Author Topic: Questionable ruling.  (Read 5097 times)

Tristan

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Questionable ruling.
« on: April 10, 2013, 01:03:57 PM »
Stumbled across this on 2+2:

"Prologue: It's a very loose 5/10 NLHE cash game at the WSOP that played much higher with double straddles, in-the-dark raises UTG, etc. All players were very deep with the biggest stack around $7k.

Act I: A hand comes up that is initially one of the smallest of the night. On the flop the pot is only ~$300 and all four active players check down a rainbow board of KQxx.

The river is a 10 and the first player to act is the $7k big stack - a nutty Asian guy who speaks in broken English. He stands up and pitches his cards at the muck face up, and we see they're 4s2s -a hand that can't even beat the board. After the hand hits the felt in front of the dealer, Asian Guy jokingly announces "All-in". We roll our eyes at his attempt at humor and the next player to act reaches for chips to take a stab at the pot.

Act II: Suddenly one of the other active players stops the action and tells the dealer that the Asian guy is indeed all-in. We murmur and look at each other, but another active player chimes in, agreeing. Now everyone is chattering, with some players (including me) pointing out that there is absolutely zero chance that the Asian guy's intention was to move all-in, and others claiming the hand is live and that it doesn't matter what his intention was.

The dealer shrugs and explains his understanding of the rules: a face-up hand is live even if it hits the muck. Chaos ensues and the Asian guy goes bananas shouting "I muck! I muck hand!" over and over while reenacting the gesture of throwing the cards away. A floorman is called and once the action is recounted he snap-rules that the dealer is correct and that the hand is live. The shouting goes to 11, a sizable crowd gathers, and Asian Guy has a conniption, demanding confirmation from the senior supervisor. But once called, the senior floorman snap-rules that the snap-rule is correct: the hand is live.

So to recap: Asian Guy has moved all-in for $7,000 into a $300 pot with the nut-low face-up on the table and three players yet to act.

Act III: Player 2 fist-pump insta-ships for ~$5k. The final two players curse the Poker Gods that their hands likely aren't strong enough to win and that stacks aren't deep enough to profitably overcall, and fold. Player 2 flips up J9 for the second nuts and drags a $10,000 pot. Asian Guy howls into his cell phone for a minute, grabs the remnants of his stack and disappears.

Fini

Was this a good ruling? Should the floor have superseded the letter of the law in favor of the spirit of the game and the man's obvious intentions?"

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/bizarre-hand-questionable-ruling-rio-bonus-questions-nvg-edition-1220150/

Thoughts?
Tristan
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K-Lo

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 01:09:07 PM »
Common sense ruling for me here.  I would allow the hand to be mucked but warn the player that next time he says all-in, we might hold him to it no matter what.  I just don't see the point of insisting on being a hardass in this situation.

Tristan

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 01:24:49 PM »
Agreed, pretty harsh ruling.

What if this was a player you had warned before for the same type of behavior?
Tristan
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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 02:02:47 PM »
Personally, I would rather have him booted out for not respecting the rules, then basically forcing him to cough up his entire stack as a penalty for his lame attempts at humor.  In this particular scenario, given the amounts involved, it just feels a lot like there is a 'stealing' of his stack on a technicality, and I don't want to be accused of being an accomplice to that.

Tristan

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 02:53:12 PM »
True.  I'd also like to point out that action was not complete at the point that he attempted humor and mucked face up...he possibly could have affected the action that sometimes will happen on a dry pot with a couple players slow-playing.  There were 3 other players to act after him...so it isn't just bad humor.

Now, I don't think that is worth losing his stack over.  I'm just playing a bit of devil's advocate in trying to understand how this call got made. 
Tristan
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MikeB

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 03:36:56 PM »
Putting aside the question of propriety of putting 1000's of customer dollars at risk, I'd like to just look at the specifics here as the rules apply to the actions:

1: The nutty player is "first to act"... so there's action on this guy, we're not at showdown..

2: While facing action the player tosses his cards toward the muck

3: The cards land face up not face down.

4: The player then makes a bet "All In".
********************************************************

How to interpret this? Well...

A: Under new TDA Rule 45 "Non-Standard Folds"... "folding in turn when facing a check is binding"...

B: Tossing cards significantly forward when the action is on you, especially in the direction of the muck .... I'm going to rule this a fold about 99.99% of the time, and I can't tell you what the .01% would be when it isn't a fold...

C: Does the fact that the cards landed face up matter? Well it does color the situation a bit, but RRoP defines fold as "to throw a hand away", with no specification as to face up or down. Bottom line then is that TDA Rule 36 applies "... it's player's responsibility to make his actions clear...". Just from the description in the OP I'd rule this a binding fold at the instant he tosses the cards towards the muck... the visual I get from the OP it just looks like a muck/fold action. If he intended to go all in he chose a very poor sequence to do it, and it's his fault, not mine.

D: Saying "All In" after you fold is meaningless trash-talk.

What I disagree with about this ruling isn't that they put so much of the guy's stack at risk for a small pot (7k vs. $300), but that IMO the hand is dead at the instant he tosses it towards the muck... and therefore after tossing to the muck neither A) the cards landing face up nor B) the mumbling all-in after the toss... have any relevance. The hand is irretrievably dead the instant he folds when the action is on him.

