Author Topic: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded  (Read 500 times)

Stuart Murray

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All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« on: February 10, 2019, 10:12:04 AM »
Hi all,

Long time to speak.  I thought I would bring an interesting situation to the forum that occurred on Saturday in an NLHE MTT.  I was assisting and playing in said tournament and at the table in question.

Pre flop down to Heads Up.  flop comes down and player in seat 1 announces all-in, seat 4 makes an announcement which is believed by the delaer and seat 1 to be fold, and the player in seat 1 immediately mucks his hand into the burn card.  Confusion then reigns as seat 4 turns over his hole cards to reveal a pocker pair which has improved to a set of queens and asking what player 1 is doing mucking his hand.  The dealer says "You said fold", player 1 says "I heard you say fold".  I am in seat 2 and say "I heard Call" and ask seat 3 who replies the same "I heard call too".  I then stop play and summon the TD who is nearby.

I explain the situation as above and he then rules the following:
"Players 1 hand is dead because it has made contact with other cards, because the dealer and player 1 heard fold I will return the all-in wager to player 1 but award the pre-flop pot to player 4."

I then request an immediate sidebar with the TD.  I state the aim's and interpretation of best interest of a tournament, and that player 4 still has a live hand and is entitled to the full wager, as player 1 has not protected their hand or followed the action as part of alert ad continuous action.  He agrees to review the ruling and view the CCTV of the table.  The tournament then goes on a "smokers break" whilst we await his verdict.

Players and the TD return and he stands by his original decision, citing that the timing of the announcement and muck supports that the dealer and player 1 would of heard fold.   That is his decision as the TD and must be respected.  Player 4 protests that the decision effectively permits collusion and an ability to escape a losing hand situation.

I would welcome feedback on this one.  I have strong opinions of my own as to not returning the all-in wager of player 1.  No attempt to retrieve the mucked hand is house policy, which is fair enough, so I kind of understand where the rest of the decision can mutate from.

I later thanked the TD who I am well acquainted with for being open to reviewing his decision, irrelevant of myself disagreeing with the decision.

Regards
Stuart
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 12:05:00 PM by Stuart Murray »

BillM16

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 12:06:33 PM »
That is a ridiculous ruling by the TD!  Player 1 is all-in.  The fact that player 1 or the dealer thought they heard fold doesn't change the fact that player 4 properly tabled his hand and other players heard call.  Player 1 has an obligation to protect his hand until the pot has been properly awarded.  Player 4 made no errors in this hand. Oh, and BTW, player 4 has QQQ.  Would the TD make the same ruling if player 4 had QQQQ?  Ridiculous!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 12:07:51 PM by BillM16 »

Dave Miller

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 06:25:11 AM »
I agree. Players must protect their hand. Full pot goes to player 4.
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MikeB

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 10:06:20 PM »

I explain the situation as above and he then rules the following:
"Players 1 hand is dead because it has made contact with other cards, because the dealer and player 1 heard fold I will return the all-in wager to player 1 but award the pre-flop pot to player 4."

Regards
Stuart

Hi Stu: This situation is covered by Rule 65 Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands. The rule clearly states that an uncalled bet will be returned to the player who's hand is fouled. Also, the situation is not identical, but has trappings of Koroknai - Baumann at WSOP where Koroknai made a large bet then mucked his hand, not realizing that Baumann still had cards. Ultimately the ruling was that Baumann would not receive the bet she had not yet called at the time K's cards were irretrievably mucked.
Thanks for the very interesting case!

BillM16

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 07:12:27 AM »
Hi Stu: This situation is covered by Rule 65 Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands. The rule clearly states that an uncalled bet will be returned to the player who's hand is fouled. Also, the situation is not identical, but has trappings of Koroknai - Baumann at WSOP where Koroknai made a large bet then mucked his hand, not realizing that Baumann still had cards. Ultimately the ruling was that Baumann would not receive the bet she had not yet called at the time K's cards were irretrievably mucked.
Thanks for the very interesting case!

