Author Topic: Dealer error... now what??  (Read 20117 times)

Nick C

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2013, 10:33:35 AM »
Tristan,

 I hear you but, you could argue dealer collusion either way, don't you think?

 It's difficult to pinpoint the total blame on one individual. Let's consider what happened. The dealer clearly missed the BB still being in the hand, the BB did not protect her right to act, the 6 seat player failed to notice that the BB was still in the hand, as did all of the other players seated at the table.

 A better trained dealer, that controls the action and is aware of the number of player's in the hand, would have prevented this mistake. We all know that...so why do we insist on making rules that stifle dealers by encouraging them to be silent? Player's and management don't trust dealers to do much of anything, and that's the problem.

 Ken, I'm not sure I like giving the BB the 4000 call amount, either. It's bad enough the dealer pushes the pot prematurely. I might accept giving the total bet back, thus causing less financial damage to a player that just had their pot taken away.

Tristan

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2013, 11:48:18 AM »
It's difficult to pinpoint the total blame on one individual.
This is true.

the BB did not protect her right to act
I do not think this is true.  The BB pointed out the error when the pot was pushed.  The dealer pushing the pot is really only 1 action behind.  We have defined substantial action as 2-3 actions depending on the situation.  So I do not think it is fair to say that the BB failed to protect their action anymore than it would be fair to say that 1 player checking behind you means you failed to protect your action.
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MikeB

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2013, 12:31:47 PM »
Thanks everyone for the great discussion. Let me pose another question...

What PROCEDURAL SUGGESTIONS might be considered that would minimize the risk of this type of situation occuring in the first place??

K-Lo

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2013, 02:50:26 PM »
What PROCEDURAL SUGGESTIONS might be considered that would minimize the risk of this type of situation occuring in the first place??

It would be great if the dealer could make some sort of announcement before awarding the pot, but I think that is impractical and would slow down the game a lot.  This type of thing happens so rarely to justify such a huge change in procedure. 99% of the time, the dealer does the right thing, and players are paying attention.  

Also note that if the player had actually tabled her hand, the cards could be retrieved.  We could force everyone to show their hands every time they take in a pot... but this is unrealistic.  

The best thing that could have happened in my view, is to obligate players to make sure players keep their cards plainly visible at all times -- and this is now explicitly in the rules!  If a player is able to plainly see that an opponent still has cards, he or she shouldn't be accepting any pot before the cards of that opponent are in the muck. Period.

Put another way, I am now going to point to seat 1's cards and say "why did you fold when you can clearly see that this player still has live cards?"  Unless seat 6 has a good answer to that question, and not just "I didn't see it" or "who cares? The dealer pushed me the pot" or "I was all-in", seat 6 has to take responsibility for the error.

the BB did not protect her right to act
I do not think this is true.  The BB pointed out the error when the pot was pushed.  The dealer pushing the pot is really only 1 action behind.  We have defined substantial action as 2-3 actions depending on the situation.  So I do not think it is fair to say that the BB failed to protect their action anymore than it would be fair to say that 1 player checking behind you means you failed to protect your action.

I would tend to agree.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 03:00:08 PM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 03:51:54 PM »
Dealer awareness is exactly what we need. We also need to allow the dealers to control the action clockwise from player to player. Clear verbal declarations are needed. Verbal is binding has been around for as long as I can remember but, it also causes confusion when statements are unclear. Dealers should ask for clarification from players before proceeding.

Tristan and Ken, you might be right about the BB not being guilty of "defending her right to act" but it's pretty tough to fault a player that was awarded the pot and asked to surrender their hand. I find it hard to believe that something like this would ever be a problem. Our tournaments need better dealers, and the good ones we have need to be allowed to control the action.

 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 04:03:43 PM by Nick C »

RockyPhillips

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2013, 07:51:31 PM »
Seat #1 had a responsibility here that did not happen for whatever reason,
Seat #6 had a responsibility here that did not happen for whatever reason,
The dealer screwed up, I think I would be going to the muck on this one.
Ask seat six in private their hand if they cannot give me an exact hand to look for they forfeit pot, if the cards they claim are not in muck they forfeit pot.
If cards as stated are retrieved best hand wins.

K-Lo

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2013, 10:01:58 PM »
The dealer screwed up, I think I would be going to the muck on this one.
Ask seat six in private their hand if they cannot give me an exact hand to look for they forfeit pot, if the cards they claim are not in muck they forfeit pot.
If cards as stated are retrieved best hand wins.

