Author Topic: "Substantial action" in heads-up play  (Read 4542 times)

K-Lo

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"Substantial action" in heads-up play
« on: May 31, 2012, 06:25:04 PM »
I directed a heads-up tourney yesterday, and I had to rule in a situation where it appeared the button was in the wrong position (i.e. it had not been moved and one player paid the BB twice).  In this case, they were already at the turn, so I had no problem with ruling that substantial action had occurred (therefore, no misdeal), so the hand would continue to completion and the button would move on the next hand.

But it got me thinking.... suppose that this (or some other irregularity) was discovered pre-flop, before it was the BB's turn to act?  E.g. Suppose that the SB took a few moments to consider his options and then decided to call/raise...  technically speaking, there can never be substantial action under strict application of the rules because there will only ever be one action before it is the BB's turn.  Therefore, the BB will always have the "option" of keeping his mouth shut and not bringing attention to the irregularity if the SB just calls, and to call for a misdeal if the SB raises.  I don't like it, but I guess it's not much different with 3+ players because the UTG+1 faces the same scenario.

So my question is whether you would always call a misdeal (applying the definition of substantial action strictly) in heads-up play if the BB brings attention to an irregularity (e.g. a misplaced button) before it is the BB's turn to act.

Here's another rare, but related situation.  Suppose the blinds are 25-25 in a heads-up match.  Action is check-check.  Technically, this is two actions not involving chips according to the rule, so either player could presumably call for a misdeal after seeing the flop (unless you want to take the position that the dealer's burn/turn/deal of the flop counts as an action).

Nick C

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:06 PM »
K-Lo,
 I think you handled the first situation the best way possible.

 The next scenario I think the BB would have the option to declare a misdeal. It might not seem fair but, under the circumstances I think it's the right thing to do when you consider that the BB has not acted on his option. The advantage for the BB would surely be a rare occurrence.

 I have always been in favor of counting the dealer as a "person" counted for substantial action. We have had similar discussions on prior posts and I always thought if the dealer acknowledged, or prompted action from the next player, or burned a card, that would be enough to play the hand to conclusion.   

diz475

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 12:21:04 PM »
I agree with Nick, except just burning the card but for sure if the next card is exposed

This also makes me think of out of turn action heads up (why shouldn’t that just be binding) the out of turn guy is giving up his positional advantage.

K-Lo

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 02:51:00 PM »
This also makes me think of out of turn action heads up (why shouldn’t that just be binding) the out of turn guy is giving up his positional advantage.

Can you clarify what you are saying here?  I think out-of-turn actions, especially heads-up, can definitely warrant penalties.

diz475

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 04:16:21 PM »
maybe it doesent belong here but when play gets to heads up i think an action out of turn should always be binding rather then using the (its binding if the action doesnt change)

Brian Vickers

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 11:46:00 AM »
To the original subject, I think that if SB limps, BB checks, and the dealer puts out the flop, then that should count as substantial action.  I know not everyone is on board with "dealer tapping the table is an action" but I feel that delivering the next street probably should be.  If the SB has raised and the BB hasn't done anything yet, then I would rule a misdeal and correct the action.  Once the BB acts though, and the next street is out, then no way am I calling misdeal.

Diz, yeah it's not exactly what the thread was about, but you know, I think I am onboard with that:
"Action out of turn while heads up is always binding and may be subject to a penalty."  Thoughts?

Nick C

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 06:14:17 PM »
Brian:

 I wrote this over two years ago. Take notice of the mention of deliberate action out of turn. I've been working on this rule for some time, see how you like this.


RULE # 29    VERBAL DECLARATIONS / ACTING IN TURN (THE NEW VERSION IS COVERED BY RULES #34 & #35).

 29.1   Players must act in turn. Verbal declarations in turn will have precedence over actions or gestures. Therefore a player stating a wager, but pushing a different amount into the pot, will be corrected to the spoken amount.

 29.2    Players acting out of turn because they were misled by another player, or the dealer, will have the right to retract their wager and change their action provided another player has not acted after them. If another player acts, (substantial action) the skipped player or players may only fold or call when action returns to them, they can not raise.

 29.3    Deliberate action out of turn, including words and gestures, WILL BE AS BINDING AS A BET IN TURN. The deliberate action out of turn will remain in the pot even if the intervening player raises in front of them. The out of turn player can call, or surrender their bet and fold. The option to raise will be taken away.

 29.4    Any out of turn action may seriously disrupt to flow of the game. Deliberate action out of turn is highly unethical in any form of poker. Therefore, repeat offenders will be penalized up to, and including being eliminated from tournament play, at the discretion of the floor.
Nick C


I really think many of the problems stem from weak wording...like..."if you do this, we might do something about it!" I think the rules should be overstated at times, just so we can show how serious we are. Then, I think, a floorperson can show them the written rule, explain the seriousness of their infraction and issue one warning. That should get the message across and justify any action taken by the floor for a repeat offense

Thanks


« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 12:40:27 PM by Nick C »

diz475

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 05:54:33 AM »
in 29.2 your saying that he cant raise when it gets back to him,

it sounds like you are saying if it was a check to him originaly youve taken away a check raise when it comes back to him in turn
or do you mean when the action is backed up to him

in 29.3 i dont like the word deliberate
i do belive a deliberate action out of turn should be treated different then unintintional but now we have to make the determination
i think thats where the simple wording comes from in the rules of we might do something about it if we think it was deliberate
and what do you do if it wasent deliberate

Nick C

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 08:26:27 AM »
diz475,

 That's exactly what I'm saying. No skipped player, that is followed by substantial action, can raise when the action returns to them. This has nothing to do with a check raise. If the player checks (in turn), the right to raise will not be taken from them if another player bets.