As I read the OP, the significant difference is that Player 4 acted by declaring call and by tabling what was most likely the winning hand.  Stu didn't say what Player 1 mucked, but he did say that Player 4 tabled a set of Queens. If there were no Kings, Aces, or a pair on the board, then Player 1 mucked the losing hand.

Player 1 didn't complain at all until: 1) player 4 asked why he mucked his all-in hand - which he is obligated to reveal, and 2) the dealer said "I thought your folded."  3) Only after being encouraged by the dealer, did player 1 chime in

Player 4 clearly tabled the winning hand and there is no doubt that player 1 bet all-in. Other players at the table heard the call announced. There is no way he's getting a refund in my room.  Otherwise, every shyster will be mucking all-in bluffs.

In the Baumann case, if I recall, she had not as yet acted and only claimed to have declared a call after she first admitted to the floor that she didn't act before Koroknai mucked his hand.  Rule #65 applies in a situation of an uncalled bet, but does not apply in Stu's case.  I cannot take sides with the dealer, who didn't do his job well, or player 1, who was about to go broke with a losing hand.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 08:27:38 AM by BillM16 »

Nick C

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 08:02:45 PM »
First of all...I'd like to say hello to Stuart Murray. Nice to know you're still out there.

 I hate to refer to dealers in these situations but...how does the dealer allow a player with a live hand, to muck his hand before the player he believed to have folded? Proper dealer procedure would never allow the believed winner to muck before all opponents hands are surrendered. Problem solved. Seat 1 Player and Dealer both believe the opposing Player in seat 4 said fold...if he folded the dealer should have asked for his cards and the Player in the 1 seat should have held his hand until the other player surrendered his cards. It's a simple procedure that needs to be followed.

Mike, with all, due respect for your comparing this situation with Bauman and Koroknai ...In my opinion that was one of the worst rulings in the history of poker tournaments.

The winning hand must always be the last cards to hit the muck...always.

MikeB

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 09:43:55 PM »

Mike, with all, due respect for your comparing this situation with Bauman and Koroknai ...In my opinion that was one of the worst rulings in the history of poker tournaments.


So you would prefer to have shipped all of Koroknai's chips to Baumann without her ever calling, and with him not having a hand?

MikeB

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 09:52:03 PM »
Hi Stu: This situation is covered by Rule 65 Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands. The rule clearly states that an uncalled bet will be returned to the player who's hand is fouled. Also, the situation is not identical, but has trappings of Koroknai - Baumann at WSOP where Koroknai made a large bet then mucked his hand, not realizing that Baumann still had cards. Ultimately the ruling was that Baumann would not receive the bet she had not yet called at the time K's cards were irretrievably mucked.
Thanks for the very interesting case!

As I read the OP, the significant difference is that Player 4 acted by declaring call and by tabling what was most likely the winning hand.  Stu didn't say what Player 1 mucked, but he did say that Player 4 tabled a set of Queens. If there were no Kings, Aces, or a pair on the board, then Player 1 mucked the losing hand.


The OP says that it's unclear how Player 4 acted. Two participants thought he folded, two thought he called. There's no precedent for saying when in doubt it's a call, especially when the dealer hears "fold".

We're on the flop, there's no way of knowing who has the winning hand.

BillM16

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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 02:41:26 PM »
Hi Stu: This situation is covered by Rule 65 Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands. The rule clearly states that an uncalled bet will be returned to the player who's hand is fouled. Also, the situation is not identical, but has trappings of Koroknai - Baumann at WSOP where Koroknai made a large bet then mucked his hand, not realizing that Baumann still had cards. Ultimately the ruling was that Baumann would not receive the bet she had not yet called at the time K's cards were irretrievably mucked.
Thanks for the very interesting case!

As I read the OP, the significant difference is that Player 4 acted by declaring call and by tabling what was most likely the winning hand.  Stu didn't say what Player 1 mucked, but he did say that Player 4 tabled a set of Queens. If there were no Kings, Aces, or a pair on the board, then Player 1 mucked the losing hand.


The OP says that it's unclear how Player 4 acted. Two participants thought he folded, two thought he called. There's no precedent for saying when in doubt it's a call, especially when the dealer hears "fold".

