Author Topic: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement  (Read 5573 times)

pokerxanadu

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Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« on: September 20, 2013, 12:09:07 AM »
A situation arose at the Borgata WPT where at the end of a Day 1, three players at a table (including two prior bracelet winners) agreed to go all-in blind. No penalty was assessed by the TD. There is a discussion of this situation on 2+2:
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/interesting-situation-borgata-wpt-yesterday-final-hand-1372239/#post40235360

This is obviously collusion. With the growing prevalence of re-entry tournaments, there is a growing risk of this form of collusion, especially among pro players who can easily fire several bullets for re-entries. There is also a trend for poker rooms to allow a player to abandon a Day 1 chpstack and re-enter (either on another Day 1 or on Day 2) or to allow a player to re-enter on multiple Day 1s and carry over their largest Day 1 chipstack to Day 2, thus creating more incentive for this form of collusion.

I recommend adoption of a new tournament rule to deter this form of collusion:

"At any time two or more players agree before first action of a hand to move all-in at the first opportunity in that hand and then do so, any increase in any player's chips won in the hand will be taken from such player's chips at the end of the hand and removed from the tournament."

-Martin

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 08:36:48 AM »
pokerxanadu,

 I have read the responses from 2+2...It is interesting that some find no problem with allowing player's to play so reckless. I believe, the problem begins with the reference of agreeing to go all-in, prior to cards being dealt, as collusion. Collusion is defined as a "secret" agreement between two or more persons for a deceitful or fraudulent purpose.

 The situation that took place at the Borgata WPT event, should be considered a "premeditated wagering agreement." A rule should be written to discourage such actions.

 There shall be no "premeditated wagering agreements" between players, prior to any deal. Or; Premeditated wagering agreements prior to any deal, are strictly prohibited and subject to penalty and possible disqualification from play.

 Currently, this action is difficult to control, or stop. Many feel that the reckless actions of player's that decide to "fatten" the pot with a blind bet is good for the beneficiary. In my opinion, this would only be acceptable in a cash game. Tournament poker should be defined by the level of skill required to win such an event...and should never be defined by "reckless gamble." 

pokerxanadu

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 09:03:52 AM »
Hi Nick,

I'm not up on the latest. Is that definition of "collusion" taken from the current TDA rules?

In any case, I think this particular action needs to be discouraged with a directed rule. I certainly don't think any instance of going all-in blind needs to be penalized - just where, as you say, there is an "advance agreement" between players to do so.

I also like my idea for the rule. It takes away any benefit from this type of all-in agreement. It also avoids many of the possible difficulties involved when it isn't clear if everyone who participated in the all-in also participated in the advance agreement.

For instance, if you had pocket aces and a couple players agreed to go all-in in advance, wouldn't you call? I would hope that if you know the rule, as any player in a tournament should, you will stop the action and call the floor instead, avoiding the risk of losing the hand while having no potential to gain chips. If you don't know the rule, you won't have to prove you didn't participate in the advance agreement in order to avoid a penalty (other than the possibility of losing the hand - but that goes along with playing any hand under any circumstances).
-Martin

MikeB

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 09:22:52 AM »
Xanadu: Thanks very much for this and any other suggestions. They will all be compiled and reviewed for the agenda of TDA Summit VII in 2015. As discussed in the thread, you certainly may at this time use Rule 1, 2, 58, and/or 59 to make any ruling you feel appropriate in this circumstance. As previously posted on this thread, depending on how the action unfolded, violations of collusion, disclosure (discussing strategy with another player), and/or one-player-to-a-hand may be involved here.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 09:28:18 AM by MikeB »

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 09:26:29 AM »
pokerxanadu,

 My definition came from the dictionary. The example you give (holding Aces) is much different from going all-in blind. I believe, a simple rule could easily prevent this questionable play from ever happening in tournaments. The dealer would immediately stop the action, and inform the player's that they are not allowed to agree to go all-in prior to receiving their cards.

 Do you see anything in my suggestion, that is so different from yours? I think the rulemakers should be able to come up with a quick fix for this one. Glad you brought it to my attention.

 Mike, you had me worried there for a while. We haven't heard from you in a week. As far as waiting until 2015...why?

K-Lo

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 12:50:39 PM »
This is not the first time there have been complaints about the issue relating to rebuy tournaments and players going all-in blind.  Last year, Allen Kessler raised a complaint that he saw players at one table continuously go all-in and rebuy, which inflated the number of chips at that table. In that case, if I recall it correctly, no one could prove there was an explicit agreement to do this - they just started doing it and people caught on.  Not much unlike when players don't explicitly agree to "check it down" when players are all in.

In that case, there were just as many players warning against a rule change -- the argument was, why prevent players from doing something that is -EV?  While some players do not think it is fair because they don't want to risk calling and busting, especially if they do not intend to rebuy, others are happy to take that risk. They argue that it is a rebuy tournament after all -- and it is the nature of the beast.

It is a difficult situation. The practice could easily continue - of course, if players encourage or propose this action you have a stronger case for collusion -- but there are ways of getting around the "explicit agreement" test even if a new proposed rule is applied, and you may end up penalizing an innocent party if you just assume collusion whenever a series of players go all-in blind.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 01:17:55 PM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 02:08:09 PM »
Ken,

 How is it collusion? They don't know who's going to win.

