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Pre-match bollocks

They did get me a car to Caesars.  Yay!  I’ve just done my pre-match interview nonsense, which involved me struggling to think of anything interesting to say whilst trying to smile and not look like a psychopath.  After I maxed out on poker last night, I’m pretty spaced and trying to be human was all a bit too much effort really.

My mimes are: trying to look tired (as I’ve travelled further than anyone else this week); jazz hands (they will project Vegas behind me, apparently); trying to not drop a laptop whilst typing with one hand.  For all of them they kept asking to tilt my head down to avoid glare from my glasses, but I’m sure this will just have created new glare from my rapidly thinning scalp.

Now I have some free time (wowee) until dinner later, when I’ll get my $500 in chips.  In the meantime I’m contemplating a poker-free day.  Yesterday I played three tournaments and three hours of no-limit and nothing went right.  OK, maybe a poker-free afternoon.  There’s always the 11pm tourney at Caesars or $2/$4 over at the IP.

My champagne just arrived too.  Felt like I needed to tip but (a) they weren’t expecting me to be here and (b) I’m not going to drink it.  I might have the ice bucket though :)

So yesterday, I lost at The Orleans at midday, Binions at 8pm and the Strat at midnight, with a bit of $1/$2 NL inbetween.  I have bad beat stories from each if anyone would care to ask, but I’m sure they won’t.

Binions have let me down though.  Here’s the scenario.  We’re down to three tables and I’m in need of chips.  I see A7 and push.  It’s early position, but we’re seven handed, and I just can’t wait any longer.  I get one caller, but as we go to flip our cards the caller notices he no longer has them.  The dealer has taken his hand and mucked it.

Almost the exact same thing happened on Monday at the final table.  A player moves all in, a shorter stack calls and I umm and ah and fold pocket 7s – I have him covered but not by much.  Whilst I’m deciding the delaer has taken his hand.  Jenny the Floor comes over and tells it like it is – players must protect their hand, and as soon as it hits the muck it’s dead.  The short stack doubles up without even showing her cards.  If I’d called here, I’d have eliminated a player without showdown.  The floorlady shows a printed copy of the TDA rules to the protesting player and we move on.

So why, this time, is the hand recovered from the muck and played out?  I can’t really explain this without sounding like an angle-shooting asshole, and that’s exactly how I came across at the table.  I didn’t want to push too much because, basically, I agree that if the dealer makes a mistake costing the player a pot then they should try to make an effort to put things right.  But here’s how it actually played out.

Ethan the Floor whispers to the player.  The player whispers back.  Ethan picks up the muck, riffles through it and gives the player back two cards.  I ask why he’s changing the rules and he says, "I have discretion and I’m doing it for the integrity of the game".  So much for integrity when it’s one rule for one and one rule for another.  I was close to asking whether he knew the player, but thought better of it, took my shot against his pocket nines and left.

It was only on the bus back that I realised why this was so bad.  I don’t care so much about the hand being played out, but that rule is there for a reason.  It’s to ensure that cards cannot be swapped, and if your cards touch another player’s unprotected cards as you throw them in, both hands are instantly killed.  This is exactly the way the situation would be handled if the floorman was colluding with the player.  That’s not what I’m saying happened here, and I don’t believe it did.  It was just a power-hungry floorman who thought he was doing the right thing, and was not going to let anyone tell him what the actual rule was.  So now, sadly, there’s always going to be doubt in my mind as to whether something dodgy was going on here.  If they must go hunting for cards in the muck – which I’ve never seen done before, just the idea of doing so is ridiculous really – at least announce the cards you’re looking for out loud, and then turn the muck face up to see if it’s there and the cards are next to each other.

1 comment to Pre-match bollocks

  • Got my PokerDome show DVD at last!  I said after the pre-game interview that I was "trying to smile and not look like a psychopath".  Well, it didn’t work. I’m sure I’ll have more to say when I’ve seen it properly…

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