Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Get Letters: Ohcowboy12go's Dilemma

I love hearing from my readers.  My friends, really. 

Of course I get plenty of comments in reaction to my posts, all of which I appreciate.  Well, almost all. 

But I also get tweets and emails from you folks, and I appreciate those too.  One of the things people write to me about is online poker. It seems that with further USA options opening up,  there’s a lot of interest in playing online.  It's great playing from the comfort of your home, and I always found it great practice for when you're ready to hit the brick and mortar rooms.  I actually learned how to play online.  I started with really small stakes and then worked my way up. Great way to get into poker--and to hone your skills.  Just remember that the games tend be a lot looser online.  Although with some of the crazy play I've seen live, maybe not so much anymore!

Then there are the folks who love to tell me about the hand they just lost with the dreaded pocket Kings.  And of course I’m always willing and able to offer them sympathy when I hear a story like that.

And sometimes, a reader writes in to tell me of a situation that want my reaction to, some feedback on.  I have to say, it’s not usually poker strategy.  I guess my readers are pretty smart in that regard.

But I do talk a lot about etiquette and floor rulings. There are quite a few posts here with that label.  So it wasn’t that surprising when an email from “Ohcowboy12go” showed up a few days ago. I’m gonna call him Cowboy for short, I hope he doesn’t mind.  You’ve seen his comments on my blog and most of the others in our blogging community.

Anyway, here’s his email: 
.
"I’ve always respected your approach to the game of poker and wanted to get your opinion on how you would have reacted to the following situation.

Let me first give you some background to the situation.  I was playing 1-2 cash at the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino and was having a slow night.  I was down about $130 for the evening and was probably playing my B- game because I was not focusing on every hand.

After a couple of limpers, I raise it to $10 with TT and we go to the flop 5 handed.

Pot (53);  Flop T96dd;  Checks to me and I bet $35 and get called by 2 players.  One player has $6 left and the other player would call with any pair or any draw.

Pot (158);  Turn Kh;  First player goes all-in for $6, 2nd player calls $6; and I shove my last $110 into the pot.  2nd player calls.  I knew he would still call with any draw, any 2 pair, a smaller set or obviously a straight.

River; 2s;  First guy turns over his hand and shows QJ for the nut straight.  I turn over my set of tens.  The other guy turns over his hand and I see an 8.

The dealer starts to count my stack (I had less than player 2) and then mucks player’s 2 hand.  I had assumed that I had won the side pot since I didn’t see the other player’s hand.  The player sitting next to the 2nd player stated that he had a straight also and that player said yes I had 87 for the straight to the ten.  The dealer apologized and agreed that she missed the straight and gave the side pot to the 2nd player.

All hands were tabled and nobody mucked their own hand.  However, the 2nd player didn’t protect his hand until the pot was given to him.  Now part of this issue is my fault because I was not being 100% alert and getting all of the info that I could and looking to see what player 2 called me with.  Due to the dealer’s actions, I was already calculating how much of a gain/loss I had on the hand given winning the side pot and losing the main pot.

I don’t believe the other players were lying or angle shooting on making up the straight hand.  Given all of this info, would you have called the floor to get a ruling?  I think if I would have done this, I would have ended up winning the side pot due to player 2’s hand being mucked.  (This is based on other rulings I’ve seen at this casino).  

Conclusion:  I didn’t call the floor and accepted the loss.  

Let me know your thoughts. "

I’m going to give you my initial response to Cowboy’s story, but I would also love to hear from the rest of you to see if you agree.

Here’s what I said: 

"It's a tough situation.  If you thought that maybe the dealer didn't see the straight and was taking the other person's word for it, then I would definitely have asked for the floor.

But if you think the dealer saw the straight and just made a mistake, I wouldn't question it.  Yeah, technically you could say the guy deserved to lose the pot for not protecting his hand but.....maybe you deserved to lose it for not paying attention to his hand when he showed it?  I think it would be a bit extreme to claim a pot you didn't win based on his neglect.  If the error wasn't discovered until later, and no one but the guy could verify his straight, that's one thing but....not as it played out. "

Cowboy wrote back and said: 

"Thanks for your input.  I felt the same way that you did and that is why that I acted in that manner.  I’m not 100% sure that the dealer realized the straight, but I think she was persuaded by the players that were adamant and I didn’t protest so it was an easy decision for her. "

I had also asked him if it would be ok if I reprinted his email as sort of a guest-post and he said fine.

Not only is this worth discussing because of the issue involved (protesting the pot being awarded to someone else) but I think it is once again a great reminder of “protecting your hand.”  Of course, the guy in the story didn’t protect his hand….but neither did Cowboy.  By not focusing on what his opponent hand, he left himself questioning whether the dealer had done the right thing.

Actually, I sometimes have difficulty seeing what my opponent is holding at showdown, if he’s on the opposite side of the table.  My eyes are not great.  In that case, I always ask the dealer.  Some dealers are not very good about taking the winning player’s cards and putting them in the center so everyone can see them.  In this case, the dealer didn’t do that because she thought he had lost, initially. So it is a bit of tricky situation.  I’d be interested to see if anyone thinks Cowboy should have contested the ruling.

