Author Topic: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?  (Read 11158 times)

EbroTim

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Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« on: July 03, 2012, 11:45:41 PM »
At approximately 2 hours, 27 minutes into the Big One for One Drop broadcast on ESPN today, Antonio Esfandiari and David Einhorn were in a hand that checked the flop and turn.  And then on the river, Antonio (1st to act) asked if he could open fold.

TD Jack Effel said Antonio can fold, but that both players must show their hands.  I couldn't hear the conversation between them after that because the announcers were talking.

Does anyone know what Jack Effel's reasoning was behind requiring both players to show?  And whether this is a rule WSOP newly put in place, or whether this is even a rule at all?

Nick C

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 03:39:30 AM »
EmbroTim,

 I could easily support Jack Effel's decision. I'm sure it has to do with the possibility of collusion and chip dumping. The options open to players first to act are: Check or bet. In a normal situation, players might check and concede but, the right to see that hand should be open to any player at the table.

EbroTim

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 04:12:32 AM »
I see that forcing both players to expose their hands when the first player to act decides to fold can expose collusion.

What do you think about the fact that it allows the first player to act to force the other player to show his hand if he open folds?  This can be used to gain information when the first player knows that if he checks, the other player will bet, forcing him to fold, and he wouldn't get the benefit of seeing the other player's hand.

Nick C

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 06:05:00 AM »
ET,
 
 On the contrary, the order of showdown should always be followed. If the first to act checks and the next player checks, the dealer should insist that the first player show their hand. In your other example, I believe that the possibility of a check raise eliminates the forced situation you speak of. I guess, what I'm saying is; In tournament poker all hands should be tabled at the showdown. Why is it only when a player is all-in?

 Bottom line, I think it's a good policy to enforce. Jack Effel might have a different reason but, I like his call. 

K-Lo

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 08:18:31 AM »
When you say "open fold", do you mean that Antonio wanted to fold his cards face-up, or just merely fold before acting on the last street?

In any case, I'm pretty sure that accepting Antonio's fold when fold is not an option, and having both players turn up their cards is not an explicit WSOP rule, but is done for transparency.  If the fold was allowed and the hand simply moved on, viewers would be wondering what the heck just happened there, isn't that soft play, etc...

The only potentially related WSOP rule/policy that might be considered is that at showdown, if a player wins the pot because the opponent decides to fold (e.g. it goes check-check and 1st player mucks before other player shows, or it goes bet-call and the bettor folds before caller shows), the remaining person must still show his complete hand in order to win the pot.  In contrast, in some other non-WSOP tourneys, you may not need to show one or both cards to win the pot so long as you are the "last man standing" at showdown. 

Perhaps Jack is effectively treating this situation as check-check-muck, thus Einhorn at least would need to show anyways.  And showing Antonio's hand would temper any accusations of soft play.  ET is right that if the action actually went check-bet-muck, we may not have been able to see Einhorn's hand, but if Antonio is willing to surrender the pot and to have his own hand shown, then perhaps that would be considered a sufficient penalty to pay to see the other person's hand (although I don't think Antonio had any expectation to see Einhorn's hand when folding in this particular case). 


chet

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 10:27:49 AM »
As I remember it, Antonio asked the attending floor, I think it was Jack Effel, if he could fold and the response was yes, but he would have to show his hand.

I think it very important that he asked before acting.  This, in my opinion, removes any question about ethical play.

Chet

K-Lo

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 11:07:25 AM »
As I remember it, Antonio asked the attending floor, I think it was Jack Effel, if he could fold and the response was yes, but he would have to show his hand.

I think it very important that he asked before acting.  This, in my opinion, removes any question about ethical play.

