Author Topic: Big Blind "Folds" His Option  (Read 14704 times)

K-Lo

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Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« on: February 12, 2012, 05:16:39 PM »
Can we compare notes here?

Simple situation:  8 handed table.  SB and BB posted.  Three callers, and SB calls.  Dealer asks BB "Option?".  BB throws her cards towards the muck in a folding action.

a)  Assume that the "folded" cards are clearly identifiable.  Should the Dealer returns the cards to the player ("fold is not an option")?
b)  If the answer to a) is 'yes' and BB checks her option, would the "fold" be considered binding on future streets, or would all options be open to the player?


Luca P.

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 08:22:55 AM »
I assume that it's a fold.
once a player decides whatever to do (fold-check-bet-raise) in turn, then the action is binding.
Surely I'll asses (as TD-floorman) a penality for doing that
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chet

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 10:02:16 AM »
Linker:  I am really interested in knowing which rule you would apply when you assess the penalty.

Chet

cloudtiger

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 11:20:08 AM »
i believe linker split is right. rule 45:
 Non-Standard Folds
Anytime before the end of the last betting round of a hand, folding in turn when facing a check or folding out of turn are both binding folds and may be subject to penalty.

the fold should stand, but i dont think a penalty should be enforced in this case as the big blind is the only person to suffer as a result of his action

Luca P.

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 02:27:29 PM »
Linker:  I am really interested in knowing which rule you would apply when you assess the penalty.

Chet
For rule 45, I would asses a light penality to ensure players understand how to act next time  ;D
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K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:49:47 PM »
Hmmm.... this is interesting.  I'm not sure I agree with some of the previous comments so I guess this is worthy of some discussion.

Last year, I had pushed strongly for the rule that is now the "Non-standard Folds" rule, because I felt there was a need for an explicit rule that would prevent (and penalize) players who folded out of turn in a betting round while there were multiple players still vying for the pot.  For example, 3 players to the flop - if first person to act decides to fold when he can only check or bet ("I have to go for a smoke, to the washroom, etc.,), this is generally bad as it can influence subsequent action (e.g. a player might act differently knowing that there is one less opponent to worry about).  I fully support this rule.

However, I admit that I had not thought about pre-flop situations involving the BB's option when pushing for the rule.  I feel the situation with the BB's option is a bit different, and often only arises when the BB is a beginner.  Yes, it is the player's responsibility to protect his or her cards, but I think killing the hand as a matter of course seems to be overkill.  I also think there is a big difference since the BB closes the action here, so there is no undue influence on the action of other players, at least for the pre-flop betting round.

In the interest of fairness, assuming that the hand can still be clearly identified by the Dealer (and I have no issue with the Dealer attempting to stop the cards from hitting the muck), I would typically allow the BB to keep his or her cards, and that his hand will still be live post-flop.  The main person affected here is the BB, as couldtiger noted.

Of course, if the player is suspected of playing an angle by doing this with a strong hand (which is very risky for the player), or perhaps for repeated offences, then I think it would be open for the TD to assess an appropriate penalty.  In general, however, I'm not sure why it would be in the best interests of the game to kill the BB's hand or to assess a penalty.


mooredog

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 08:10:44 AM »
In our big tournaments ($1000 + buy ins) we assess penalties for folding out of turn but have never assessed a penalty for folding in turn when in a check situation. i noticed in posts that at the summit it was determined to penalize players who folded in turn when in a check situatiion and I never quite understood the reasoning there. Clue me in on that if you may. As for the big blind folding their option, our dealers usually remind them that they are in the big blind, hence already in and give them a chance to come to their senses and pick their cards up. If they don't after a few seconds or do it again later we just muck the hand and get on with it.

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 11:25:43 AM »
i noticed in posts that at the summit it was determined to penalize players who folded in turn when in a check situatiion and I never quite understood the reasoning there. Clue me in on that if you may.