I think 5+ years ago, this may have been more acceptable, but I think that even Nick ::) would agree that the current practice is to not go through the muck looking for cards that have not been tabled. I think in a social, friendly game, you might make exceptions, and certainly your house rules may permit it.  But in general, unless cards have been tabled (e.g. visible to cameras), I don't think digging through the muck for cards is considered a best practice in tournament direction anymore. Not even under an application of Rule 1.

There are many well-accepted reasons often given for this, not the least of which is that if we wanted to better protect against this type of dealer error, we could simply use a discard pile (e.g. like in blackjack where discards are kept in order) rather than a muck. For me personally though, the game integrity and security issues remain the most persuasive. Without going deep into the subject here (perhaps it's best left to another thread), let me just say this: leaving a mucked hand in the muck leaves the ultimate responsibility for the hand on the player who originally held it (which I think is where it must lie); this is preferable to pulling out cards from the muck and opening up the real possibility of dealers and/or the TD being accused of colluding with that player, or giving the impression that the player may be getting a chance to draw a better hand.

I agree with Nick that dealer awareness, and better trained dealers are important and much needed. Great dealers will prevent a lot of headaches. But I think there will always be a human element to consider so long as poker is played live, and even the best dealers will occasionally make mistakes.  Given that possibility, i think it is more efficient to deal with the situation by better educating players:  Yes, it is good practice to wait for the dealer to push you the pot before mucking your cards. That is your first line of defence. But be aware that dealers can err too, and there is room to further protect yourself by staying alert and satisfying yourself that no one else has live cards before releasing your hand. That is your last line of defence.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 10:25:36 PM by K-Lo »

Nick C

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2013, 06:33:54 AM »
There are basic fundamental rules for players and dealers alike. if we practice these rules, the majority of the issues we discuss on a daily basis would be non-existent. Perhaps that is why we keep changing the simple rules of etiquette for job security for floorpersons! ;D

 Seriously speaking, for players: act in turn, protect your own hand, and never surrender your winning hand until the pot is pushed to you...these are just a few basics that will prevent the great majority of problems from occurring.

 Dealers: Control the action verbally and assist players when an obvious error is about to be made.

 One other issue that I'd like to address: STAY OUT OF THE MUCK!!!  And ken, I know you were joking about the discard rack.  ;D You were joking, weren't you?

 

K-Lo

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2013, 08:36:43 AM »
One other issue that I'd like to address: STAY OUT OF THE MUCK!!!  And ken, I know you were joking about the discard rack.  ;D You were joking, weren't you?

 :)  I wasn't advocating for the use of a discard rack, just simply pointing out that there's a reason why we use a muck and not a discard rack -- mucked cards are intended to stay mucked.

Tristan

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2013, 08:39:58 AM »
Seriously speaking, for players: act in turn, protect your own hand, and never surrender your winning hand until the hand is complete...these are just a few basics that will prevent the great majority of problems from occurring.

Fixed your post!  ;)
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WSOPMcGee

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2013, 02:15:14 AM »
Hi Pokerbug -

SB will lose the pot here. It is unfortunate that the dealer made an error and effectively induced SB to fold by pushing him or her the pot prematurely.

However, it is ultimately the player's responsibility to protect their own hand and that includes being aware of the action, which in turn includes being aware of which players at the table have not folded and thus still have cards in their possession.

In this case, seat 8, being the last player with cards, would be awarded the pot, including the SB's full bet of 4K which has been duly called [see Rule 56, also see new Rule 13 B]. For what it's worth, if the SB's cards were still clearly retrievable and identifiable despite making a motion to fold, they would be given back to the SB, and the hand would be played out.

K
Agreed.
Agreed
DISAGREE Completely.

1) At worst both players are chopping the pot. 2) At best Seat 4 (SB) is getting their bet returned and losing the right to all previous called bets. Both rules referenced, #13 and #56 have no bearing here. They do not address pushed pots. How can you possibly blame any player for releasing their hand after they have received the pot? HOW? When are you supposed to release your cards to the dealer if not after they've pushed the pot to you? After the dealer checks under every players hand and under the rail? When? That's preposterous that you're going to penalize them for following the rules of being pushed the pot.

I can argue all day and twice on Sunday if we have to (as long as football is over) for both rulings above. The reason #1 is worse is because Seat 4 benefits for not paying attention and actually nets 1,500 in chips. In option #2 Seat 4 loses 1,000 in chips and the right to all previous called bets, which is 5,000.

