C

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 12:19:41 PM »
  I can't believe that so many responses lean toward retrieving cards from the muck. When I teach student dealers, I tell them the two most important rules to pass along to players at the table: # 1 ACT IN TURN.....#2  PROTECT YOUR OWN HAND. The dealer can also play a very important role in hand protection. Protecting the muck is a habit that good dealers should practice regularly.

  There are a few issues that I feel should be mentioned here. The ten seat is by far the most problematic. There are obvious reasons why. When I deal, the muck is on the right side (forward of the table bank and slightly off to the right) combine this with the fact that most dealers are right handed (holding the deck in their left hand) leaving the right hand free to adjust wagers, stack chips and muck cards. Thus the dreaded ten seat. Maybe someone can offer a kind of insurance against the hand being accidentally mucked by the dealer. (kidding of course).

  Having trained dealers for many years I get in the habit of almost always blaming them when something goes wrong at the table. I must say that this is a situation that I've been in when I was a dealer, ( killing a live hand) that was unprotected. It is unfortunate, but that is exactly what a good dealer should do, kill an unprotected hand. I cant imagine digging in the muck to retrieve a hand that was not properly tabled (exposed horizontally face up, on the table for all to see). A properly exposed hand is not defined as one that was only seen by a supervisor that claims he saw the hand.

  Holding on to your hole cards is easy enough for any player. The cards should never leave your hand until they are surrendered face down in the direction of the muck or the dealer has just pushed you the pot.

  Nice topic for discussion.....I hope I gave a little insight to ponder.

Nick C

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Re: What to do about protected hands that are mucked by the dealer.
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 02:25:39 PM »
Indeed, whilst reading the new threads I just had one of my TD's kill an all-in hand at a self deal and eliminate the player from the tourney.

The player who was dealing the hand announced all-in, the other player whom had him covered said call and tabled his cards, the all-in player then mucked his cards, mucked the board and swept the pot towards himself at which point all hell broke loose!

I stopped action as I was playing on the table and called my TD who ruled correctly that the all-in players hand and board was irretrievable and he was subsequently eliminated.  I don't think he will be back for a while but alas it will be a sharp lesson for all the players at the event.


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Stuart
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