Author Topic: Penalizing repeated acts of unclear betting  (Read 2372 times)

K-Lo

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Penalizing repeated acts of unclear betting
« on: July 22, 2012, 08:31:25 PM »
Hi all:

I'd like to gather some thoughts on the current "etiquette violations" rule:

"Repeated etiquette violations will result in penalties. Examples include, but are not limited to, unnecessarily touching other players’ cards or chips, delay of the game, repeatedly acting out of turn or excessive chatter."

I like the fact that, for example, repeatedly acting out of turn is explicitly recited in the rule -- it makes it that much easier for TDs to justify penalties for this behavior especially when used intentionally to gain an unfair advantage.  A common angle that we try to curb is when a player purposely make an aggressive action out of turn (especially when heads up post-flop), to try to influence how the player who has yet to act will decide to proceed.  Sometimes it is unintentional - but you may suspect that it is not when the player has a history of making the same "mistake".

Another "angle" that I feel that is tried often (at least at the "lower" levels of play), is when a player makes a bet in such a way so as to try to distort other players' perception of the strength of his hand, and purposely manipulates the rules to achieve this.  It goes without saying that it is the player's responsibility to make his intentions clear, and sometimes a warning is given if it appears that a "mis-bet" was accidental.  However, I do have an issue when I suspect that a player purposely makes his bets unclear repeatedly to gain an advantage.  

The most common "mis-bets" I see fall into two categories:

1.  A player makes a wager that looks like a raise, but does or says something to claim he actually wanted to call.  When done intentionally as an angle, it is often with a strong hand pretending to be weak.  For example, the player may put out a raise and after the chips are released say "call" knowing he will be held to the raise (remember the Freitez incident at EPT? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkxcBy6js7s), or the player may put out one or more chip(s) of a higher denomination that would make the wager a raise (which at least some TDs would hold the player to a raise: http://www.pokertda.com/forum/index.php?topic=707.0) but then claim that he meant to bet with a lower denomination chip.  The hope is that an opponent may be more apt to call the raise where he might otherwise fold, when that raise appears "unintentional".

2.  A player makes a wager that will be interpreted as a call, but does or says something to claim he actually wanted to raise.  When done intentionally as an angle, it is often with a hand which he wants to continue with, but doesn't want to be raised, and he hopes that this will slow down the action.  For example, the player may intentionally put out a string bet ("call and I'm all in") or put out a single oversized chip, and follow it up with a "surprised" reaction ("I meant to raise") when the dealer rules the wager only a call.  The hope is that an opponent who might have raised if the player just limped, would now think twice about raising fearing a strong hand.

When we suspect some type of angle is being played (or even we do not), we can and do give out warnings and penalties.  In particular, if we find that a player has a history of trying these angles, I believe we can take that into account and give more serious penalties, either under the general Etiquette rule or Rule 1.  What I would like to see is "repeated unclear betting actions" explicitly set out in the rules, perhaps integrated into the current Etiquette rule, to emphasize that this behavior will be subject to penalty.  This may also further encourage players to verbalize their actions properly in order to make their intentions clear.  

Thoughts?

chet

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Re: Penalizing repeated acts of unclear betting
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 09:41:57 PM »
K-Lo:  Why limit repeat offenders to just those who violate the "unclear bet" rule time after time?  My personal opinion is that repeat offenders are not good for the venue, house, room, casino or whatever.  They will, 100% of the time, cost the venue more than they spend.  I know that I do not return to venues that "cater to their favorites" and allow them much more latitude than they do for the occasional visitor/player.  As for these players, we already have "repeaters" covered in Rule 50, I think.

Perhaps the following sentence could be added to Rule 53, (since I believe that repeated offenses are in fact a violation of ethical play): "Repeated violations of one or more rules, whether in one or several events, will not be tolerated and may, at the sole discretion of the TD, result in disqualification."

OR, change the last sentence of Rule 50 to read:  "Repeat infractions of one or more rules, whether in one or several events, will not be tolerated and the player will be subject to escalating penalties including disqualification."

These kinds of players are not needed and should be gently invited to find a different place to play.

Chet

Nick C

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Re: Penalizing repeated acts of unclear betting
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 05:53:51 AM »
 I agree with both of you. What we are trying to zero in on, is the intent of the player in question. I am always using intent as the deciding factor in decision making. How else can we penalizing an obvious unintentional act, and consider it in the best interest of the game?

 IMO, many of the rules are written to offer more protection to the "floor" than the players. The word MAY, as in TDA #50; A penalty may be invoked....I would prefer: A penalty will be enforced if a player intentionally exposes any card....

 The difficulty in determining "intentional" from "unintentional" will not be as difficult as you might think. One warning should be enough before penalties are enforced. There is no excuse for repeat offenders.

 I know this sounds too easy but; before I begin a tournament, I make a few brief announcements like: act in turn, the oversize chip rule, protect your hand, and make your bets and raises clear. That's about it.