Another thing people contact me for is advice.  Where to play, where to stay, where to eat.  It’s nice that they respect my opinion.  I do the best I can, but when people ask me where to get great Mexican food in Vegas, they’re asking the wrong guy.  Anyway, it’s no wonder I get questions like that.  According to this article in the RJ, tourism to Vegas is on a record pace. With so many people coming to town, of course a few of them will be desperate enough to ask for my advice!

Anyway, I always appreciate hearing from you, whether it’s by email, or tweet, or a blog comment.  And by the way, if you can’t find my email address right over the right side of this blog, you could always get in touch with me by leaving a comment on the current post.  No comments are published until I approve them, so just start your comment by saying, “I don’t want this published but….” And I will read your message and respond appropriately.  Or inappropriately, as the case may be.

Just remember….in the words of Frasier Crane, “I’m listening.”

36 comments:

  1. This is not a case where "protecting your hand" is much of an issue. Yes, when you think you have a winning hand (winning any part of the pot, that is), it's good practice to keep a finger or your card protector on your face-up cards until the dealer pushes you the pot, at which time you can relinquish your cards in exchange for the pot. But it's not a culpable failure to protect your hand if you don't carry it that far. Once you have properly tabled your cards so that both are face up, visible, and flat on their backs on the table, the dealer cannot kill it if it's a winning hand. If the dealer makes a mistake, grabs them and stuffs them in the muck, you still have a live hand, and still the winning hand. It will require the floor to sort it out, relying either on the word of the dealer and players, or perhaps going to the security cameras if necessary to determine the winner. (Then chips should be put into "escrow" while that happens.) But it's really a completely different situation than the one where the dealer accidentally mucks a player's UNSEEN cards. Then there is no recourse. When the cards have been tabled, there is recourse to whatever it takes for the floor to reconstruct the hand and set things right.

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    1. You're right, as usual, Grump.

      However, I think that since the dealer admitted the mistake, saying the other player did indeed have a straight, it would have been hard for Cowboy to argue. I suppose he could have insisted that the floor be called over and decided not to, even though he felt that the dealer might not have actually seen the straight and took the other player's word for it.

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  2. poker content A boobies content F.

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    1. Not so fast, anger. Do you know who the lady is with Kelsey Grammer in the pic. I'm interested to see if anyone figures out why I went with that particular shot.

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    2. it looks like jennifer tilly

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    3. A google search thinks it is Jennifer Tilly. Poker player, hottie with big ones = the complete package, no?

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    4. Yes, yes,. it is indeed Jennifer Tilly. I remembered that Ms. Tilly had actually played the love interest of the character Frasier Crane, who I mentioned at the end of the post, not once, but twice. Once on Cheers, which this shot is from, and once many years later on Frasier.

      I couldn't find a pic of her with Frasier on that show, the one from Cheers was the only one I could find. I really didn't recognize her so I had to confirm that it was her. It is.

      So.....tying in with my text, I was able to include poker and big boobies into the graphic. Perfect!

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  3. question is there an IN and OUT BURGER within walking distance of a LA poker room?????? and do they sell BAJA BLAST in LA???????

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    1. I'm not aware of any In N Out Burgers near any LA poker rooms. However, if there was, I wouldn't recommend walking there. No LA poker room is in an area you really want to do a lot of walking around.

      I have see BAJA Blast in LA supermarkets. But I keep looking for a diet version and don't see that.

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    2. is that normal 4 cali cardrooms bcuz the GOLDEN WEST CASINO in BAKO was in an economically deprived part of town AKA shithole. LOL.

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    3. Well, they sure don't put them in Beverly Hills, or Malibu, I can assure you of that.

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    4. but y is that,sir????????? the ones i want to in florida ,when i lived there( club 52 in melbourne and daytona beach poker room in (wait 4 it) daytona beach) were in decent parts of town. just saying.

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    5. I have no inside knowledge. If I had to guess, I'd say two things.

      1. The residents of the really nice neighborhoods--or even the ok neighborhoods--don't want anything as "filthy" as gambling around.

      2. The cost of real estate in those nicer neighborhoods is so high, there's no way the casino could make a profit.

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    6. those r good answers( guesses)

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    7. A burger? Stick to fried Oreos, burgers and fries are unhealthy for you.

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    8. i agree,MOJO but i dont think there is a restaurant that sells them BUT if rob ever goes to san fran. PLZZZZZZZZZZ go to this coffeeshop called TROUBLE or THE RED DOOR. they have the nerve to sell a slice of toast for 4 dollars. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no wonder cali had to raise the min wage

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  4. I think Rakewell makes some good points. I've seen a few times dealers making mistakes in the UK at small local tournaments and they mostly fob it off kind of ruins the game for me even if small stakes.