Hi mooredog: 

This is a great question.  I am asked this a lot by my dealers and TDs, so I will try to present a detailed example (once you get the gist of it, I'm sure you can come up with other examples) that I think explains why folding in turn post-flop when check is an option is extremely improper.  Hopefully you will find this persuasive.  Folding in turn post-flop when checking is an option is, in my view, at the very least a breach of etiquette since it potentially influences how the hand might otherwise have naturally played out, and worse, fails to protect other players in the tournament.  Consider the following example:

Final table.  SB is the chip leader at the table.  BB is one of the short stacks at the table, and the button has a medium stack.  Action folds around to the button who limps in.  The SB calls.  BB checks his option.  Three players to the flop.  The SB is first to act, and checks.    After the SB checks, it is the BB's turn to act.

Let's look at the situation from the perspective of the BB and the button.  In this scenario, BB may generally feel disinclined to bluff - there are two remaining opponents, so even if he feels that he can get the button to fold, he will still be afraid that the SB (who is chip leader) will call, and he might not want to risk busting before the shorter stacks at the table do.  Similarly, if the BB checks to the button, the button may be hesitant to bet for fear of a check-raise from the SB.  The button may not mind if the short-stacked BB called, but he might fear being raised by the SB and be forced to fold or potentially get knocked out if he calls, when there are still other shorter stacks at the table. 

Now suppose that we change the example slightly, and the SB (chip leader), instead of checking, decides to fold upon seeing the flop ("I have nothing anyways").  The dynamics of the hand can change dramatically.  Suddenly, the short-stacked BB may now be more likely to shove here since he only has 1 opponent to worry about instead of 2, and so his chances of winning the pot outright has increased tremendously.  Not only has SB's unconventional fold put the button at a disadvantage, but it also fails to protect everyone else in the tournament who wants to see the BB get called and get knocked out.  Furthermore, allowing the SB to fold here opens up the possibility of collusion between the SB and BB:  if BB pushes, it might look strange if SB didn't call given the amount needed to call, but if SB takes himself out of the play by folding in advance, then no one would suspect anything. 

Similarly, if the BB checked to the button, the button also now has much more reason to bet or shove.  He can put maximum pressure now on the short-stacked BB, without having to face any risk of action from the SB.  In fact, he can now be as aggressive as he wants without any risk of being eliminated from the tournament -- a situation that would not have been present if the SB were still in the hand.  Thus, SB's unconventional fold has now put the BB at a clear disadvantage.

The point here is that it doesn't matter what cards the players actually have in this situation - allowing the SB to fold "early" in multi-way pots can unduly influence how the rest of the hand would naturally have played out, and in my mind, it is just as bad as a player announcing that he folded pocket deuces when the flop comes down 2-2-x and there are players still aggressively contesting the pot. 

All that being said, I think the BB accidentally folding his option pre-flop is a different situation, and should be treated differently, as it is almost always accidental.  In the Rule 45 situation, it is almost never accidental; it is usually because the player is too impatient to wait until the action comes back around to him to fold, and it is usually for very selfish reasons (I need a smoke, I need a drink, I need to go to the washroom, I need to take a call, etc., etc., etc.)

mooredog

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 11:42:22 AM »
Thanks K-Lo, makes sense. Will have to discuss this with our TDs.

MikeB

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 03:24:30 PM »
In our big tournaments ($1000 + buy ins) we assess penalties for folding out of turn but have never assessed a penalty for folding in turn when in a check situation. i noticed in posts that at the summit it was determined to penalize players who folded in turn when in a check situatiion and I never quite understood the reasoning there. Clue me in on that if you may. As for the big blind folding their option, our dealers usually remind them that they are in the big blind, hence already in and give them a chance to come to their senses and pick their cards up. If they don't after a few seconds or do it again later we just muck the hand and get on with it.
Rule 45 specifically clarifies what to do in situations of OOT or folding when facing no action. It closes the gap in the OOT language that says a player can change their OOT action if the action changes to them... except in the case of an OOT fold.  In the case of folding to a check, in some ways this can be considered the softest possible play. What could be softer than folding when you don't have to... especially if you have only one opponent? From one viewpoint it's even softer than not betting or raising when you have the nuts and are last to act.  

