Author Topic: A recent ruling dispute in China  (Read 478 times)

TingoZhu89

  • TDA Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
A recent ruling dispute in China
« on: December 25, 2020, 04:49:13 AM »
It was a satellite.

Buy-in: 1,200 CNY
Total entries: 23.
ITM: 3. Top 2 receives entry (10,000) to target tournament. 3rd place gets remaining prize pool (~3,500).


Players remaining: 3.

Hero (60K in chips) at BB, Player A (40K) at BTN, Player B (130K) at SB.

Blinds 1K/2K.

Preflop: BTN calls 2K, SB raises to 7K, Hero calls 7K, BTN re-raises to 12K, SB re-raises to 17K, Hero folds, BTN re-raises all-in 40K, SB folds.

Hero immediately called TD for suspected soft play or collusion. Hero cited: 1. It was known to the house that these two players know each other and are good friends; 2. All re-raises in this hand were min-re-raises; 3. SB was facing ~1/4 pot odds to call. The fold was illogical.


Hero asked to see both players' hole cards, TD rejected.

SB voluntarily showed his hole cards Q9o. BTN showed TD privately his hole cards.

After seeing BTN's hole cards, TD paused the clock and called Chief TD.

After being briefed of the hand, Chief TD issued a verbal warning to SB, and then resumed the tournament.

Chief TD said he could/would only issue a verbal warning on first violation of such kind according to TDA, and the team may revisit this case later and make a final ruling after the tournament is finished.




What are your thoughts about this ruling?

« Last Edit: December 25, 2020, 04:54:27 AM by TingoZhu89 »

BillM16

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 560
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 08:26:21 PM »
What was the warning issued?  What violation occurred?

IMO, the SB was not obligated to make the call.  I see no evidence of collusion or soft play in your scenario. 

Not that it matters in the TDA Rules analysis, experienced players often attempt to "play the player" especially preflop with a mediocre hand.  The SB and BTN know each other and it is likely that the SB believed he was far behind and didn't want to gamble another 23K for a chance to win the 64K in the pot.  That is 2.8:1 odds, or a 26% equity needed to break even over the long run.  What are the odds of the BTN risking his entire stack under this scenario with a hand that doesn't beat Q9o most of the time?  Again, IMO, none of this matters when determining TDA Rules.

No TDA Rule exists that requires a player to make a call when given good pot odds.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 08:54:23 PM by BillM16 »

Nick C

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 3278
    • http://www.pokertda.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=557;sa=forumProfile
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 08:35:05 PM »
If I understand the situation correctly, I have to agree with Bill. I never liked the idea of assessing a player's hand to qualify if the hand warranted that action. If there was any concern over the friendship of the players involved, it should have been addressed early on in the tournament.

TingoZhu89

  • TDA Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 06:47:52 AM »
Sorry about my English.

Allow me to rephrase a little bit. The hero suspected that in this very hand, the other two players were carrying out a pre-planned strategy by min-re-raising back and forth with any hole cards in order to transfer large amount of chips from the chip leader (SB) to the other player (BTN), so that after this hand, the two could both have more chips than hero and have a higher chance to eliminate hero at 3rd place.

TD didn't refer to a specific rule about this warning.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 06:53:10 AM by TingoZhu89 »

BillM16

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 560
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 07:46:35 AM »
Your English is very good.  (Probably better than mine.)

TDA Rules 2019 - 69: Ethical Play
Poker is an individual game. Soft play will result in penalties, which may include chip forfeiture and/or disqualification. Chip dumping and other forms of collusion will result in disqualification.


There is a very important distinction made in Rule #69.  The rule makes a sharp distinction between Soft play and Chip dumping and other forms of collusion.  The former will result in penalties while the latter will result in disqualification.. In other words, collusion ALWAYS results in DISQUALIFICATION while Soft play may or may not and is up to the TD's discretion.