 An example of deliberate is a player making a "blind bet" out of turn, or calling a player that hasn't even bet yet. I'm sure you've experienced the player that tries to intimidate others by this unethical practice. Currently, they are protected because if the action changes to them, they can retract their bet. You say you don't like the word deliberate but, the word is defined as; studied and intentional. A player that accidentally  acts out of turn will still suffer the consequences of their mistake if substantial action follows. However, if the action is quickly corrected, by any player or the dealer, the action can usually be resolved without incident.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 10:11:56 AM by Nick C »

K-Lo

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 01:25:53 PM »
I have had to deal with a number of players who routinely go all-in out of turn, especially in heads-up situations.   

In one case, I had no prior history on this player and gave him the benefit of the doubt that his out-of-turn all-in was unintentional -- first a warning, then a one-hand penalty, in the same tournament.  After the tournament was over, I overheard this player boasting to others that he went all-in out of turn on purpose in order to "take away the all-in move from Player X, since Player X is most likely to have a hand that would make it correct to shove all-in but could not call an all-in bet" and that "the minor warning/penalty was well worth the big pot and getting Player X to fold instead of having to face an all-in from Player X".  Needless to say, I am not letting this player get away with this so easily now.

Just the ability to be able to announce all-in first can be a significant advantage, and I expect this angle would be played even if the out-of-turn all-in were always be considered binding and could not be retracted regardless of the backed-up action.  But I suppose it does at least take away one option from the out-of-turn actor.

I also feel that there is a big difference between players who do change their mind, for example, announce "check" or "call" out of turn, and then turn around and bet or raise when the action comes back to them, or more commonly, bet or go all-in out of turn, and then ultimately fold when the action comes back to them.  The change of heart is highly indicative of an angle-shoot IMO.  That is why I am fine with letting them retract their out-of-turn action if action has changed by the time it rightfully gets back to them, but they will get a substantial penalty from me at the end of the hand.  Do you think I am too strict?

diz475

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 12:04:26 PM »
for the first on i was just explaining what it sounds like your rule is saying

for the second one now that you explain what you mean by deliberate as in the blind i know what you mean
the reason i didnt like it is becouse like K-los example he has to determine if its deliberate or he just thought it was on him

Nick C

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 08:11:04 PM »
K-Lo
 What do you think of my suggestions?

 diz475,
You have me confused. You claim you understand what I'm saying, and then you say it might be difficult to determine if it's deliberate or not?

 How's this example: Full table... Player in 5 seat is first to act, before he bets, the player in the 6 seat says "I raise whatever you bet!" That's deliberate.

K-Lo

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2012, 07:33:17 AM »
K-Lo
 What do you think of my suggestions?

I like them actually.  It is clear that you have put a lot of thought into it.  It explicitly sets out situations that you might otherwise have to address using Rule 1.

What about your push to have the Dealer's action count as substantial action?  e.g. unless it is clear that the players have not yet had a reasonable chance to stop a board card(s) from being prematurely dealt, the dealer's rap & tap, burn, & dealing of the board cards should in itself constitute substantial action.

Nick C

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2012, 08:30:08 AM »
K-Lo,

 Thank you. That is precisely why the dealer must be factored into the equation for substantial action. Consider this; the possibility of substantial action (as we know it) is impossible when action is down to two players unless the dealer is included.

 I believe that we need to focus on a way to protect all players. There are always a few who will take advantage of newer players, because of a weak rule.

 Acting in turn is right at the top of the list (of importance) for any poker player to learn. Therefore, intentionally acting out of turn should carry a more harsh punishment than we currently uphold. Allowing players to retract their deliberate, intimidating, out of turn bet is nothing more than abetting the "angle-shooters" that seem to be growing in card rooms everywhere. Get rid of them...the game will be better without them!

 Ken, you mentioned on an earlier response that these players are usually repeat offenders. That's how you know when actions are accidental, or deliberate. First questionable out of turn should get a warning (at least), after that...throw the book at them!    
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 12:14:20 PM by Nick C »

diz475

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Re: "Substantial action" in heads-up play
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 01:54:32 PM »
nick what i mean is
your two examples of deliberate are easy (he put it in blind and he said ill call whatever you bet)
but what about k-los example how do you know its deliberate or not
i think what you should say is all out of turn is binding and stays in ( it takes the guess work out of determining if its deliberate or not)

and if we could find a penatly for acting out of turn on cash games, maybe players would learn that there not supposed to do it before thay enter the tournament ( sir put one small blind in the pot)



in your rule 29.2 try replacing when action returns to them with when action is backed up to them