Author Topic: ANZPT All-In Incident: Dealer loses river card into the muck... how to handle?  (Read 17657 times)

MikeB

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K-Lo

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Not the decision I would have made.

Is it clear which card on the mark was the river card?  If the card is clearly retrievable and identifiable, just take it off the muck and use it.  On the other hand, if somehow the card got mixed in with the muck and it cannot be clearly identified, I'd be OK with relying on the random card concept by burning and dealing a new river card. I would also be OK with shuffling the stub before doing so to alleviate any concerns that the dealer is doing something suspicious, but I wouldn't shuffle in cards from the muck. Bottom line though -- there's no way I'm voiding this hand at this point in the deal... substantial action has occurred and so the hand must be played to completion.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 10:28:26 PM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Terrible ruling. I agree with Ken about using the "proper" river if possible. Selecting a random card from the stub would be more practical. If there were any "split" to consider, it should have been between the two remaining players and not...everyone getting their chips back! ???

pastor

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If the card is clearly retrievable and identifiable, just take it off the muck and use it.

If not I will use TOO MANY BURN CARDS by FIDPA rules:
- TOO MANY BURN CARDS - AT LEAST ONE PLAYER HAS ACTED:

RIVER
If a dealer accidentally burns too many cards, and any action on the river/fifth card has been taken by at least one player:
    1. The burn cards and river/fifth card will stand.
    2. The betting round will be completed and the pot awarded accordingly.

It means that mucked card (correct river) is 4th burn card and next-first card from the deck will be river.

Nick C

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 The more I read this, the more bizarre it becomes. The hand was played out to a point of two players remaining with no possibility of further betting. There is no rule (that I know of) that returns all bets to players that have already been eliminated.

 The dealer mistake should have been easily corrected. I've yet to see one of these decisions, from the absent tournament Director that had to be called at home, work out.

 The two remaining players are the only players eligible for the pot. If the floor can't figure it out, they should start by playing out 100 different scenarios to prepare them...for anything.

 There is equity in every hand...what I'm saying is; given the same situation with one player holding the exclusive nut hand before the errant river card, would you still take the pot away from him? ???
Of course not! There is not a specific rule for every asinine mechanical error of a dealer, or the usually more prevalent asinine actions of players. Rules for poker are primarily designed not as punishment for irregularities, especially those of the dealer, but rather to make amends for the wrong that was done. 

K-Lo

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I agree with Nick 100% here.

I'm overhearing some responses that say "TDA rules say to return all bets". I have absolutely no idea where they get that from. Perhaps they are getting confused as to what constitutes a fouled deck.

Brian Vickers

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Almost makes me physically ill that the comment section on that site is saying the ruling was 100% correct per the TDA rules... um... no.

RP-4. Disordered Stub
When cards remain to be dealt on a hand and the stub is accidentally dropped and appears it may be disordered: 1) it is first preferable to try to reconstruct the original order of the stub if possible; 2) If not possible, try to create a new stub using only the stub cards (not the muck & prior burn cards). These should be scrambled, shuffled, cut, & play then proceeds with the new stub; 3) If when the stub is dropped it becomes mixed in with the muck & burncards, then scramble the stub, muck & burncards together, shuffle, and cut. Play then proceeds with the new stub.

From the recommended procedures, #3 there would be the justification for shuffling the stub with the muck and giving that original river a chance to still come out.

K-Lo

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I've eavesdropped on that part of the debate where some people are insisting on shuffling the stub with the muck. Assuming that I've understood the situation correctly and there is still a portion of the original stub intact, I don't think they are right at all.

Perhaps the wording of RR-4 can be clarified, but I think the "spirit" of the rule is exemplified in (1) and (2): in cases where some cards in the stub gets mixed in with the muck, we should always try to salvage as much of the stub as possible, and to complete the hand using only those "fresh" cards and not cards in the muck. If you read all three parts of RR-4 as a whole, I think it becomes clear that (3) is intended to only apply when it is not possible to salvage enough of the original stub to complete the deal.

