You are absolved my son! by Paul Jackson

You are absolved my son!  by Paul Jackson

Thursday, 1 July 2010

As I have said before, and no doubt will say again, it is an unfortunate trait of many card room supervisors that they seek to control players, often at the expense of fair and equitable decisions. Also, they will do everything humanly possible to absolve themselves of any blame or responsibility for any controversial occurrence during a tournament.

The first involved Marc “Granddad Cool” Goodwin. During a recent tournament, Marc stood up at his chair to get something out of his jacket pocket. The dealer dealt the cards and promptly mucked Marc’s because he “was not in his chair”. Now, Marc, quite understandably, felt this was unjust and insisted on calling the card room supervisor with the full expectation that he would be given the proper respect afforded to a legend of poker, albeit one from the 1980s.

As he was explaining this outrageous injustice, the supervisor, the dealer dealt Marc a new hand, which he quickly mucked because Marc was standing talking to the supervisor. I can only surmise that the dealer was either a jobsworth or suspected Marc of having “done his mum” some years earlier.
Bloody youngsters have no respect for their elders! It wasn’t like that when I was young.

A friend of mine was taking part in a recent £500 event with a somewhat geriatric dealer (about seven or eight years younger than Marc in my estimation) who was having some difficulty in dealing in a fashion that one might generously refer to as adequate.

In one hand a player moved all-in and was called by an opponent who shoved forward a stack of chips, presumably intended to cover the call. The dealer was unable or unwilling or both to reach over and actually count the call and, as each street was dealt, the all-in player was repeatedly saying that the “call” was about 1,500 chips short of his stack.

The dealer was engrossed in maintaining all the concentration required to turn a card over, effectively ignoring the all-in player’s plaintive cries. At the end of the hand, with the player still pleading, the dealer simply pulled all the chips into the middle and started to pass them to the overpaid victor.

The card room supervisor was called and naturally made the ruling that it was too late to attempt to rectify what could not for certain be deemed an error.

Later the same dealer was involved in another “unusual” incident. A player had moved all-in (with a flush draw as it turned out) and his opponent was considering a big call with top pair and a gutshot.

While the player was contemplating the call, the dealer, obviously unable to cling to the remaining deck for such an inordinate amount of time, accidently dropped a couple of cards off the top of deck. Unsure about the order to put them back in, or maybe unwilling to make it obvious they had fallen, he slipped them into the muck under his hands.

The player eventually called and was knocked out by a completed flush on the river (a card that should never have been dealt). He may have lost anyway, I guess, but at least a dodgy spot for the dealer was averted, even if it meant one unsuspecting punter taking it in the botty. (Another player at the table had spotted this and told the player after the event, not wishing to cause aggravation at the time).

A player in our regular live cash game was in a much smaller game than usual at a casino we do not play in (because they treated us poorly and we have a choice).The game was four-, five- or six-card Pot Limit Omaha which is inherently a very lively game and, if one or more players are playing at a level much smaller than they are used to, fireworks are to be expected.

So it came to pass than on numerous occasions there were two specific players (my acquaintance and another) who were raising and re-raising like rabid monkeys. Very often they found themselves the only two players left in a hand, as many of tight players were calling with marginal to reasonable hands and then deciding that their hands were not good enough when the heat was on (even though, pre-flop at least, they were very often sitting with by far the best hand).

Due to much reloading, plus the accumulation of lots of dead money from the tight players, the two agro-monkeys soon developed large stacks and, as a result, they began to treat each other with a lot more respect than had previously been the case. Then it came to pass that, in one hand, one had top set versus the nut flush draw and straight draw of the other. All the money went in.

Naturally, UK casinos will not allow any players to do anything as exotic and complicated as running it twice to reduce variance (not like the geniuses at head office would even understand the concept, let alone approve anything that accommodated it).

Instead, one of the players involved suggested that they take back or “save” a portion of the pot and this was met with quite reasonable disapproval by at least one other player.

It is clearly unreasonable to bet other players out of a pot and then make an arrangement to not risk your money when left heads up, although it is also easy to appreciate, if you know the facts, that this was a genuine attempt to reduce variance rather than a deliberate act of collusion designed to disadvantage fellow players.

The player that was unhappy reported the incident to the card room supervisor who, not being the brightest star in the sky, decided that it was in fact a blatant act of deliberate collusion and that the two individuals had been in cahoots the whole time and would no doubt share their spoils between them upon leaving the casino. Both were instructed to immediately leave the game and were barred from entering the casino again.
Now, I totally agree that the over the table request was inappropriate and should not be allowed to take place. If it were allowed, it would leave a loophole that devious and unscrupulous players might seek to take advantage of at the expense of others.

Presumably, based on the horrendous thought of being required to attempt to judge such a future event, the supervisor came to the conclusion that deliberate and premeditated collusion had occurred and took appropriate action.

My observation is, if the two players were in premeditated collusion to carve up opponents and then split the proceeds of their dastardly act after the event, it seems a little unlikely that they would openly make an agreement across the table which was designed to prevent losing cash they were going to split afterwards anyway. But what do I know? I’m just a player.

Tags: Poker News, You, are, absolved, my, son!, , by, Paul, Jackson