We're on the flop, there's no way of knowing who has the winning hand.

Mike,

The OP said that player 4 made an annoucement, asked player 1 why he folded his all-in, and then tabled his cards - a set of queens.  There is no precedent for saying that its a fold if two people heard the call and the loser is complaining.  There is precedent for realizing that it was a call when the player tables what appears to be the winning hand.  I didn't say that the set of queens ultimately won on 5th street.  I did say that it was winning post flop.  That means it was much the favorite to win.  As such, it is extremely rare (perhaps never) folded here.

Now, if player 4 had his hole cards hidden from view, nobody heard him say call, and he tabled an unsuited four-gapper that missed the flop completely.  OK, then I might give player 1 a refund because #65 allows a return of the uncalled portion of the bet.

Weak players and weak dealers are likely to say anything to cover their mistakes. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 03:08:25 PM by BillM16 »

Boris Mauboussin

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 09:10:30 AM »
I agree with Bill,

In an All-in Situation, a defending player with a set of Queens on the flop will almost each time put all his chips in the middle. The fold ratio here is not significant to be considered.
Plus, there are 2 witnesses saying they heard call.

Players should protect their hand until they receive the pot.


I don't know if in Baumann V Koroknai other players heard her saying call despite she said she did. (But since her cards were still face down with a chip on it, I have some difficulties to believe she did not table her hand quickly after calling)

MikeB

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 01:42:52 PM »
I agree with Bill,

In an All-in Situation, a defending player with a set of Queens on the flop will almost each time put all his chips in the middle. The fold ratio here is not significant to be considered.
Plus, there are 2 witnesses saying they heard call.

Players should protect their hand until they receive the pot.

The focus of the above view is on what Player 4 did. Equal if not greater focus should be on what Player 1 did, i.e. was it reasonable? If he and the dealer both heard "fold". Forget Player 4's hand as that is not relevant to whether an unmistakable call or fold declaration was made. Looking at the hand and asking "would I have called in that situation" is a real slippery slope.

1: Two heard fold including the dealer, Two heard call. We cannot say with certainty a call was made. We can say "well I would have called with a set of queens". But what if 3 straight diamonds were on the board?
2: Meanwhile a player who made an all-in bet has mucked thinking it was a fold.
3: Only one surviving hand, we can't kill it because we're not sure if he called or folded.
4: Player 1 did muck his cards prematurely, unfortunately, but should this cost him his stack if the call isn't certain?
5: Pay the surviving hand the pot that has been called with certainty.
6: Here's another important twist: Given the circumstances, if Player 1's cards are still identifiable or if Player 1 had tabled his cards, would you force a call on Player 4 here? i.e. the two adjacent players say "I heard call" and dealer and Player 1 say "I heard fold". There's no certain forced call. Now that Player 1 doesn't have any cards, it's convenient for Player 4 to say "I called" since Player 1 has no cards. What if Player 1 insta-tables a flush, are you binding Player 4 to a call here considering the dealer heard "fold"? I doubt it. If you won't force a call on him when Player 1 has cards, why would you decide with 100% certainty he calls when Player 1 doesn't have cards?

Interesting case and conversation, thanks!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 02:21:46 PM by MikeB »

BillM16

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2019, 08:14:37 AM »
The focus of the above view is on what Player 4 did. Equal if not greater focus should be on what Player 1 did, i.e. was it reasonable? If he and the dealer both heard "fold". Forget Player 4's hand as that is not relevant to whether an unmistakable call or fold declaration was made. Looking at the hand and asking "would I have called in that situation" is a real slippery slope.


The relevance of player 4's hand is all of these facts. He had what was clearly the winning favorite at that point, he claims he made the call, he acted in turn, he immediately tabled his cards face-up.  I agree that simply making a ruling based solely on subjective evaluation of the players hand(s) is a slippery slope.  Two people heard fold - one was the player who didn't protect his hand and the other was the dealer who didn't do his job well.  One forthright person announced call and two other reasonable players heard the call.  Player 4 has an obligation to make his action clear.  He announced call and table his hand.  Does he have an obligation to ask everyone if they heard him?


