Author Topic: Angle shot-dead hand?  (Read 5237 times)

ew2484

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Angle shot-dead hand?
« on: July 05, 2012, 12:58:36 AM »
Very interesting spot came up the other night in my tourney. Player A raises out of UTG+2, Player B, immediately to his left, raises all in. Folded back around to Player A who begins to tank. About a minute later, A asks B, and im quoting exactly, "If I fold and show you my hand, will you show me yours?" PLayer B responds "Yes" at which point player A takes his cards, and without pitching them towards the muck or the middle of the table or declaring call/fold, flips his cards over, AQ. PLayer B then shows his cards, AJ, at which point player A declares that he never folded and he's now calling. As you can assume, hell breaks loose and I am called over. I'll leave my actual ruling a mystery for now, but i wanted to get opinions on the proper way to handle this spot.

After discussing with the other TD at my casino, there seem to be two schools of thought on the issue. The first one being that while it is an angle shoot, player A never released his cards in a forward motion, nor did he ever say the word fold, therefore his hand must still be considered live, albeit receiving a penalty for his actions.

The other side is that, because of the discussion that took place, this player was clearly using a very unethical and illegal manuever (showing his cards) in order to try and trick PLayer B into flipping his cards over before action was completed. That by declaring he would show and fold, that his hand should be ruled dead in order to maintain fairness and integrity in the game, even though none of the "classic" methods of a dead hand were used. and if this is your ruling, do you assess a penatly on top of the dead hand? Thoughts? and how would you rule this?

K-Lo

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 06:55:01 AM »
Hi Ew:

Very interesting indeed.

As a preliminary note, although it is too late to correct by the time you get to the table, IMO dealers must be made aware of the general principle that the mere action of turning cards face-up is NOT considered a fold.  There are many situations in which it would appear that a player's intention is to fold, but one should not assume.  In my view, it is very important that once Player A opens his hand, the dealer should have asked A to confirm that he intends to fold before allowing any further action to continue.  The answer to the dealer's question of "Are you folding?" will be "Yes" most of the time, and in response, the dealer should muck the hand immediately.  Player B then can show if he wants.  Dealers will feel pained to ask players to explicitly confirm that they intend to fold after a hand is exposed, when it is probably true 99% of the time, but it will save a lot of headache for that 1% of the time in which it actually becomes an issue.

Strictly speaking, exposing one's hand is not a binding fold, in the absence of a verbal declaration.  Since the cards are not irretrievably in the muck, they are live.  We no longer kill a hand simply because the cards are exposed.  A penalty can be imposed at the end of the hand per Rule 53.  If one were to award the pot to Player A, he should definitely be getting a HUGE penalty here -- perhaps at least 3 rounds if not more.  

However, I am more inclined to agree with the "second" group's observations that the player's actions were highly unethical, and a blatant angle. I should note that Player B could have protected his hand and himself here by asking the dealer to confirm that A has indeed folded before flipping over his hand. However, this seems like a prime example for applying Rule 1 here and awarding the pot to Player B in this particular situation.  And yes, I would definitely still give Player A at least a one round penalty on top of that.  

In summary, although I think I'd have to be there to get a feel for how blatant the angle was by Player A, I would lean towards awarding Player B the pot based on how it has been described.  It might even be possible to justify this without having to apply Rule 1... Note that Player A did not simply expose his hand here to get a reaction from B, A explicitly announced "If I FOLD and show you my hand"... Can we not say that is a declaration of fold? If he didn't intend to fold, he definitely shouldn't say the word "fold" and then release his hand, and it's up to A to ensure that his intentions are clear.  I am not going to play grammarian, and argue over the "if".  If Player B could have reasonably interpreted this statement as "I am folding and will show you my hand.  Will you show me yours?", then I am interpreting that statement as a fold once the cards are exposed, and only A is to blame.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 11:13:56 AM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 07:40:19 AM »
Gentlemen:

 Would either of you ever do what Player A did? Of course not. These are the "characters" that we need to eliminate...from this earth! Poker ethics should always "trump" a rule that promotes this type of action. As usual, there will always be a rule that can support...well, just about any call the floor wants to make. We have to stop these players, who think they are protected, from their unscrupulous acts!