I guess... As long as he doesn't say "never mind then, I check"... And then check-raise!  ;)

MikeB

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2012, 01:39:25 PM »
In any case, I'm pretty sure that accepting Antonio's fold when fold is not an option, and having both players turn up their cards is not an explicit WSOP rule, but is done for transparency.  If the fold was allowed and the hand simply moved on, viewers would be wondering what the heck just happened there, isn't that soft play, etc..1:

The only potentially related WSOP rule/policy that might be considered is that at showdown, if a player wins the pot because the opponent decides to fold (e.g. it goes check-check and 1st player mucks before other player shows, or it goes bet-call and the bettor folds before caller shows), the remaining person must still show his complete hand in order to win the pot.  In contrast, in some other non-WSOP tourneys, you may not need to show one or both cards to win the pot so long as you are the "last man standing" at showdown.  2:

Perhaps Jack is effectively treating this situation as check-check-muck, thus Einhorn at least would need to show anyways.  And showing Antonio's hand would temper any accusations of soft play.  ET is right that if the action actually went check-bet-muck, 3:

1: Right. The WSOP 2012 Rule #82 specifically makes a fold when facing no bet subject to penalty, consistent with TDA Rule 45 "Non-Standard Folds". Requiring Antonio to reveal his cards can be seen as a mild penalty with a view towards ensuring against collusion.
2: Because there are these two camps: i) the must show every winning hand (if hand moves to showdown) camp and ii) the camp that allows a winner not to show in the case of an "uncontested showdown", there was a significant change from TDA 2011 Rules Version 1.0 and 2.0. Version 1.0 formally recognized an uncontested showdown as the standard. In order to keep the TDA a large tent association, the uncontested showdown language was changed in Version 2.0 in favor of the language in Rule 14: "Except where house policy requires a hand to be shown...", so that the policies of both camps can be accomodated.
3: Yes, in the case of check-bet-muck, Antonio would be folding when facing a bet, the hand would not progress to showdown, and the winner would not have to show his cards.

This is a great case to look at, thanks for posting it.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 01:44:48 PM by MikeB »

EbroTim

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 01:57:12 PM »
I wrongly assumed that everyone else also watched the broadcast.  To clarify, here is the situation.

The river card has just been dealt.  Antonio is first to act (of two players).  Before acting, Antonio asks the TD whether he can fold (instead of check or bet).  The TD then says that Antonio may fold, but that both players would have to show their hands.  So Antonio then tabled his hand and folded, which forced Einhorn (the other player) to also table his hand.  Showdown was never reached.

My curiosity about this ruling lies in the fact that Player A may exploit this situation by folding (instead of checking or betting) in order to force a gain of information (Player B's hand) that he ordinarily would not receive if he acts (checks or bets) as normal.

I understand that obviously by forcing both players to table their hands, it may expose chip dumping.  What I want to know more specifically, if anyone here knows, is

1.  Is this actually a rule?  Or did the TD come up with this ruling on the fly?
2.  Other than to expose chip-dumping, was there any other possible reason that the TD required both players to show their cards?  (Not that exposing chip-dumping isn't enough of a reason by itself.)

The reason I ask the above is I have never seen this rule applied in a non-showdown situation before, and I am curious about its origin and purpose.  I'd like to hear others' opinions on whether the benefit of exposing chip-dumping outweighs the consequence of players exploiting the rule by open-folding in situations when they have no intention of check-calling on a river they think their opponent will likely bet.

EbroTim

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 02:18:31 PM »
I didn't see MikeB's response before I posted my last response.

So then it sounds like, MikeB, you were implying that a WSOP TD may allow players to violate WSOP rule 82, even if it wasn't in the best interest of the game or in the spirit of fairness?

Based on the reasonings for the ruling I have so far, I think a better response by the TD would have been to rule that Antonio may not open-fold, and that he must check or bet.

MikeB

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 02:32:42 PM »
I didn't see MikeB's response before I posted my last response.

So then it sounds like, MikeB, you were implying that a WSOP TD may allow players to violate WSOP rule 82, even if it wasn't in the best interest of the game of in the spirit of fairness?
How did I imply that?

Based on the reasonings for the ruling I have so far, I think a better response by the TD would have been to rule that Antonio may not open-fold, and that he must check or bet.
Ahhh, I see your point. Interesting view. TDA Rule 45 was initially intended to clarify what happens to an out-of-turn bettor who folds out-of-turn. There had been some question prior to the rule that like an out-of-turn bet, the out-of-turn fold could be retracted if the action changed. Rule 45 clarifies that the out-of-turn fold is binding, whether action changes or not. The association then extended the rule to include situations where a player folds in-turn when not facing a bet. In both cases the rule was focused not so much on prohibiting these folds but in declaring a) that they are binding and b) that they may be "subject" to penalty at TD's discretion. So in that sense I think explaining to a player what the ramifications of a contemplated action are (in this case you must show your cards) is within the spirit of the Rule. The phrase "may be subject to penalty" places this action more in the category of being strongly discouraged than strictly prohibited IMO... perhaps a strict prohibition should be discussed at the next Summit?

