Monday, December 8, 2008

The perils of being the house AND the dealer

Last week, I had my first official open invite Wall Street Poker cash session. It went really really well, with 11 players playing strong through 12:30a and lots of loose action. With the stakes at $1/$2 NLHE, there were at least 6 pots over $400 including a $900 monster which featured a unique ending, to say the least.

Two players (who shall remain nameless but I will refer to as P#1 and P#2) were involved. Both players had tangled earlier, with P#2 taking a $350 pot after sucking out a higher two pair on the river, so P#1 was itching, vocally, for revenge. In this pot, P#2 had raised PF to about $16 and got two callers, including P#1. The flop was something like 8c-3s-2s. P#1 checks, the middle player checks and P#2 bets about $75 into the pot. P#1 raises about $125 on top. The middle player gets out of the way and P#2 calls. Turn is something like 9d (9d-8c-3s-2s on board). The board itself is not terribly important to the story other than to show there was a spade flush draw and a relatively uncoordinated board. P#1 bets out another $125 and P#2 calls. (Also, the bets are not exact but that’s not the point of the story other than to show there was a lot of money splashing around). The river is Kh. P#1 thinks for a bit and goes all in for $325. The pot is the biggest of the night and it’s up to P#2.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Remember that I’m playing the role of dedicated dealer AND the house. P#2 goes into the tank and starts to talk out loud about what P#1 could possibly have. P#2 then opens his cards in front of himself, showing Ad-As. This was CLEARLY meant to draw a reaction from P#1 and was DEFINITELY not a fold as it was most certainly behind P#2’s chips and there was no forward motion towards the muck. Before anyone could say anything, P#1 said, “Good hand” and mucked his cards, throwing them face down towards the muck, though they didn’t actually touch the muck yet.

Here’s my interpretation of these events:
P#1 wasn’t aware that P#2 had opened his cards trying to get information. He thought P#2 had called the all-in, and therefore folded to the obviously superior hand. Since no one had asked the dealer about the action, the fold constituted a fold out of turn and therefore P#2 didn’t technically HAVE to call to win the pot. Either way, if P#1 had realized his mistake and taken his cards back and continued with the hand, there is NO way P#2 doesn’t now make the call since P#1 had, in all earnestness, folded. So I decided to say nothing about it and award the pot to P#2. My feeling is that bringing up the uniqueness of the situation over the table would have caused P#1 unnecessary torment. In any case, I believe I handled this correctly. Do you think otherwise? Tell me about how you would have done it.


-ben said...

"Before anyone could say anything, P#2 said, “Good hand” and mucked his cards, throwing them face down towards the muck, though they didn’t actually touch the muck yet."

Did you mean to say P#1 mucked when P#2 showed his hand?

Jamie said...

Absolutely correct. I updated the post accordingly.

Yo11Yo said...

U did it right. A mucked hand is a mucked hand. Also right to let it go and not say anything when you are dealing.