1: Two heard fold including the dealer, Two heard call. We cannot say with certainty a call was made. We can say "well I would have called with a set of queens". But what if 3 straight diamonds were on the board?


If player #1 had flopped a flush what is the likelihood that he bets all-in and then mucks his hand while player 4 still has cards in his hand and the dealer has not declared a winner?

2: Meanwhile a player who made an all-in bet has mucked thinking it was a fold.

Or perhaps, he doesn't want the others to see the ridiculous all-in bluff that he was making. Or perhaps, he believes that the ruling in this house will return his all-in bet if he insta-mucks before player 4 tables his cards and claims he thought it was a fold.

3: Only one surviving hand, we can't kill it because we're not sure if he called or folded.

You can't kill it because he said he called, and he tabled it, and it appears to be the winning hand at that point

4: Player 1 did muck his cards prematurely, unfortunately, but should this cost him his stack if the call isn't certain?


The following rules tell players that they need to protect their hand and that they might lose their chips if they don't.

2: Player Responsibilities
13: Tabling Cards & Killing Winning Hand
14: Live Cards at Showdown
15: Showdown and Discarding Irregularities
16: Face Up for All-Ins
65: Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands



5: Pay the surviving hand the pot that has been called with certainty.

OK, rule #65 does say:

 "If the player initiated a bet or raise and hasn’t been called, the uncalled amount will be returned."

But, it doesn't say that "if the player claims he wasn't called and the dealer agrees with him ... while three other said he was called and his opponent tables a set of queens."

Oh, and to be fair, this rule happens to be one that IMHO should be used very sparingly.  Only in situations where an error is 95% certain - not 50% and below.


6: Here's another important twist: Given the circumstances, if Player 1's cards are still identifiable or if Player 1 had tabled his cards, would you force a call on Player 4 here? i.e. the two adjacent players say "I heard call" and dealer and Player 1 say "I heard fold". There's no certain forced call. Now that Player 1 doesn't have any cards, it's convenient for Player 4 to say "I called" since Player 1 has no cards. What if Player 1 insta-tables a flush, are you binding Player 4 to a call here considering the dealer heard "fold"? I doubt it. If you won't force a call on him when Player 1 has cards, why would you decide with 100% certainty he calls when Player 1 doesn't have cards?


Let me make sure I have this alternate scenario correct:
  • If player 1 bet all-in
  • ... and retained control (or tabled) his hand
  • And, player 4 claims to have folded
  • ... and tables his set of queens face up (to show everyone that he can fold a set)
  • And, then lets assume the dealer said "he calls, lets see the hands" ... (instead of the fold as you stated)
  • Then, there is confusion and a dispute on whether or not player 4 did indeed fold or did he call
  • ... meantime, player 1 tables a straight flush
  • Can we rule that player 4 is forced to call when two players heard him say fold?
  • ... I cannot find any TDA Rule that would support that ruling.  So, I do not see your point of 6 above "
  • ... I can find many rules that say a player must protect their hand, I cannot find one that says a player should make sure that they do not table their hand while they are folding and are last to act.


Interesting case and conversation, thanks!

I agree.

It makes very little sense to me to state time and time again that players have an important responsibility to protect their hand and then use a rule regarding Accidentally Fouled or killed hands to protect the offending player.  It isn't called the Ignorantly Fouled Hand Rule and it shouldn't become the Angle-Shooter's Fouled Hand Rule either.  Player's who don't adhere to one of the most fundamental rules should have "no redress" as also stated in #65.  So, in answer to your question in #4 above, my answer is absolutely yes.  If an all-in player doesn't protect his hand he is SOL if his only defense is a couple people thought that an opponent player folded even though that player is clearly still holding cards (any two cards).   That is so weak!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 08:42:27 AM by BillM16 »

MikeB

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2019, 09:54:18 PM »

It makes very little sense to me to state time and time again that players have an important responsibility to protect their hand and then use a rule regarding Accidentally Fouled or killed hands to protect the offending player.  It isn't called the Ignorantly Fouled Hand Rule and it shouldn't become the Angle-Shooter's Fouled Hand Rule either.  Player's who don't adhere to one of the most fundamental rules should have "no redress" as also stated in #65.
Specifically they have no redress for the called bet, but any uncalled bet will be returned. And likewise in Baumann vs. Koroknai, Baumann was awarded the called bets but not Koroknai's all-in bet for which call was not unquestionably established despite her holding a very likely calling hand.

