Thursday, April 2, 2015

Button Straddling Face Up

Well, I’m back from my latest Vegas excursion and it will be likely way too long until I return (likely not before the WSOP is underway).  Not to worry, this will give me plenty of time to catch up on my anecdotes from the three most recent trips—and possibly earlier ones.

But first I want to return to a topic I discussed in the post here, regarding when the action is reopened in a No Limit Hold’em game.  Recall that reader Ed said that an all-in of $95 after an opening bet of $60 was ruled to have reopened the betting action. When I asked my Vegas dealer twitter follows about this, the consensus was that a re-raise should not have been allowed, the shove had to be at least as much as original raise.  But Ed said that because the all-in was more than half the original raise, the next player was allowed to raise again.

Well, I questioned Ed and he originally said that he might have misremembered the all-in amount; perhaps it was $120.  But after that post ran, Ed checked back with the room (in California) where the action took place and was informed that the $95 all-in after a $60 raise does indeed reopen the betting in this room.  That is the house rule.  He was told he should have questioned it at the time if he had any doubt but was assured that was the house rule.

OK.  I guess the room has its own rules.  I did recall that when I asked the question on Twitter, someone actually posted a clip from the TDA rules that made clear that in a TDA tournament, the betting would not have been re-opened in this scenario.  I went back to Ed to confirm this room does indeed run tournaments.  So either the room doesn’t use TDA rules for its tournaments, or it has different rules for tournaments and cash games.  Interesting.  Of course, not all poker rooms run their tournaments under TDA rules.

Totally unrelated to that issue, there was a funny hand I witnessed up in Vegas a week or so ago.  The room was Caesars Palace, where they allow the (dreaded) button straddle.  You might remember how much I love the button straddle (see here).  In this game, there was this particular aggro Brit who loved, loved, loved to button straddle.  He did it every single orbit.  As it happened, for much of the game, the seat to my immediate right was open, and thus this Brit was button-straddling my big blind.  And sadly, Caesars does the button straddle the wrong way, the most heinous way possible, and starts the action on the small blind, not Under-the-Gun.


I waited it out, figuring on a Saturday night it wouldn’t take that long for the seat to my right to be filled.  The initial person who took that seat waited one orbit to change seats.  That first orbit, his big blind was button-straddled by the Brit, and he wasted no time in changing to the open seat to the Brit’s immediate right.  Why didn’t I take that seat?  Because I didn’t want to be on the immediate right of this aggro.  I wanted him to act before me most of the time.

Anyway, the next person who took the seat to my right was the Brit’s buddy.  He came from another table with a big stack, and was even more the aggro than his buddy was.  Except that until he had joined the table, he hadn’t yet learned to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of button-straddling.  But almost immediately, his pal convinced him to try it and he fell in love with it.  Lucky my, now my small blind was always being button-straddled, and the first action was on me.

Anyway, on the hand in question, the (original) aggro Brit was on the button and straddled, as always.  A few players called the straddle, including the player to the Brit’s immediately right, the fellow who had moved to that spot to avoid having his big blind constantly straddled.  So for this hand, he was in the cut-off seat.

Now, with all those limpers, the Brit did what I expected him to do, he put out a whole bunch of more chips and raised.  I think he had raised to $30 or $35.  One by one, the limpers folded.  And then the Brit laughed heartily and proudly showed his buddy—and the rest of us—his hand, which was Ace-King off. 

There was one problem.  The Brit hadn’t noticed that the fellow on his immediate right still had cards in front of him.  Yes, he had not yet acted.  The Brit had missed the fact that he had limped in and hadn’t yet folded.

Embarrassed, the Brit grabbed his cards and turned them face down, but it was too late.  Everyone, including the player who the action was on, had seen his Ace-King.  The Brit looked at the dealer for relief, but there was nothing to do.  It was the player’s own fault.  The cut-off player now had a decision to make and was playing against a guy who was quite literally playing his hand face up.  The cut-off went ahead and called the bet the Brit had made. The Brit kept his cards exposed and said to his pal, “Well, I guess there’s no bluffing this hand.” 

The flop was low, and clearly hadn’t connected with Ace-King.  First to act, the cut-off naturally bet, about $50 or so.  No bluffing this hand, huh?  Well no bluffing from the Brit, but was the cut-off bluffing? Heh heh.  He most likely was, although it was certainly possible one of those low cards had connected with his hand.  The Brit laughed nervously, looked at his buddy as if to ask “what can I do?” but he had no choice but to fold. 