EbroTim

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 02:36:48 PM »
My mistake and my apologies, MikeB.  I read too fast and thought I read rule 82 as saying folding when facing no bet was not permitted.  I didn't see until just now when I reread it that it is actually subject to penalty -- in which case the TD did not make a contrary ruling at all.

I blame it on being awake for the last 32 hours.  Again, my apologies.  Thanks for citing the rule and the explanation.  That was actually the info I was searching for when I made the original post.

EbroTim

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 02:55:55 PM »
I didn't see MikeB's response before I posted my last response.

So then it sounds like, MikeB, you were implying that a WSOP TD may allow players to violate WSOP rule 82, even if it wasn't in the best interest of the game of in the spirit of fairness?
How did I imply that?

Based on the reasonings for the ruling I have so far, I think a better response by the TD would have been to rule that Antonio may not open-fold, and that he must check or bet.
Ahhh, I see your point. Interesting view. TDA Rule 45 was initially intended to clarify what happens to an out-of-turn bettor who folds out-of-turn. There had been some question prior to the rule that like an out-of-turn bet, the out-of-turn fold could be retracted if the action changed. Rule 45 clarifies that the out-of-turn fold is binding, whether action changes or not. The association then extended the rule to include situations where a player folds in-turn when not facing a bet. In both cases the rule was focused not so much on prohibiting these folds but in declaring a) that they are binding and b) that they may be "subject" to penalty at TD's discretion. So in that sense I think explaining to a player what the ramifications of a contemplated action are (in this case you must show your cards) is within the spirit of the Rule. The phrase "may be subject to penalty" places this action more in the category of being strongly discouraged than strictly prohibited IMO... perhaps a strict prohibition should be discussed at the next Summit?

Yes, if we are discussing the merits of the rule, I do think that altogether prohibiting folding when not facing a bet is a better option than to allow it and face only a penalty of exposing your own hand.  I think either the penalty should be stiffer, or it should not be allowed at all.  My reasoning is as follows:  Player B will know that Player A doesn't have a strong hand either way -- whether he check-folds or whether he open-folds.  Player B doesn't really gain any information by the application of the rule.  Player A, however, does gain information by the application of the rule since he does gain knowledge about Player B's holding when he open-folds, and not when he check-folds.  Am I making any sense at all??  I can elaborate, if you want.

Nick C

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2012, 05:50:31 PM »
Gentlemen:
 
  We are in a discussion about an action that; #1 you probably wont see again and #2 It is highly unethical, that is, to fold without facing a bet. What is the reason for such an action? If not collusion or soft play, why would any player muck instead of check?

 I think Mike is correct about discussing this further at the next summit, I just hope we don't spend too much time on the subject.

 The more I think about it, the more ugly it becomes. I propose that any player attempting to fold in this situation will be forced to check without the option to raise. They should also be subjected to a  penalty.

K-Lo

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Re: Why did Antonio have to show his cards?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2012, 06:32:12 PM »
I understand completely what you are saying ET, and I have to say that if I had to make the ruling at the time, I would have simply told AE that he could not fold; his options are only to check or bet.  IMO, I really don't see any benefit in trying to be creative with the rules in this situation. 

Subsequently, if DE checks behind, AE could fold without showing, and DE would have to show (under WSOP rules) to claim the pot.  If DE bets, I would not allow AE to raise if he tried, and of course, he could then fold. 

Perhaps Jack was feeling pressured that he had to accommodate the "star" to avoid complaints etc., so came up with this solution on-to-fly so as to avoid making a big deal of the situation and allow the game to move onto the next hand quickly.  I can accept that.  On the other hand, I would like to think (hope) that players at that level could understand and accept the simple explanation that fold is not an option when first to act, and just play out the hand.