We have to realize that the act of reintroducing already-mucked cards into play, which at least some players at the table have already seen, is an extremely drastic measure. There's always the possibility that some information has been passed between players during play that identify already-mucked cards, and there is no good reason to give a chance for those cards that have been voluntarily folded by players to come alive again. The only reason why we'd even consider (3) is when we can't salvage a sufficient part of the original stub and we are desperate -- because the even more important principle is that any hand must be played out to completion once substantial action has occurred.

In this case, I see absolutely no reason to invoke (3) and allow mucked cards to come back to life, when a new stub can be created consisting only of fresh cards.  Some people will argue, however, that if we don't shuffle in the mucked cards we also don't give the original river card a chance to come back out either.  But we haven't seen the original river card.  Not allowing the original river card to come out may cut down the odds of the drawing player, but it may not; it is also possible that the new river card will be helpful when it would otherwise have not come into play.  Put another way, some of the times the old card would have helped the drawing player and sometimes not; sometimes the new card helps the drawing player and sometimes not -- both possibilities are equally true for the opponent as well.  In truth, we'll never know, because we didn't see the original river card. This is all part and parcel of the "random card concept" - as long as we are randomly selecting a card from the set of all unseen cards that could have come out, we are still being completely fair to both players.  However, the mucked cards are simply not part of "the set of cards that could have come out". One of Chuck Ferry's really old books gives a nice nod to the randomization concept, and I don't see any reason why that wouldn't apply here.

Practically speaking, I think as long as you tell the players you are dealing a new river card from the undisturbed part of the stub at random, and tell them exactly what you are going to do before you do it, your decision is more likely to be respected. Tell them that the new card, just like the old card, has an equal chance of being helpful or not helpful to both players. Some possibilities would be:

1. Treat the previous cards effectively as boxed cards, and just deal the next card off the top without burning.
2. Burn the next card, and deal the subsequent card as the new river.
3. Shuffle the remaining stub (not the muck), and deal a new river without burning.
4. Shuffle the remaining stub (not the muck), burn, and deal the subsequent card as the new river.

I think all 4 of these options are consistent with the random card concept and are equally fair (or unfair) to both players, and I would not criticize any TD who chose one of these four options. Personally, with all the commotion and the delay, I would have leaned toward #3 or #4 in this case just because it may give the impression of "more" randomness in the dealing of the new river card, and all the players can view the shuffle. This may avoid accusations such as "oh the dealer just dumped the other cards into the muck because he knows what the new top card is going to be" or "how do we know the dealer didn't slip a new top card onto the top of the deck while all this delay was going on"? Unlikely scenarios of course, but better to be safe than sorry.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 12:02:55 PM by K-Lo »

BillM16

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I agree with K-Lo, except that I would opt for merely dealing the next card as the river.  The stub is still random and the burn card requirement has already been met.  All other alternatives seem to adversely impact both player's fair chance under the circumstances.  Noting that the mucked river is being treated as a boxed card is good rationalization.

Returning all of the chips to all of the players does keep both at-risk players in the tournament.  However, it doesn't recognized that one player has a 77.3% and the other a 22.7% chance of winning this pot.  Dealing the next card is as close as we can get to being fair.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 05:35:31 AM by BillM16 »

Brian Vickers

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I agree with K-Lo, except that I would opt for merely dealing the next card as the river.  The stub is still random and the burn card requirement has already been met.  All other alternatives seem to adversely impact both player's fair chance under the circumstances.  Noting that the mucked river is being treated as a boxed card is good rationalization.

Returning all of the chips to all of the players does keep both at-risk players in the tournament.  However, it doesn't recognized that one player has a 77.3% and the other a 22.7% chance of winning this pot.  Dealing the next card is as close as we can get to being fair.

With one card to go and a set against an over pair, you have 44 unknown cards so I believe it's more like 95.5% to 4.5%... unless the KK also had flush outs that I'm forgetting about.

