Author Topic: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?  (Read 14232 times)

Kenjanis

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Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« on: November 02, 2013, 05:40:15 PM »
I'm new to this forum and I would like some feedback.  I had a situation in a  NLHE tournament where the betting was folded to the highjack who just called, the button was talking to another player and the small blind acted out of turn and called and the big blind checked.  Then the button decided that he wanted to raise.  The TD was called and ruled that the button could act and he raised.  I contended that substantial action had taken place sighting rule 38b. Should the TD have had the button muck his hand?  Should he let him just call? Or is the raise correct?  Thanks
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 07:22:04 PM by MikeB »

MikeB

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 07:21:35 PM »
Hello Ken: Awesome question. IMO here are the facts on this situation in light of the debate at TDA Summit VI and the new resulting rule 38B:

1. FIRST ask if the button had reasonable time to follow the action and defend his right to act, as is stipulated in Rule 38-B. If this situation happened "in a blur", where a reasonable person would get trapped as he did, then use Rule 1. The button is still at the mercy of the TD, but the rule clearly allows for the decision the TD made here IF the button did not have reasonable time.

But, from your description it sounds more like the button was distracted, not paying attention so...

2. IF you decide the skipped player had reasonable time to follow the action and act to defend his action then....
3. There is substantial action out of turn because you have "two players acting, at least one with chips (the SB)"...
4. The action of the SB and BB is now binding.

On ALL of the above there is widespread agreement, and it applies regardless of....

5. "The TD will be called to render a decision on how to handle the skipped hand..."   This is where there is not yet consensus and if TDA Summit VI debate is any indication, there may not ever be consensus. There's a large group of very intelligent and experienced TDs who favor killing the hand and there's an equal group that favors allowing the skipped player to just call the action to him (the BB), thereby keeping him in the hand and locking in the out-of-turn action.

Thanks for raising the issue, this may be the first thread with example on SA OOT since the Summit... I did modify the title of your thread so it's clear as to the specific subject in question.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 07:24:17 PM by MikeB »

Nick C

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 07:57:02 PM »
kenjanis,

 With the situation you described, I would allow the skipped player to call only...because substantial action passed him by. If the dealer burns and turns before the skipped player reacts...then I would rule his hand dead. Substantial action has to be respected in these situations, unless (of course) the player is stalling and/or is deliberate in allowing the action to pass him by. That's the ruling I would have enforced. I always felt that a quick, crisp response, is the best way to settle the mishap. Be firm and convey confidence in your decision and encourage the dealer to proceed without rehashing what transpired.

 I can not understand how anyone would consider killing the skipped player's hand. Therefore I will put myself in the "group" that favors allowing the skipped player to just call.

 An interesting little twist to your situation, let's say; the hijack player calls and before the button reacts the BB checks (OOT) before the SB calls...Would you allow the button all options?
I would.

Tristan

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 08:17:01 PM »
I would be in the other group.  I would have made the button's hand dead provided they had ample time to try and stop the action.  Not only because it is our house rule, but also because I don't like that the player gains all the additional information before they act...plus then we lose our measuring point.  After substantial action, at what point do we stop allowing them the opportunity to call? 

Example:  6 players in the hand on the flop.  A bets, B calls, (C is skipped), D raises, E raises, F calls, A calls, B raises, and we now notice C has cards...can they call?  At what point are they responsible to stop the action and point out the error?  What if they get skipped more than once in the same round?  Is their hand dead then?


An interesting little twist to your situation, let's say; the hijack player calls and before the button reacts the BB checks (OOT) before the SB calls...Would you allow the button all options?
I would.

I would too...there was only one action behind 2 skipped players.  Not substantial action.
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MikeB

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 09:19:43 PM »


5. ..... and there's an equal group that favors allowing the skipped player to just call the action to him (the BB), thereby keeping him in the hand and locking in the out-of-turn action.


And just to clarify, this latter group draws some of their position from a classic if obscure line in RRoP:
12. To retain the right to act, a player must stop the action by calling “time” (or an equivalent word). Failure to stop the action before three or more players have acted behind you may cause you to lose the right to act.

Section 3: General Poker, Betting and Raising, Paragraph 12.

Bob Ciaffone clarified in correspondence several years ago that by "lose the right to act" he was referring to losing the right to take aggressive action, rather than having a dead hand. Also he uses 3 players acting which can be seen as his version of substantial action in these cases, whereas the TDA uses 2 players (one with chips), or any 3 actions for S.A.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 09:21:13 PM by MikeB »

Nick C

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 10:34:51 AM »
Mike,

 Based on what Bob Ciaffone said, would you agree that the skipped player's hand should not be killed?

MikeB

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 11:03:47 AM »
Mike,

 Based on what Bob Ciaffone said, would you agree that the skipped player's hand should not be killed?
 

I would definitely agree with it IF I'm in the camp that does not favor killing hands in these situations. But, as previously posted, there are two camps within the TDA on this issue and it's my impression that endless debate about it will not change these fundamental positions.  So as to give respect to both camps, I deliberately withheld my personal preference on the matter from the prior posts.

I'd be curious to hear from others present at Summit VI whether they think there's a likelihood a consensus will be reached on this, or whether we'll have to "agree to disagree" on this one.

In the mean time, unless and until a consensus ever is reached I think it's advisable to put into your house rules which way your house is going to be rule in these situations. Perhaps some houses may not want to do that, instead withholding determination and basing rulings on the totality of facts in each separate case.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 11:07:00 AM by MikeB »

Tristan

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 11:29:19 AM »
I would support some kind of a compromise.  I would just like to see a point in which the skipped player is responsible for speaking up.