Of course I can argue it the other way as well, such as happened to me. I have first hand experience of having this happen to me. Therefore I'm extremely adamant about never releasing my cards and telling players the same. You're not getting my cards until I got every last chip in front me.

My actual hand was as follows - I'm in Seat 7 in BB. Everyone folds to Seat 5 and Seat 6 who limp for the call. I check and see the flop. I flop a full house. We checked and see the turn. Seat 6 checks and I bet (amount is irrelevant). Seat 5 calls, Seat 6 calls. River. Seat 6 checks. I bet, I get engaged in conversation with Seat 8 and 10. Pot gets pushed to me. I give the dealer my cards. Dealer mucks the board and begins to scramble. Seat 6 says "Hey I have cards". Everyone freezes in disbelief. How is this possible? What do you mean you have cards? We all look and see that he has both hands completely covering his cards. He lifts his hands and shows that in fact there are cards under them. Floor comes over and rules a chopped pot. Seems illogical to me since I'm involved in the hand and seeing how seat 6 was completely concealing his hand from everyone and the bet had never been called. The reason the floor made it a chopped pot was because he asked Seat 6 if he intended to call and Seat 6 replied, "Of Course!" "I have an Ace!" he says. I'm looking at the floor in complete disbelief.

But I guess I should be grateful, because if any of you guys would have been on the floor I WOULD'VE LOST ALL MY BETS AND THE POT!!  :o  :'(

So I had a very similar situation tonight.  Although the ruling is pretty much "standard" now, players still get upset....

8 handed table.  Blinds are 2000-4000.  Seat 8 has the SB, Seat 1 has the BB.  Action folds around to seat 6 who goes all-in for ~12000. Seats 7 and 8 fold.

Dealer forgets that the BB is in seat 1 and has not yet acted, and pushes the pot to Seat 6.  Seat 6, seeing the pot pushed to her, releases her hand, which gets irretrievably mucked by the dealer.

Seat 1 points out that she still has cards, and the dealer admits his error.  Seat 1's cards are still beneath a chip protector in front of her, and there was no indication that her cards were not in plain view to the table.

I ruled that the pot goes to seat 1, being the last person with live cards; seat 6 will lose the amount of the call (4000) but the rest of her wager (i.e. the uncalled portion of the all-in bet) is returned.   

Would anyone else have handled this differently?  Seat 6 was livid.
Much easier, the bet is uncalled. Ruling this the same.
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K-Lo

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2013, 05:53:17 AM »
1) At worst both players are chopping the pot. 2) At best Seat 4 (SB) is getting their bet returned and losing the right to all previous called bets. Both rules referenced, #13 and #56 have no bearing here. They do not address pushed pots.

I think the last point identifies the big problem here - as you say, the rules don't address pushed pots specifically.  On the one hand, you have an explicit rule that says "If a player does not fully table his cards, then mucks thinking he has won, he does so at his own risk. If the cards are not 100% identifiable and the TD rules that the hand could not clearly be read, the player has no claim to the pot", which may or may not apply, and on the other hand, you have ...  well... a "practice tip" that most people have heard of but has not been explicitly reflected in any rule book (I may be mistaken but I don't think I've seen any actual "rules" regarding pushed pots, although perhaps we should have one).

Thomas, when I first read your answer "DISAGREE Completely", it sounded like you were suggesting that the SB should be awarded the whole pot. But your option #2 has the SB effectively losing the pot anyways, so I don't think it is that much different from what the others have agreed on. Whether SB should get a "penalty" of the "called" 4K is at least debatable.

I don't like the "chopping the pot" solution. I think that's just a cop out to avoid making a difficult decision. In addition to the discovery of a fouled deck, I think chopping the pot should generally be reserved, in theory, for very extreme situations -- possibly where the house has made a huge error and both players are completely innocent. I'm not sure that's the case here.

To be clear, if there is evidence that an opponent hid his cards or that the cards were otherwise not in plain view, and that contributed to everyone at the table believing that the hand was over, then I actually would have no problem with even awarding the SB the pot as pushed in some cases. That certainly would seem to be defensible and in my view, fair. I would therefore not expect that the dealer has to check for all cards under the rail every time (that sounds pretty dramatic)... but I think both the dealer and the players have an obligation to follow the action and be reasonably certain that all action in the hand is complete before accepting the pot.