Brian Vickers

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The reason I would consider invoking RP-4 #3 is because to me the river card having never been delivered is the same as part of the stub falling into the muck pile.  If I never dealt the river, then isn't the river card part of the stub until dealt?  What if instead of picking that card up and having it shooting into the muck I simply dropped the stub into the muck, that's what RP-4 #3 is talking about isn't it?

I did see Matt Savage's response on twitter so I know his inital reaction was to shuffle the stub and muck but then after giving it thought he decided on using next card on stub instead. 

I think we all agree that either of those options is better than what the floor actually did, and that if the card was identifiable that it was a no brainer to deliver the original card even if the card did touch the muck.

Nick C

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I agree with most of what Ken has written, with his normal clear intelligent and thorough answer. It is the best way to follow TDA rules to the letter. I can not imagine how a deck stub could become so disordered, that anyone would ever have to use TDA RP-4 #3. Dealers should always keep the muck separate from the burncards. I also discourage my student dealers from fanning the dropped deck at the end of a deal. I know this is a common practice, but I have always been against it. The reason is an easy resolution for this exact scenario. When the dealer has dealt the river, or when the dealing appears to be complete, I instruct the dealers to pull the cut card from the bottom, drop the stub and gently drag the burn and muck in front of them. This is done with a minimal amount of "mixing" as possible. The result has the stub, muck and burn all touching but clearly identifiable.

 I mentioned on my earlier post:  There is equity in every hand...what I'm saying is; given the same situation with one player holding the exclusive nut hand before the errant river card, would you still take the pot away from him?  ??? Would it be necessary to even waste any time trying for a "new" river when one player is drawing dead?

 I also agree with BillM16. He is relatively new to the Forum but I hope he continues to participate.

 I'm in favor of eliminating RP-4. Disordered Stub #3.  I'd split the pot before I shuffled the stub, burn and muck together.

 

Brian Vickers

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I wonder if either player was drawing dead would the floor still have chopped the pot?

A number of posters (on 2+2) have said that it's not fair to the guy with KK to shuffle the muck because the weighted value of the muck cards should contain more lower cards. I'm sorry, but I'm just not feeling that.  I really think, as has been the precedent with so many other rules, that the original river card needs a chance to come out and that is a bigger priority than the 0.5% or less difference in liklihood of a larger card being dealt.  If this argument was true in any way (that the muck inherently has lower cards in it) and is unfair to shuffle up, then isn't the opposite true that the stub is weighted higher and it's unfair to give the player a better chance at hitting the King he needs?  What if he was against a set of 2's and needed a 3 to survive, would we make the same argument.

If this is a 10 handed game, the muck now contains 17 cards (the other 8 players' hole cards and the original river), the stub contains 25 cards.  That's 38.6% of the unknown cards in the muck and 56.8% in the stub and the remaining unknown cards are the burn cards.  Alright now theorycrafters, show me what the actual weighted % in favor of one player is now?  Now tell me why that matters and why this miniscule % is worth taking away 100% chance of the player hitting the original river?

Nick C

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Interesting Brian, that you would ask the same question that I mentioned on my last 2 posts on this thread. There is equity in every hand so perhaps you should chop the pot accordingly. All I know is, the decision that was made in the original situation was wrong.

MikeB

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So this will be a very interesting topic at the Summit.

When considering whether to do stub only, or stub and muck it does seem reasonable to ask whether either method has a systematic bias favoring one player over the other. Not that this alone would or should carry the day but if there is such bias we should be aware of it.

Without running the exact stats, take two players, one with a made hand (a straight), and the other with a strong drawing hand (trips), going into the river when the stub is partially fouled with some of it ending up scrambled in the muck. The player with trips is looking to pair the board. Is it more or less likely that a card that paired a board card was discarded into the muck? This is a pure guess that on average cards that pair a board card are discarded somewhat less frequently than cards that don't. If this is true, then mixing the muck with the stub would favor the made hand (the straight), over the player with trips.

Assuming this is true, if you use only the stub, then that might skew in favor of the player with the drawing hand. In that sense some bias is unavoidable.

Thoughts? Anyone have a good handle on what the actual math is?