So, in answer to your question in #4 above, my answer is absolutely yes.  If an all-in player doesn't protect his hand he is SOL if his only defense is a couple people thought that an opponent player folded even though that player is clearly still holding cards (any two cards). That is so weak!
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However, one of those "couple people" is the Dealer. The issue at hand isn't whether Player 4 is still holding cards. The issue is whether he unquestionably called Player 1's all-in bet given the facts in the OP. We have to look at the facts narrowly without embellishments such as assuming Player 1 was "an angle shooter" when we have absolutely no concrete indication of that.

One way to test how certain we are or aren't that a call was made is to ask if we would bind Player 4 to a call in all circumstances based on his actions in the OP. So, I ask again, if Player 1 bet all-in, Player 4 said something that the Dealer heard as "fold", then Player 1 insta-tables a made flush, then the two players to either side of Player 4 say "Player 4 said call", are you going to rule absolutely that Player 4 called? Your answer seems to be no as I read it. That is sensible given that both "fold" and "call" were heard by various people at the table, and fold was heard by the Dealer. If I wouldn't rule that his actions constitute an unquestionable and binding call when the circumstances are not favorable to him, for the same reason I question ruling it an absolute call when the circumstances are favorable and the opponent has no cards. For that reason, shipping Player 4 the all-in bet is questionable in my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 10:47:46 PM by MikeB »

BillM16

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Re: All-in Player Mucks his hand thinking other player folded
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2019, 11:05:56 AM »
However, one of those "couple people" is the Dealer. The issue at hand isn't whether Player 4 is still holding cards. The issue is whether he unquestionably called Player 1's all-in bet given the facts in the OP. We have to look at the facts narrowly without embellishments such as assuming Player 1 was "an angle shooter" when we have absolutely no concrete indication of that.

One way to test how certain we are or aren't that a call was made is to ask if we would bind Player 4 to a call in all circumstances based on his actions in the OP. So, I ask again, if Player 1 bet all-in, Player 4 said something that the Dealer heard as "fold", then Player 1 insta-tables a made flush, then the two players to either side of Player 4 say "Player 4 said call", are you going to rule absolutely that Player 4 called? Your answer seems to be no as I read it. That is sensible given that both "fold" and "call" were heard by various people at the table, and fold was heard by the Dealer. If I wouldn't rule that his actions constitute an unquestionable and binding call when the circumstances are not favorable to him, for the same reason I question ruling it an absolute call when the circumstances are favorable and the opponent has no cards. For that reason, shipping Player 4 the all-in bet is questionable in my opinion.

For me, I do not give extra weight to what the dealer thought he heard.  I do give extra weight to what the player claims to have said when that has been confirmed by what others heard and by his own actions.  The dealer and the opponent thought there was a fold announced and neither of them bothered to confirm that in any reasonable manner.  Player 4 cannot be expected to do the dealer's job or to play his opponent's hand for him.  So, once again, if player 4 says he called and others confirm that they heard it, and he retained his cards, it is a call even if player #1 tables a royal flush.

Now, what if player #4 claims that he announced "I fold", and tabled his cards. Again, if others substantiate that claim even without complete consensus then I would rule it a fold.  One or more players saying they heard a call does not make it a call if the acting player said he folded and others confirm that action.

In other words, I give extra weight to the voiced claim of the player who has retained control and has been substantiated by uninvolved players at the table.  I discount players who do not obey the rules and dealers who do not follow normal procedures.  I see no justification for punishing player #4 in this situation and the stated reasons for holding player #1 to his admitted all-in and his fold that was his own responsibility.  I would also see that the dealer is schooled on proper procedure.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 12:52:18 PM by BillM16 »