Quote
My actual hand was as follows - I'm in Seat 7 in BB. Everyone folds to Seat 5 and Seat 6 who limp for the call. I check and see the flop. I flop a full house. We checked and see the turn. Seat 6 checks and I bet (amount is irrelevant). Seat 5 calls, Seat 6 calls. River. Seat 6 checks. I bet, I get engaged in conversation with Seat 8 and 10. Pot gets pushed to me. I give the dealer my cards. Dealer mucks the board and begins to scramble. Seat 6 says "Hey I have cards". Everyone freezes in disbelief. How is this possible? What do you mean you have cards? We all look and see that he has both hands completely covering his cards. He lifts his hands and shows that in fact there are cards under them.

Just so I'm clear, how would you have ruled in your own situation?  Would you have awarded yourself the pot or would you have returned your river bet and awarded seat 6 the remainder of the pot?

In any event, this is a much different situation. There does not seem to be any doubt that the cards were hidden. It is safe to assume that no one at the table could have reasonably verified that there was still action to be had.

However, poker is a visual game -- if an opponent's cards are in plain view, and especially if the called chips were put forth in plain view, I believe players have a responsibility to know what that means... there is still action pending.  Could I accept the possibility of returning the SB's last bet in questionable situations?  Perhaps.  Would I award the SB the pot just because it was pushed to him?  No way.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 07:21:43 AM by K-Lo »

Tristan

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2013, 12:40:11 PM »
Yeah, I see those situations as different as well.  Hidden cards are one thing, but in this situation seat 8 did no wrong.  The funny thing is that I would have an easier time understanding a chop pot than I would giving a player a called bet back even though, in this situation, seat 8 would come out better that way (I think).

When I went back to re-read the original post, I was a bit confused with how much is actually in the pot.  5 players limped to see the pot, but none of the 5 seem to be the big blind unless seat 8 is actually the big blind and there are some empty seats.  So I couldn't really determine the pot size, not that that should really have any bearing on the decision anyway.
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WSOPMcGee

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2013, 02:51:52 AM »
1) At worst both players are chopping the pot. 2) At best Seat 4 (SB) is getting their bet returned and losing the right to all previous called bets. Both rules referenced, #13 and #56 have no bearing here. They do not address pushed pots.

I think the last point identifies the big problem here - as you say, the rules don't address pushed pots specifically.  On the one hand, you have an explicit rule that says "If a player does not fully table his cards, then mucks thinking he has won, he does so at his own risk. If the cards are not 100% identifiable and the TD rules that the hand could not clearly be read, the player has no claim to the pot", which may or may not apply, and on the other hand, you have ...  well... a "practice tip" that most people have heard of but has not been explicitly reflected in any rule book (I may be mistaken but I don't think I've seen any actual "rules" regarding pushed pots, although perhaps we should have one).

Thomas, when I first read your answer "DISAGREE Completely", it sounded like you were suggesting that the SB should be awarded the whole pot. But your option #2 has the SB effectively losing the pot anyways, so I don't think it is that much different from what the others have agreed on. Whether SB should get a "penalty" of the "called" 4K is at least debatable.
Correct. I'm glad I saw this thread and wish this would have been able to be addressed at the Summit. This subject matter has way more weight IMO than most of the other subjects that were addressed. It's definitely a sore spot with me due my first hand experience. It's one thing to have the dealer swipe your unprotected cards and lose out on a pot because of both player error and dealer error combined. It's a whole different situation to have the pot pushed to you, you receive the chips and then release your cards after accepting the pot and then have it taken away from you because the dealer failed to see that some other player hasn't protected their own action. There's a thread that I can't seem to find where I advocate that the dealer is in fact part of the action. Meaning that when the dealer raps the table, that is your clue as a player that all action has been concluded for that betting round. Speak up of forever hold your peace and lose your right to act. There's also another reference I saw

So I'm in no way in favor like you and many others, of letting the SB win the hand in this spot. However, I'm not in favor of complete and total collateral damage either. The only reason the SB doesn't have cards is because the dealer pushed the pot to them. So the only options available here are a refund of the called bet, which many folks would go crazy over I'm sure or to chop the pot, which a whole other group would go crazy over as well. But which is the least damage to both players who didn't do anything wrong. The person in this equation who did anything wrong is our Dealer. So why are we penalizing any of the players?