 The main purpose of rules should be to protect non-offending players, not rewarding the unethical practices of the angle-shooters.

 No brainer, pot to player B, along with a stern warning to Player A.

diz475

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 08:18:34 PM »
i agree Nick
i run a lot of $80 and $100 tournys and we dont need guys like player A running of a new or inexpericenced player that feels like he got cheated

ew2484

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 11:52:13 PM »
agreed, the ruling i made was indeed killing the hand, and my logic for doing so I explained. The reason this all comes up, is that we had this EXACT situation twice in 2 days, with 2 different TD's. and here's the kicker, Player A in the situation i described (which was the 2nd time it happened) was involved in the situation the day before, except he was in players B's spot. The other TD ruled the other way, leaving the hand live and giving a 2 round penalty. That was the reason he did it, the pot was large enough that a 2 round penalty was worth it should his hand be deemed live. And i also already knew of the situation, which was the reason i was 100% sure this was nothing but an angle shoot. Needless to say, the player was furious that not only did the decisions flip flop on him, but he was on the "negative" side of each decision.

K-Lo

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 08:11:05 AM »
agreed, the ruling i made was indeed killing the hand, and my logic for doing so I explained. The reason this all comes up, is that we had this EXACT situation twice in 2 days, with 2 different TD's. and here's the kicker, Player A in the situation i described (which was the 2nd time it happened) was involved in the situation the day before, except he was in players B's spot. The other TD ruled the other way, leaving the hand live and giving a 2 round penalty. That was the reason he did it, the pot was large enough that a 2 round penalty was worth it should his hand be deemed live. And i also already knew of the situation, which was the reason i was 100% sure this was nothing but an angle shoot. Needless to say, the player was furious that not only did the decisions flip flop on him, but he was on the "negative" side of each decision.

Nice one, ew.  I can appreciate when player get upset when rulings are inconsistent (which is why we need a standardized set of rule and why we need to educate TDs);  however, he has no one else to blame for himself by resorting to angle-shooting himself and getting caught.  Karma!!  ;-)


MikeB

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 11:28:16 PM »
Player A faces several problems here:

1: He made a conditional statement. At the 2011 Summit, the TDA membership debated this issue at length and arrived at Rule 46: "Conditional statements regarding future action ... may be binding .... at TDs discretion".

2: He's responsible for his own actions. Rule 36: "It is player's responsibility to make his intentions clear".

3: The player has pre-clarified his action, this is huge... he himself has linked turning over his cards and folding!  ... Then he turns over his cards!  

The above facts are crucial, because if Player A really intended to call, he sure didn't make his intentions very clear. Since conditional statements may be binding, and are subject to TDs discretion, it's Player A's fault, and nobody elses, if his hand is ruled dead. I appreciate the letter of the law and a clever move as much as anybody, but Player A has clearly passed a grey line from clever to deceitful in the minds of alot of TDs and deserves whatever he gets.

Note it is impossible to 100% stipulate what happens in these type cases because they involve non-standard action and conditional action. Ultimately it comes down to TD discretion as cited above, invoking of Rule 1, and whatever happens it's Player A's sole responsibility.

I would lastly add that Rule 46 specifically states that conditional statements are "strongly discouraged"... it should come as no surprise then to Player A if he gets a ruling that has the effect of strongly discouraging conditional statements in the future!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 11:53:49 PM by MikeB »

Brian Vickers

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Re: Angle shot-dead hand?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 11:42:10 AM »
" The player has pre-clarified his action, this is huge... he himself has linked turning over his cards and folding!  ... Then he turns over his cards! "

Good point Mike, I wouldn't have thought about it that way.  Also, Rule #1 is going to be at play here guys, so don't worry if the guy says "I never said fold" or "the rules say, 'blah blah blah'" because if you feel it's the right thing to do, drop the rule #1 hammer on him and there is no legitimate argument.