K-Lo

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 02:29:43 PM »
Do they need to know who the winner is?  Is it enough to know that of the two or three people who agree to go all-in to the exclusion of others, that one of them will win even if we don't know exactly which one?  I think a reasonably broad interpretation of collusion would cover that.

In one of our previous discussions, I suggested that players who go all-in blind are potentialy chip dumping, even though they may not know who the ultimate recipient is going to be. Many people didn't like that, but aren't we really talking about something similar?  The counter argument was that a player could simply pretend to look at his cards so his action wouldn't be blind. But this series of players who are going all-in could pretend to do the same...

Whether everyone agrees it is collusion or not, my point is that any new rule is going to be difficult to police.

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 03:24:25 PM »
Ken,

 What don't you like about either of my suggestions?  There shall be no "premeditated wagering agreements" between players, prior to any deal. Or; Premeditated wagering agreements prior to any deal, are strictly prohibited and subject to penalty and possible disqualification from play.

 It is impossible to police all situations. However, when the situation is as obvious as the original post, player's should not be allowed to go all-in blind without penalty. If they are warned, or penalized effectively they should stop, don't you think? I also don't agree that it is the same as a player betting in the dark.

 Years ago, we used to play a game called "showdown." We would agree before the deal as to how much we would all risk. The amount was placed into the pot equally, by all players. The dealer would proceed to deal five cards (face-up) to each player...slowly, and one at a time. At the end, the player with the best poker hand won. That was fine for a cash, house game.

 

K-Lo

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 06:35:07 PM »
I like your suggestion. I just wanted to reiterate, as you pointed out, there are many players who would be opposed to a rule prohibiting it for a rebuy tournament. It certainly may take some heat off the first card rule drama.  ::)

pokerxanadu

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 07:52:47 PM »
Nick-

The difference between your suggested rule and mine is that mine takes away any incentive for this particular action (pre-agreed all-in blind). Your "penalty or DQ" is normally applied as - well, this is your first instance so you get a one hand/round penalty. Having a stated rule which removes all won chips means that the attempt won't even be made, as none of those participating can benefit, and those losing the hand just lose.

I don't advocate for a blanket rule that prevents or penalizing going all-in blind. I think this has its place in tournament play. I myself have used it to advantage several times, without crossing any bounds to collusion, chip-dumping or such. It is only the situation where players agree in advance to do it together that needs a preventative rule.

And just because it may be difficult to enforce (players agreeing to do it in private instead of out loud at the table, for instance) doesn't mean there shouldn't be a rule against it. I think the majority of players won't cross the line simply because it is against the rules.
-Martin

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 08:26:23 PM »
pokerxanadu,

 My suggestion is only for premeditated agreements...I have no objection to a blind wager. What I object to is a previously arranged agreement between player's, without knowledge of their holding.

 Telling a player that all of his winnings will be confiscated is a bit extreme, don't you think? I really believe that, if given the authority, a good dealer will stop player's from such an unethical practice.

 Without a rule that would discourage agreed all-in's, preventing this practice (in re-entry tournaments) will prove difficult.

 I would not object to your rule, however...I like mine better. ;D

K-Lo

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 10:01:40 PM »
Pokerxanadu:

I am also not against to your proposal in principle, but I'm not sure whether it would be widely accepted if voted on. Some rule 'purists' will likely feel that it is a bit unorthodox to remove a significant number of chips from play (the only precedent for doing so is in the event of a DQ), and some players will argue that it is unfair to the other non-offending players at the table that the removed chips are no longer available for them to win (perhaps analogous to disallowing players to pocket chips in a cash game).

Practically, it may be simpler to convince everyone to have the rules specifically clarify that 'collusion' as mentioned in the rules includes this type of behavior, and to piggyback off the existing penalty system. In that sense, I think that Nick's suggestion may be more palatable. But who knows. Some will argue that we do not even need a specific rule modification to prevent this.

K
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 10:12:47 PM by K-Lo »

pokerxanadu

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2013, 04:21:40 AM »
If you completely remove the incentive for the action, who is going to do it? There will be no complaints from other players about the rule if it never has to be assessed.

There may be the rare exception but you can't make everyone happy all the time.

And of course, dealers should know the rule and warn the players before the action if they start talking about doing it.

So no, I don't think my rule is too extreme.

As far as other "premeditated wagering agreements", I don't think there needs to be anything added to current rules, as they already cover this in various ways. It is only this all-in blind action which needs a more severe direct rule to prevent it, imo.
-Martin

Nick C

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Re: Players Going All-In Blind by Agreement
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2013, 07:05:49 AM »
pokerxanadu,
 
 It's good to have another new member that has a strong belief that some change is needed. I hope that your continued participation, on the Forum, will encourage others to join in and voice their opinion, too.

 As Mike Bishop stated; your suggestion is certainly in compliance with a number of TDA rules. I believe, if your message is strong enough, and the ramifications for rule violations are understood by your patrons...your proposal could be a house rule.