Example:  When faced with a bet, a skipped player will be held to non-aggressive action if skipped by TDA definition of substantial action, but the hand is dead if MORE than substantial action occurs provided the player had ample time to stop the action.  More includes any player action beyond substantial action OR a dealer burning and turning after substantial action. 
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K-Lo

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 12:52:16 PM »
I am with Tristan.  In my view, the OOT player must have some obligation to point out that he is being skipped without delay.  I understand that the OOT bettors are also to blame, and that we generally do not want to kill hands, but at some point, the onus of pointing out the error must fall back to the skipped player.  In the example, even though the next street has not been dealt, the skipped player has way much more information than I think he should be entitled to, particularly if he didn't bother to speak up right away once the SB called.

Nick C

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 03:03:42 PM »
Tristan and Ken,

 The SB player acted out of turn...and the BB checked. There was no mention of a lapse of time. This is covered by Robert's Rules. I realize RRoP is for cash games but we constantly refer to it when we are undecided about tournament rulings. The SB acted out of turn, followed by the BB who was misled by the SB, who was not corrected by the dealer or the skipped player. If the dealer was paying attention to the action; he would have corrected the OOT SB...that did not happen. If we could somehow decipher that the skipped player was deliberate in allowing the action to pass him by, then of course a penalty or warning would be in order. However, until the dealer burns and turns, there is no way to kill the skipped player's hand...per Robert's Rules.

 Tristan, as far as going beyond substantial action (with more than two or three player's) I don't feel that would ever work because most of the time the action is down to too few player's and often it's head to head. That also brings me to another one of my unanswered questions from long ago: Are we to recognize the dealer as one of the persons included for substantial action, when he condones an out of turn?

 The original post, would never warrant killing the skipped player's hand...not in any poker game I've ever played in, house game, or casino, cash or tournament.

K-Lo

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 04:45:25 PM »
There was no mention of a lapse of time.

This is a piece of information that I feel needs to be considered. 

I am fine with allowing him to have all options available if he spoke up without delay. 

Tristan

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 06:37:11 PM »
I would have made the button's hand dead provided they had ample time to try and stop the action. 

Yep yep.
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Nick C

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 04:15:32 AM »
Ken,

 If it is determined that a player, next to act, intentionally allows action to pass him by...his hand should be ruled dead! However, the skipped player should be allowed all options if the wrong player bets, or the dealer directs the action to the wrong player. When substantial action follows the skipped player, he will have a live hand but can take no aggressive action.

 This is why the dealer must be counted as a person when considering "substantial action." Without counting the dealer, substantial action is impossible during heads-up play! When a betting round is complete, the dealer should "tap and burn" before turning any board card. If a player were skipped, this is the time to speak! Failure to announce that you were skipped before the board is turned will result in a dead hand.

 This leads to another situation that occurs far too often. The last player to act, on any betting round, must also speak up before the dealer burns and turns...however, his hand will not be killed and the premature board card, or cards, must be re-dealt.

 Mike, earlier I asked you how you felt about what Bob Ciaffone said and you said you agreed but then went on to tell us about the other camp. Which camp are you in?

MikeB

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 09:55:02 AM »
Mike, earlier I asked you how you felt about what Bob Ciaffone said and you said you agreed but then went on to tell us about the other camp. Which camp are you in?


Ahhh... the SAOOT pros and cons...

Bottom line is I'm generally in the Ciaffone camp at the first moment SA occurs, i.e. when the 2nd of 2 players with chips acts, or a 3rd checker / folder. The reason is it just seems too harsh for my liking to kill the hand immediately. Because if one less player had acted, we would look at the skipped player as a victim. But when one more player acts (and triggers SA), we give the skipped player the death penalty. The more reasonable sequence for my tastes, is victim > no aggressive action > death penalty. Obviously I use the TDA definition of SA, not RRoP's.

This said, I 100% recognize the other camp that prefers killing a skipped hand in SAOOT cases. These are camps with strong convictions rooted in "philosophy" of poker and objectively you can't say one is better than the other...

For the moment venues should put into their house rules how SAOOT is treated, so there's no surprises, this does happen if infrequently.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 11:47:51 AM by MikeB »

K-Lo

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Re: Substantial Action out of turn: How to treat the skipped hand?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 11:11:42 AM »
When substantial action follows the skipped player, he will have a live hand but can take no aggressive action.

Ultimately, I think it will be more practical to leave it to the discretion of the TD to determine whether the fairest decision will be to allow the skipped player to act with all options available, allow the skipped player to act but not take aggressive action, or to have the hand killed.  I can envision situations in which any of these rulings would, in my mind, be the fairest solution.

I am fine with using the minimum actions in the definition of substantial action as repreesenting a first "goal post"... If substantial action has just occurred, in most cases, the skipped player would lose his right to take aggressive action unless the out of turn actions occurred so quickly that it would be unfair to penalize the skipped player.

But, as Tristan suggests, I agree that we should be open to the possibility of a harsher outcome (e.g. Killing the hand) if the action has gone significantly past that first goal post.  I do not favor a set rule that guarantees the skipped player's hand will be live.  For example, I think there is a big difference if there has been a call-fold and the skipped player speaks up, and if there has been six subsequent folds before the skipped player speaks up, despite the fact that both situations would constitute substantial action and the dealer has still not dealt the next street in both cases. 

Substantial action PLUS further delay must be met with more serious consequences for the skipped player; even if the skipped player claims he did not intentionally allow the OOT actions to occur, at some point, as more and more actions beyond the initial goal post occur, his excuse loses more and more credibility.

In summary, it may be that any new rule will need to come about from a combination of the approaches that we have discussed.  However, I don't think that a set rule that keeps the hand live based solely on whether substantial action has or has not occurred is a complete solution.