Sunday, November 25, 2018

"Do You Know Who I Am?"

Part 2 of 2

Part 1 is here and I assure you that you have to have read part 1 in order for this to make any sense.  We pick up right after we left off

As I got to level 8 (100/400/800), last level before my "dinner break", I was only at $12K and as such I was still desperate.  And as said level progressed, and my stack dwindled with no opportunities for a score, I was clock watching.  The big blind was heading my way.  Now in a perfect world, I'd play the big blind and the small blind before break time.  But for sure I wanted/needed the blinds to pass.  I was hoping the timing would be such that I could get a head start on the break, maybe miss a hand or two so I could use the restroom and still have time to eat and take my meds.  Or if I played both the big and small blinds before break, I wouldn't feel the need to rush back to not miss a hand of the next level.

As you may have already noticed, we do not live in a perfect world.  The big blind came to me slowly as players seemingly took forever to make their decisions.  I don't know if they were really taking a long time or it just seemed that way cuz I was watching the clock so intently. Whatever, it was obvious I wasn't going to get my wish and I had to post my big blind in the last few seconds of the level.  Well, at least I'd only have pay the new, bigger small blind to start the next level. Of course, this meant I was stuck there until the big blind hand played out, or at least until I folded.  Worse, as soon as the dealer dealt about two cards off the deck, I heard the announcement that the break had started!  The timing couldn't have been worse.  Instead of getting an early start on the break, I got a late start.  Yuck.

I looked down at 10-9 offsuit.  Well, no way I'm going to be playing that hand out of position.  I should have just gotten up before the action came to me, but that is improper etiquette and technically a rules violation (acting out of turn).  So I waited patiently, knowing someone would raise and as soon as the action was on me, I'd bolt out of my chair and head for the restroom.

And wouldn't you know it, it went limp, limp, limp… one raised.  First hand in I dunno how long no one raised.  So it came to me and all I had to do was check to see the flop. Not sure how many limpers there were but there were a lot.  Incredible.  Anyway, the flop came 9-9-X!  Wowzers.  I didn't really spend much time thinking.  With my stack, I'm not sure I could have bet anything smaller, but under the circumstances, wanting to end the hand ASAP anyway, I shoved.  Fortunately no one took long in deciding to fold and I took down the pot.  I suppose my eagerness to leave the table might have cost me some chips if I would have been able to figure out a way to bet smaller and get a caller but that was not in my interest at the time.

Well now they pushed me the pot and I had a bunch of chips to stack.  I suppose I could have left the pile there but I think that's rude so I made a quick attempt to neaten my chips a little before rushing to the Mens Room.  Actually, since they were doing a color up, I had to make sure I stacked all my $25 chips no matter what. Yeesh.  So after taking care of business, I found an empty table in the mezzanine and shoved a couple of Kind bars down my throat, then had a package of Peanut Butter & Crackers.  Meanwhile I had my phone and was looking at the Bravo clock on it, seeing how close it was to the end of the break.  I decided I had enough time for one more package of Peanut Butter Crackers and then took my meds and rushed to the tournament area.

Now, if you've looked at a clock on Bravo, you've seen that warning that the clock on the app is not the official clock and it is only approximate, right?  Well, they don't lie.  According to the clock on the phone, I was a few seconds early but as I got back into the London Club I saw that tables were dealing cards out.  Dammit.  I got to my table and saw that just as I pulled my chair out, the dealer was taking my hole cards away.  I said, "Wait, I'm here," before he pulled my cards into the muck.  But he said, "Sorry, you're too late."  Even with the last card off the deck rule, I had been a few damn seconds too late.  Oh well.  And then he took the blind that had been posted for me.  It was then I noticed it was not the small blind of $500—it was the big blind of $1K!

Then I located the button.  It should have been with the player on my immediate right.  Having played the big blind last hand before break, I was now the small blind.  But instead, the button was still two seats to my right.  That meant that they had not taken my ante and small blind, but they had taken my ante and another big blind—a new, bigger big blind ($1K, up from $800).  Well this was not right, not right at all.  I think it was then I noticed that during the break a new dealer had pushed in.

The betting action was starting and I spoke up immediately.  I pointed out that the button had not been moved and I was the big blind last time, and shouldn't have been the big blind again this time. I explained to the dealer,  "I was the big blind last time, that's the only reason I played that hand! "  The dealer shrugged and said he had just pushed in during the break and that's where the button was.  Obviously the previous dealer had forgotten to move the button.  Well at first it seemed like the dealer was going to ignore me and said, "Well, there's been action," but then he thought better of it and called the floor over (perhaps because of the way I was adamantly protesting).  Fortunately the floor was nearby and showed up almost instantly.  And after hearing what happened and with me insisting that I had been the big blind last time, he said, "Well, it has to stand, there's been too much action."  I'm not sure what action there had been, but at least one player had entered the pot, not sure if there was a call yet.  But then another player spoke out and said, "Well, the action happened after he spoke up.  There wasn't any action before he noticed the button was wrong and told the dealer."  I believe there were also some other players confirming that the button was in the wrong postion.