Your point about giving the BB who folds his option a chance to re-consider is well-taken and I think was even specified in the Las Vegas Hilton Book of Poker Rules many years ago. The LVHBPR did not however specifically address tournament poker. One key feature of tournament poker is competitive (not soft) play.

Some of the logic for Rule 45 as adopted by the TDA membership at the 2011 Summit is: 1) folding to a check (or the BB option) is just too soft for tournament competition; 2) Players have to pay attention and be responsible for their actions; 3) Other players get very upset when a folded hand is allowed to remain in play; 4) You could also say that if the BB knew he'd get a chance to reconsider, he could initially fold, get a read (or think he gets a read), then change his mind back to a check or even a raise!  

As for why a penalty may be assessed: an OOT fold gives the rightful bettor alot of information i.e. that a competitor to his left is now out of the hand, and un-pressured folding could be soft play or worse chip dumping. Note that the rule doesn't read "will be penalized", just may be subject to penalty. The specific decision to penalize is up to the TD but might be based on whether the action was intentional or unintentional, first violation or a repeat violation.

Thanks for the post!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:12:24 AM by MikeB »

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 04:14:09 PM »
Quite interesting, Mike.  It's easy enough to enforce I suppose - just tell Dealers to muck the BB's cards right away if he folds pre-flop when he would have had an option to check, perhaps with a warning that next time the BB could just check (assuming fold was indeed accidental).  Seems a bit harsh though -- this particular scenario (BB folding option) was specifically discussed at the Summit?   I think someone asked Savage this same question recently and although the answer was a bit vague, he appeared to suggest that the cards would be returned if it was not "too late" (i.e. not irretrievably mucked)...?

I wonder if the language of the new rule could also be tightened up somewhat:  "folding in turn when facing a check" should probably be "folding in turn when check is an option" seems more accurate.  If you're the first to act in a betting round, you're not technically "facing a check". 

k

Nick C

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 08:03:04 PM »
Here are a couple of my replies to prior posts on the subject:
My feelings still haven't changed.
 What if the first player checks and the next player mucks his hand with another player in the hand. That violates all rules of etiquette and does not offer protection for the other player, or players. A player should never muck his hand when the action is checked to him. They may check, or bet, never fold (unless the action is heads-up). In my opinion, check-muck is one of the most unethical, inconsiderate, improper actions that any poker player could ever make, when other players have yet to act.
Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 07:37:26 AM    
________________________________________
Folding in turn without facing a bet is one of the worst things that any player can do. It violates all rules of poker etiquette. It offers no protection to other players. The only exception is when the action is head to head.

It is clearly the action of an inexperienced amateur, or worse. It could be a good reason to consider collusion. A player drops out to let his "partner" know that he will not be in the action, or stand in his way.



Spence

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 09:24:57 PM »
I'm with MikeB on this one. I have had way to many calls after the fact when a BB folds, gets his cards back from the dealer and goes on to win the hand. The loser always seems to speak up after he has lost half his stack to some awful limping hand that got through under bad circumstances. I always ask why no one spoke up at the time of incident. The dealer needs to be spoken with as well. These players deserve a bit of leniency but not in a tournament. Cash game? Give the hand back. Tournament? Not a chance.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 06:25:45 PM by Spence »

Nick C

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 09:58:03 PM »
I can't agree with most on this one. First of all, the BB is in for all bets in the original situation. Why not return his hand? That's closer to chip dumping than soft play. Would you feel the same if everyone folded around to the SB who calls and then the BB folds?

 Also, to Mike's response that the BB might be trying to get a read? On what? the other players have all acted?

 Spence, in a cash game give him back his cards, but in a tournament..screw'em! Yah! that's the spirit ;D
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 09:59:29 PM by Nick C »

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind "Folds" His Option
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 08:29:08 PM »
I have to agree with Nick here, although I can accept the alternative.  It is true that players might be upset when the big blind's crap hand ends up winning... But it is their fault for not raising in the first place!  It is unlikely they could have counted on the BB being careless and folding when he had an option to check.