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    1. Thanks, Ash. We must remember that dealers are human. Sometimes its hard. :)

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  5. Rakewell knows too much about poker to b in north carolina. imo. P3 should draft a complaint or draft or something to force him back to Las Vegas or any poker room( florida is close). i like cat pics and trader joes( never been there. dollar tree biiiiiiiiiiiitches) too BUT reading a certain PROS blog about sleeping,price of peanut butter rising,the struggles of finding the correct microwave/ putting together a box fan,etc,etc makes me miss the poker grump blog like Shaq use to miss free throws.

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    1. Some of your stream of consciousness comments just totally crack me up, anger How you got from Grump to Shaq is incredible.

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    2. LOL thanks but cant take all the credit. mary jane and guinness r contributing factors as well

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    3. Mary Jane & Guinness? Is that a new detective show on HBO?

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    4. it should b. i am trying to catch up on all my HBO shows( THE WIRE,DEADWOOD,TRUE BLOOD,etc,etc) speaking of dick shows(the other word too long LOL. c what i did there) they r making a movie based on the old show THE EQUALIZER. i use to love that show. i wonder if any1 like netflix,hulu,etc,etc has the old episodes.

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    5. I don't recall The Equalizer but it doesn't appear to be on Amazon instant video or Netflix. However, with a new movie coming out, that would become more likely.

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  6. Problem with calling the floor is it gives the dealer so much power, (this is a problem in general) the dealer if he likes the guy will claim yeah he had a straight just to avoid controversy. if he dont like the guy, he will then be honest and admit he didnt see it.

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    1. Yeah, to some degree you're always at the mercy of the dealer.

      Hopefully if you have to call the floor you get a fair ruling.

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    2. some1 has to run/control the game,STUpid UNGER to make sure the degen deadbeat father gamblers dont throw glasses or talk shit when they lose bcuz of their shitty play

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  7. Grump's discussion of properly tabling your hand makes me think of one of my BIGGEST pet peeves in Poker ... when I'm heads-up with another player for the pot, I have position ... he makes a bet on the river, and I CALL.

    Then I sit there ... wait ... while he stares at me ... and doesn't turn his hand over. WTF? I MADE THE CALL, DUDE - time to show me what you've got.

    I used to just call and turn my hand over ... then wait for the other guy to table his hand if he had me beat. I don't do that anymore - I paid to see the cards, so show me.

    Why do people do that?? Drives me bat-shit insane.

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    1. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PREACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. @VegasDWP---Grump used to get on me for showing my cards first when it wasn't on my to show first (ie, I had called, not been called). I try to avoid doing that unless I have a monster and not showing right away would smack of slow rolling.

      But I think a lot of people don't want to show how badly they've played a hand if they don't have to. Maybe disguise if they were totally naked bluffing or just betting a weak but possibly winning hand. I don't know. I always wonder why sometimes a guy's bluff is called and instead of showing, the just muck the cards. Look, when you do that, we know you were bluffing with air anyway, what difference does it make if it was pocket deuces or 7-2?

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  8. I was a table recently where a floor was called as a result of cowboy's and DWP's issues. The action was down to seat 6 and seat 9. There were acting in order of their seat nos, seat 6 acting first. They both checked on the river. Seat 9 held both of his hole cards, face down in his left hand, over the table (not touching the table) and moved his hand slightly over the betting line and waited. Seat 6 stared at seat 9 (for what seemed like an eternity) then placed his hole cards on the table face down and slid them toward the dealer. Seat 9 then placed his cards on the table face up, with his hand still on them and the dealer began to shove him the pot. Seat 6 errupted in an angry tirade that the pot should have been his because seat 9 mucked and seat 6 felt he had won the pot uncontested and did not have to show. Oddly, for me, I was paying attention at the end of the hand it was clear that seat 9 was holding onto his hand waiting for seat 6 to show first LIKE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO, instead of being a jerk. The dealer had no clue what had happened, just that he had mucked two cards and was in the process of giving the pot to two tabled cards. A floor was called and seat 9 awarded the pot. (He had the hand that would have won anyway if both sets of cards had been properly tabled). Seat 6 felt like seat 9's move with his left hand constituted a muck, despite the cards not leaving his hand and not even touching the table.

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    1. Thanks, Agsweep. I've seen Seat 9's move a lot....guy is just waiting for the other player to show. If he has a losing hnd, he's not gonna show. But if he has the winner, he'll flip them over. Seat 6 was wrong, he never should have let go his cards until the dealer had the other player's cards in the muck. I hope it wasn't a big pot.

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  9. Rob,
    Thanks for posting my situation and receiving the responses that you did.

    I actually have a confession to make about the situation. The reason that I was tilting prior to this hand was that I loaned my phone to a dirty-blonde young girl and then she proceeded to blackmail me with text messages stating that she was going to call my wife and tell her that I was seeing her (a prostitute). After the hand in question, I flipped the table over and everybody's chips went flying. For some reason, I was escorted by security out of the casino and 86'd.

    Now I'm sitting at home soothing myself over a nice big bowl of Bob Evan's mashed potatoes.

    ohcowboy12go

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