It was a nice moment.  I can’t say I was sorry to see the aggro get his comeuppance.  The only thing I wondered was, would the cut-off show his hand?  I think if it had been me, and I had nothing, I would have gladly shown my hand.  OTOH, if I had caught a hand, I wouldn’t have shown.  Whatever, the guy didn’t show and when the Brit asked what he had, he remained silent. 

Does it make me a bad person for so thoroughly enjoying that hand?

28 comments:

  1. U should explain to stealthmunk

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    1. Explain the button straddle? Or why it's bad? He's welcome to come here and debate, but I suspect it he likes it I won't be able to change his mind. Some people really like it. See below, in fact.

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  2. I guess I am in the minority, but I don't mind this type of straddle at all...

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    1. Don't mind it....or like to do it yourself?

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    2. I will do it... not every orbit, but if I need to spice the game up, or notice that I have an unusual amount of nits at the table, I will throw a straddle out just to annoy them, and I know it makes them think I am playing a weaker game than I am. I think the $4 lost has paid for itself many times over in getting called light down the road... but that is just my opinion.

      Where the action starts, I really have no opinion. I suppose if I am in the blinds to a habitual straddle machine, I want the action to start under the gun... but I don't see it being a big deal like some people make it out.

      The casino I normally play at has the TBC approved way of straddling, except that it takes TWO raises for the straddle to act in turn, and the straddle amount can be the min. up to all in. I like this, if I am having a winning night, I'll throw a few $12-$15 straddles out there.

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    3. Interesting, Greg. I'll be on the lookout for you and the first time I'm at your table and see you button straddle for $15, I'll get a table change. :)

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    4. Hmm.....tempting, Lightning, tempting.

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    5. I can't imagine you wanting to play at Binion's with me....

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    6. Greg I play at Binion's all the time...but tournaments, not usually cash. I suspect you know that. Have we played together already? I suspect now we have.

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    7. Who knows.. anytime I go to MGM, I keep an eye out for a Constanza looking character playing a solid game... were you at a table recently were an Indian Saffron salesman gave everyone a free sample pack?

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    8. LOL....nope, definitely didn't see anyone giving out samples at the table. I would have remembered that!

      But if you looking for someone playing a solid game, you'll never find me! :)

      Of course, there's a pic of me on all my Ante Up columns, should be easy to recognize.

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    9. Well, trolling websites for pics of dudes isn't my thing... but I guess since you insist, I'll check it out, and say hi next time we cross paths. :)

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    10. Cool. BTW, I still get "Gabe Kaplan" more than "Costanza" but Costanza is creeping up.

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    11. Finding Rob is quite easy. Bring an attractive female with a large rack with you. If there is a gentleman staring at her chest, it's likely him.

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    12. Easier said than done, AC. How do you expect a male poker player to find "an attractive female with a large rack"? I mean seriously.

      And even if that was possible, it wouldn't work. If an attractive woman with a large rack enters a poker room, almost all the male players are gonna be staring at her. You should know that!

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    13. If I got that girl with me, finding a middle aged white dude in a poker room isn't going to be on my mind...

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    14. While I totally understand, Greg, I'm curious as to why you specified "white" dude.

      Does this mean that with such a girl you WOULD be looking for a middle-aged black dude or a middle-aged Asian dude? :)

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    15. Funny, when I typed that, I figured you'd be questioning the middle-aged part more than the white part... And negative... I wouldn't be looking for any guys... I probably wouldn't even be in the poker room, which, for me, takes a lot.

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    16. Yeah, what would you want with a poker room when you have the babe? But that was kind of the question I posed in my previous post, wasn't it?

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  3. Does it make me a bad person for so thoroughly enjoying that picture of a straddle?

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    1. If it does, Zoddiac, we';re all bad people.

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  4. I REALLY dislike this type of straddle....especially when I'm seated to the right of people I know, and my straddle results in their acting first out of the blinds...that's just TERRIBLE when it happens.

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  5. I just might straddle one hand tonight in your honor, sir.

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  6. Like those legs... I never mind other people putting their money in blind...

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    1. Wow...and coming from the tightest player on Earth....I guess I need to rethink this, Coach.

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