What I agree about is that the totality of the action is at least somewhat nebulous, the joker PUT HIMSELF AT RISK and Per Rule 36 it's his responsibility. If the house rules you're all in, the floorperson is final, and this guy really learned a lesson here.

NOW... what if the joker had said "All-In" THEN tossed his cards... well, strictly speaking under the rules he's all-in. The fact that he's "obviously joking" is his predicament, it might be one for the gaming board to rule on ultimately.

Thanks for the very interesting case. These are very basic situations but we keep coming back to the basics because that's what drives the game IMO.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 09:22:12 PM by MikeB »

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 04:27:39 PM »
I don't disagree with any of this.  A few additional points though:

First, this was a cash game, and not a tournament.  Hopefully, we will have some discussions at the summit on whether a forward folding motion is a fold (while action is pending vs. at showdown) in tournaments.  I can see one arguing that the hand is still live until mucked, with the player getting a penalty for exposing his cards with action pending on a tourney.  To be honest, I would not feel as bad being harsh in a tourney, but I would likely lean towards a warning first still.

Second, I was at the wsop when i heard this happened, and i think the floor understood the live action rules to provide that any hand that is face up is live until mucked.  Probably this was intended primarily to deal with those situations where players table their hand at showdown holding a winner, but get so excited that one or both of their cards make contact with the muck. Now we have a situation that, if applied, is probably an unintended extension of the rule; but strictly speaking, the ruling may have been justifiable as a "by the book" ruling under that rule.  So I can see how it could happen. 

But I think we have to use discretion here.  It's such a bad PR move.  And if you get sued or accused of being in cahoots with the winner ("you ruled that way because you knew the other players and expected to get a cut), well... I just think someone objectively looking at the situation would also wonder why you didn't give the guy the benefit of the doubt.


MikeB

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 04:51:05 PM »
I'm fine with the idea that the mere fact cards are face up does not kill them... what IMO kills the hand here is the forward toss towards the muck when facing action...

If that's true then the cards are dead at that instant... how can this guy then make a verbal bet, I don't get it.

BTW: another angle someone might argue is, "well sometimes people table / expose their cards when they mean to call"... true enough, but when last to call, not when first to act and initiating action as is the case here. It's just inconceivable the guy would be making an all-in bet in first position after exposing an unwinnable hand.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 02:59:06 PM by MikeB »

chet

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 05:25:35 PM »
K-Lo:

I don't disagree that this may be a really bad PR situation.  However, that said, we don't know the prior history, if any, with this player.  Based on the information, I think the ruling is terrible, but...............

Chet

Tristan

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 12:44:28 PM »
Perfect, was kind of slow on here for a couple days...wanted to get some gears turning!  ;D

I agree that the hand was mucked both in intention and in deed.  I think the player deserved a warning about etiquette and that is about it.
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Nick C

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 01:36:12 AM »
 I guess you could say that the situation is close to being covered by TDA #45 Non standard folds...but the player in question was not "facing a check" he was first to act and had no right to fold. Period!

 The ruling made was horrible but, the player deserved to be reprimanded for his total disrespect for other players in the hand. Folding when not facing a bet is highly unethical and completely unacceptable from anyone...

 I would like to see a rule that forbids any player from releasing their cards (up or down) until they are folding/conceding or have been awarded the pot!

 I have to agree that the hand should have been dead. I understand that verbal is binding, however, this situation is no different from a player pushing chips forward and then announcing a different amount...his initial physical action overrides his verbal declaration.

 If I were dealing; I would have stopped any further action and demanded an explanation of intent from the (idiot) player that exposed his hand. Or, I may have mucked his hand automatically and announced the exposed cards to the remaining players...while telling him that his action was inappropriate. 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 01:51:40 AM by Nick C »

chet

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 05:00:25 AM »
Nick:

I am confused.  You said, "...I have to agree that the hand should have been dead. I understand that verbal is binding, however, this situation is no different from a player pushing chips forward and then announcing a different amount...his initial physical action overrides his verbal declaration...."

Game is 10/20 NLH.  Player is 1st to act.  Player says "raise" and pushes 500 chips forward but distinctly says 5,000.  Are you saying that he is held to the 500?

Chet

Nick C

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Re: Questionable ruling.
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2013, 08:08:09 AM »
Chet,

  No...I would stop the action until the amount of the raise was decided. You can not, however, push the amount first and then say raise.

 I guess I didn't explain it the best way possible. I can tell you this, we are all struggling with this one because it violates so many rules of etiquette, proper procedure, general rules, common sense, ethics and on-and-on...

 Releasing your cards in the direction of the muck (up or down) is enough for the dealer to kill any hand, IMO. The fact that the idiot did it on his turn to act, when not facing a bet, is where all the problems began.

 Too many of us are trying to defend the poor guy because he had no intention of betting but, poker 101 should have been followed with respect to exposing his cards with action pending.

 This is about principle, and I think we are being swayed because of the large amount of the forced bet. Would we care as much if the unintentional bet was $10 instead of $7K?...It's still wrong, but...