Monday, July 4, 2016

I Wasn't Rubbing It In!

As I wind down this current Vegas trip, I have so many stories to tell, I dunno where to start.  But I best start somewhere, so I'm taking part of this July 4th holiday to get a post up.  I'll have a few pics to help honor the 4th, but this is not a specific holiday post.

I haven't figured out how I'm gonna talk about all the tournaments I played in.  I know some readers love long tournament summaries, hand-by-hand descriptions, even if I don't have a cash to report at the end.  But others, including the world's most famous poker blogger, hate my "boring hand histories."  So it's a dilemma.   You're welcome to chime in with your opinion, which I may or may not take into account.

But for now I will start with an incident from a tournament last weekend that caused a stir, and furthermore, I was reminded of it very recently when our friend grrouchie  posted a pic that seems appropriate for the story.  So thanks to him for the first pic you see in this post.

Late before the first break, this young guy wearing a baseball cap (the right way, to be fair)  joined our table, directly to my right.  He had obviously just bought in, so he had his full $15K starting stack. He played a few hands, lost a few chips. I was around $12K, and then we went on break.  In just a few hands he had lived up to his stereotype as an aggressive young player.

I was the big blind and he was the small blind first hand back from break.  The blinds were 150/300 with a 25 ante.  I had King-6 of hearts.  An aggro made it $600 and the kid in the small blind called.  It seemed like I was getting a pretty good price to at least see a flop, so I called. 

The three of us saw a flop that had two hearts (not the Ace) and a 6.   The small blind bet $1K, and I called, the original raiser folded.  The turn was a blank and he bet $1,500, I called again.  The river was the 3 of hearts, giving me the second nuts.  He bet $3K.  I didn't study his stack any further.  My assumption was that he still had more than me, but it was close, and definitely I was willing to risk my entire stack with the second nuts to this guy.  I announced all-in.  He snap-called. 

I turned over my hand, and he said, "Oh man….I have a flush too, but not as big. I wish that heart hadn't come. "  Now, I guess when I had shoved he had picked up his remaining chips—I'm not sure if it was before he saw my hand or after.  Anyway, he throw some chips on top of his original $3K bet to pay me off. 

Well, while the dealer was counting the stacks to make sure I was properly paid off, I said, "Doesn't he have to show his hand, it was an all-in?" But he no longer had his cards. Apparently, while I was looking at the dealer counting the stacks, he had slid his cards, face down, to the dealer, who had slid them into the muck.  That of course is incorrect.  It was all-in situation and thus both hands should be exposed.  That is a basic tournament poker rule.

I wasn't just being a rules nit.  I assumed he was still alive in the tournament, and I wanted to know if he was betting with just the flush draw if he had something else.  Important information for me to know, right?

The dealer admitted I was right and that she made a mistake not showing the hand before she put them in with the muck.  I had earlier learned that this dealer deals regularly in one of the really low-end locals joints and is probably not used to dealing in such a "big" tournament—$150 buy-in! None-the-less, she was actually a very competent dealer, a lot of dealers would miss this.

She apologized but the kid was not so nice.  He threw a bit of a tantrum.  "What do you want me to show for?  You won the pot, that's just rubbing it in!"  I said "I'm not rubbing it in, I just want to see what you had….that's the rule."  "Yeah, you are rubbing it in!"  I said, "I'm not rubbing it in."  He got louder, "Yes you are!  You're rubbing it in."

Meanwhile, the dealer saw that the chips he had thrown in after he saw my hand weren't enough to cover me.  He still had chips in his hand, that I really couldn't see.  The dealer told him, "You need $900 more."  Well, he just threw her the rest of his chips, which was less than $900, so he was busted.  I really didn't know that until then.  He stormed off, "Thanks for rubbing it in."  To his credit, he didn't call me a name.  I assume he went to buy back in, but I never saw him again, thankfully.

Anyway, I realized after a few hands that some of the other players may not have understood why I was making an issue of seeing his hand, especially since I busted him, and might have thought that I was being somewhat of a dick.  So during the next shuffle, I announced to the entire table, "The reason I wanted to see his hand was not to rub it in, I wanted to see what he kept betting with.  Was he betting with just the flush draw or did he have something else?  I had no idea I had busted him, he was hiding his chips in his hand."

A few of the other players nodded and said, "Yeah…makes sense."

I said, "I really wasn’t trying to be asshole there.  I assumed he was staying and wanted to know why he was betting like that."

It was agreed I wasn't being an asshole, and then, for the next few levels, the phrase, "I wasn't rubbing it in," became a bit of running gag at the table. 

Sadly, that was the most memorable event from this particular tournament.

In the meantime, everyone have a happy 4th of July.  Happy Birthday, U.S.A.  And note: the last pic was just sent to me by a Englishman I know.  I'm sure my other British followers will enjoy.


  1. Great post, loved the last pic, made me laugh. No I think you were correct and entitled to see the hand. Not everyone understands tournaments are not the same as cash.


    1. Thanks, LG.

      Yeah, at least this dealer admitted her mistake. There was another dealer later in my trip, who claimed that the person who called the all in, and mucked, didn't have to show because he was all in. Duh.

  2. Chances are that you were really rubbing one out at the table. Or am I getting you mixed up with another popular poker blogger with over 1,000,000 page views?

    1. Hey, Lightning...this is a family friendly blog. Please.....

  3. Rob, keep the long tournament hand histories coming! As for the "rubbing it in hand," were you aware of your stack size before the hand? You said the villain had ~15k.

    1. As I said, I thought he had more chips than I did, and my decisions were based on my stack size, not his. But I thought he had me covered, for sure.

    2. I would be more than happy to cripple an opponent in a tournament and have him muck. So many tournament players in Vegas, it's unlikely you will see the same guy again. I'm not saying you are wrong but just giving you my approach.

    3. Well, again, I questioned why he wasn't showing his hand before I realized he had mucked, and long before I had realized he was busted out.

      BUT...I run into tournament players I've played with before all the time.

      In fact (spoiler alert), my last tournament, I actually re-entered, was sent to a totally different table to (re) start) and before it was over I ended up at a table with two guys from the table where I busted in the first round, one of whom was the guy who busted me earlier that day.

  4. This seems like one of those situations where being particular about the rules is counterproductive. Yeah, the dealer screwed up. But once you see his cards are mucked, what's there to do or say? Shut up and stack the chips.

    1. Well, originally I made the comment not realizing he had mucked.

      After I learned they were irretrievably, my point was to make sure the dealer knew that she had goofed, because at this tournament series, there were a lot of inexperienced dealers who made lots of mistakes and some of them didn't even know all the rules, like a subsequent dealer I mentioned.

  5. Replies
    1. Indeed....what about my previous celebration post, enough boobies for ya?

  6. You have the tallent bob, to mix poker and boobs :D
    poker online getting nice now

  7. The last pic is not comedy, it is a statement of fact.