This is not the same as the Gail Baumann situation where the player threw his cards in thinking he won the blinds and the TDA felt compelled to address this in Rule #13. It's completely different.

This is a situation where a bet was called verbally, heard by two players, but not the whole table and not even the dealer, nor were there any chips pushed into the pot to make the call. The player by the posters own account was still counting chips and had made no motion to the pot. How can we in good faith hold accountable the person who got pushed the pot  for not knowing that another player had cards? When you get pushed a pot you are in full faith that all other players have folded. That's just common instinct.
Quote
I don't like the "chopping the pot" solution. I think that's just a cop out to avoid making a difficult decision. In addition to the discovery of a fouled deck, I think chopping the pot should generally be reserved, in theory, for very extreme situations -- possibly where the house has made a huge error and both players are completely innocent. I'm not sure that's the case here.
So you agree with me, that Chopping the pot is the best option. You say it here yourself in bold. The dealer is part of the house. The dealer works for the house. The dealer is an instrument the house employs to control the game. You know by most of my posts here that I'm no advocate for placing blame on the dealer in 90% of my posts. The players are to be held accountable too. But for me, in this case. I just don't see it.

Quote
To be clear, if there is evidence that an opponent hid his cards or that the cards were otherwise not in plain view, and that contributed to everyone at the table believing that the hand was over, then I actually would have no problem with even awarding the SB the pot as pushed in some cases. That certainly would seem to be defensible and in my view, fair. I would therefore not expect that the dealer has to check for all cards under the rail every time (that sounds pretty dramatic)... but I think both the dealer and the players have an obligation to follow the action and be reasonably certain that all action in the hand is complete before accepting the pot.
Again... you agree with me, although you try to persuade yourself from it ;)

Quote
Quote
My actual hand was as follows - I'm in Seat 7 in BB. Everyone folds to Seat 5 and Seat 6 who limp for the call. I check and see the flop. I flop a full house. We checked and see the turn. Seat 6 checks and I bet (amount is irrelevant). Seat 5 calls, Seat 6 calls. River. Seat 6 checks. I bet, I get engaged in conversation with Seat 8 and 10. Pot gets pushed to me. I give the dealer my cards. Dealer mucks the board and begins to scramble. Seat 6 says "Hey I have cards". Everyone freezes in disbelief. How is this possible? What do you mean you have cards? We all look and see that he has both hands completely covering his cards. He lifts his hands and shows that in fact there are cards under them.

Just so I'm clear, how would you have ruled in your own situation?  Would you have awarded yourself the pot or would you have returned your river bet and awarded seat 6 the remainder of the pot?

In any event, this is a much different situation. There does not seem to be any doubt that the cards were hidden. It is safe to assume that no one at the table could have reasonably verified that there was still action to be had.

However, poker is a visual game -- if an opponent's cards are in plain view, and especially if the called chips were put forth in plain view, I believe players have a responsibility to know what that means... there is still action pending.  Could I accept the possibility of returning the SB's last bet in questionable situations?  Perhaps.  Would I award the SB the pot just because it was pushed to him?  No way.
In my situation I would have given myself the pot!! What self proclaimed poker player would give up any portion of a pot voluntarily? None. (KIDDING sorta). I would have give myself the pot. In my situation two things were really clear. There was a bet, in clear view (a giant stack of chips). Dealer had looked for other hands, did not see any, pushed the pot to me, I released my hand, dealer mucks the board and begins to scramble. It was not until this moment that the player with cards spoke up. Whats a reasonable time allotment here? How long does a player have in order to protect his hand. Is it before the pot is pushed? After the pot is pushed? Before a dealer begins to scramble for the next hand? Is it after the dealer begins to scramble? How long do we give him before his action is void? I mean, by all accounts assuming I would get a shot at the pot, it be in my best interest as a player to never fold my hand. Just wait for the dealer to push a pot and start to scramble and then say "Hey, I have cards" and win every pot uncontested.

I don't particularly like chopping pots either, but sometimes you have to ask yourself what is fair, pushing someone a pot simple because they have cards, when they haven't called all bets and the pot has been pushed, is absolute craziness.
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WSOPMcGee

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Re: Dealer error... now what??
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2013, 03:09:17 AM »
When I went back to re-read the original post, I was a bit confused with how much is actually in the pot.  5 players limped to see the pot, but none of the 5 seem to be the big blind unless seat 8 is actually the big blind and there are some empty seats.  So I couldn't really determine the pot size
Read it again ;)
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