The hero suspected that in this very hand, the other two players were carrying out a pre-planned strategy by min-re-raising back and forth with any hole cards in order to transfer large amount of chips from the chip leader (SB) to the other player (BTN), so that after this hand, the two could both have more chips than hero and have a higher chance to eliminate hero at 3rd place.

Where is the EVIDENCE that this was collusion or Soft play?  If Hero TRULY BELIEVED that these players held "any hole cards" Hero should have shoved or made the call!  If Hero had shoved 60k (instead of folding) then SB would likely fold his Q9o, after all, his odds were much worse than when facing the eventual BTN raise.  Hero was the BB and had 2k in the pot.  Hero saw the BTN call 2k and he saw the SB raise up to 7k.  When did Hero first suspect that a pre-planned collusion was occurring?  Apparently, not when he made the call. He knew that both opponents still had raising chips and were still in the hand. Hero should have known that he would have to fold to another raise!

I think the evidence shows that SB and BTN played the hand well and Hero only regrets that he didn't play his hand better and is falsely accusing his opponents.  Again, both opponents had every right to their actions and there is no evidence at all that either broke a rule.  I do not believe this was collusion to dump an extra 10k of SB's chips to the BTN.  He could have made a bigger raise and still fold!

Here is a more significant example of possible collusion.  SB raise to 40k and BTN calls with all his chips. SB then immediately folds his hand and buries his cards in the muck pile so that they cannot be recovered.  That is at least Soft play and is possible collusion.  It is clearly an illegal action by SB who is obligated to table his hand.  It may warrant disqualification (especially if the BTN tables two rags) and/or there is a history of illegal actions.  That example has an appearance of both players colluding.  On the other hand, say SB tables his hole cards with a complete bluff of 72o. That would not be irrefutable evidence of collusion even if the BTN had a mediocre hand.  That would not be the first or last all-in bluff.

Those examples bring up another point of distinction in applying Rule #69.  IMO: Soft play can be a violation committed by a single player to benefit another perhaps innocent player.  However, collusion requires the illegal cooperation between two or more players to commit the violation.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 08:36:54 AM by BillM16 »

TingoZhu89

  • TDA Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 08:40:04 PM »
I get your point Bill.

I would like to raise a hypothetical question.

Say, in a parallel universe, two players did have a strategy unbeknownst to the house that, in certain situation, they would re-raise back and forth against other player(s), only after all other player(s) fold will they transfer "normal play" to "chip dumping", otherwise they will just play normally.

Is this hypothetical strategy against poker ethics? And if so, is there any practical method for the house to counter this strategy?

BillM16

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 560
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 09:22:12 PM »
The parallel universe that you describe certainly exists and has been known to frequent poker rooms here on earth (especially online).  It is clearly unethical and down right cheating!  Rooms should disqualify and even ban players who cheat
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 07:12:25 AM by BillM16 »

Nick C

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 3278
    • http://www.pokertda.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=557;sa=forumProfile
Re: A recent ruling dispute in China
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 10:51:29 AM »
Hello, Tingo,

 Your recent question is similar to others that you have posted before. Without knowing what the board looked like, it would be difficult to determine if there were foul play among those other two players. I remember working the floor and announcing to the table that Mr. Jones and Sally are husband and wife. If anyone has any objection to them playing at the same table now is the time to speak up. Chip dumping and collusion can be a serious problem in any cardroom. Soft play is when two players have another player in the middle (so to speak) they raise each other while you are stuck in the middle. When the heat becomes too much, you fold and all of a sudden, they check to the river. They succeeded, they knocked you out and they get the money. Is it collusion? Yes, it is. Chip dumping is a form of collusion, too...but it has a completely different look. In the above situation, could you imagine after they raise you out of the pot, one player bets and the other folds his hand...his winning hand! He gives the pot to his buddy. There is a solution but I don't believe it is in the TDA rules. That is a good topic for a post pandemic for the next TDA Summit.