The floor said, "Oh, it wasn't until then?"  A few players said that was correct, and the dealer more-or-less agreed.  Frankly, I'm not sure if that was right or not but whatever.  The floor then said, "In that case, take the cards back, misdeal."  And with that, everyone returned their cards to the dealer and he moved the button to where it should have been all along and a new hand was dealt, and I only posted the small blind, as I should have all along (and also got to look at my hand). Amazingly, none of the other players complained.

I was surprised the player on my right didn't notice the error.  He was in the hand when I got the trip 9's, even commented as he folded (the final fold), "You have a 9, huh?"  And he was an astute player who had helped an inexperience dealer out with some payouts previously.  He had to remember that he was the small blind already and should have now have been the button.  But only after I spoke up and reminded him did he recall and agreed that the button had not been moved.

Meanwhile the guy on my left hadn't returned from the break so missed the whole brouhaha and thus forfeited his big blind with the re-dealt hand.

Now I have a confession to make.  For the tiniest part of a nano-second, when it was looking like I was going to lose the argument, it did flash in my mind to do something I've never, ever done in a poker room dispute.  Was I willing, for the first time ever, to go with the "Do you know who I am?" gambit?

Now, I'm not a big deal in the Vegas poker community, not by a long shot.  But I am somewhat known in it.  Because of my work, I have personal relationships with most of the poker room managers in town.  And certainly I would say I have good relationships with the managers (and tournament directors) of any room that runs a big summer series every year.  Most of them appreciate what I contribute in terms of helping promote poker and also promoting their individual rooms and games.  I never, ever have felt the urge to use my relationships with these folks to gain a favorable ruling in a dispute, or even get priority seating in a busy room.  I always felt that it would totally wrong to ever try it, unethical, and inappropriate.  And besides, whenever I've seen other people pull crap like that (like saying, "Do you know who I am?"), I always felt they were acting like assholes.  And I try not to act like an asshole.

Well, like I said, it did occur to me that I could ask the floor to get the TD involved, because I knew he was there (in the main tournament area) and because he knows me well. So I could perhaps identify myself and who I worked for and they would have probably have asked the TD to come over. But for the reasons I've just explained, I never seriously considered doing that.  Besides—it would be totally unfair of me to expect a different, more favorable ruling just because of who I am.  If the guy's ruling was right, it was right whether I was Fishy McFisherman or Phil Ivey.  And I'm sure PH wouldn't have changed the ruling because it was me, nor should they have.  The only reason I even contemplated it for the nano-second I did was due the unfortunate circumstances that found me a tad late getting back to the tournament—the short breaks, the lack of a dinner break and specifically the very long distance between the tournament area and the rest rooms. So they would have told me, "Sorry the last dealer apparently made a mistake and didn't move the button, but it was your responsibility to get back in time to catch it."  And I would have had a few "yeah, buts" to respond with, but it wouldn't or shouldn't have changed anything.

The other thing I will point out is that, the button mistake did not just affect me.  In the original dealt hand, everybody had the wrong cards, right?  So that was something that needed to be corrected.  Plus a guy would have gotten to play the button twice in a row, obviously not fair to everyone else.  And my neighbor to the right would have posted an extra small blind (and at a higher level).  So it was out of whack for all of us, though I was paying the heaviest price—posting a big blind twice in a row the second time for a hand that had been mucked without my ever seeing it.

Anyway, I was definitely prepared to let it go and just be unhappy about it when the guy reversed himself.  I'm grateful he made what I believe to be the right ruling, and am also grateful to whoever it is who spoke up and said that I had pointed out the goof before there was any action.

Well, the new hand was uneventful for me, we played on and I remained card dead an looking for a hand to shove with.  I lasted a couple of more levels, and even got the dreaded pocket Kings.  My shove was uncalled.  That was definitely one time I wanted to get called and take my chances with them.

Level 11 (200/800/1600) I started with $18K chips, still desperate.  I looked at Ace-10 off, under-the-gun, and made the easy decision to shove.  It folded around to the big blind, who called with pocket 9's.  The flop was all bricks and then I was put out of my misery by a 9 on the turn.  I was drawing dead, and I was done.  This flight had gotten 234 players they were paying 29 (the top 12% cashed, and the top 6% advanced to day 2).  I couldn't tell for sure, but I estimated there were about 80 players left when I busted.

Another tournament disappointment, and probably a bad overall decision for me to play this particular event since the logistics of it were just not designed for someone like me.

Oh well, live and learn.


  1. I understand your circumstances related to pulling the "don't you know who I am?" card and applaud your decision NOT to play it. My standard response to the DYKWIA statement is a reply that I ask that person if they have been on the TV in any Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem weight loss advertisements???

    1. Or...I think I saw you in a porn flick. Although these days, that might seem like a compliment.