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You are absolved my son!

You are absolved my son! As I have said before and no doubt will say so again, It is the unfortunate trait of many card room supervisors of the desire to not only simply control players regardless of the impact on fair and equitable decisions but also to do everything humanly possible to absolve themselves of any blame or responsibility for any controversial occurrence during the tournament.

Without naming the specific venues as there is no need to as any of the following events could easily have occurred in most if not all poker tournaments at any of the available venues in the UK.

The first involved Marc “granddad cool” Goodwin, who was playing in a game and stood up (at his chair) to get something out of his jacket pocket. The dealer dealt the cards and mucked Marcs cards 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 from the 1980,s.

As he was explaining the outrageous injustice the dealer moves onto the next hand and deals Marc a new hand which he again mucks as Marc is standing talking to the card room supervisor.

I can only surmise that the dealer was either a jobs worth or suspected Marc of having “done his mum” some years earlier.

Bloody youngsters have no respect for their elders, was not like that when I was young.

A friend of mine was taking part in a recent £500 event and dealer was obviously a bit older than ideal (about 7 or 8 years younger than Marc I would estimate) and was having some difficulty in dealing in a way that one might generously refer to as adequately.

In one hand a player moves all-in and is 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 1500 chips short of his stack.

The dealer was engrossed in maintaining all the concentration required to turn a card over and effectively ignored the all-in player repeated requests and at the end of the hand with him still pleading simply pulled all the chips into the middle and started to pass the to the underpaid victor.

The card room supervisor was called and naturally made the ruling that it was too late to attempt to rectify what could not, in any event, 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 an opponent was considering a big call with top pair and a gut shot.

While the player was contemplating the call the dealer obviously unable to properly grasp the remaining deck for such an inordinate amount of time, accidently dropped a couple of cards off the top of deck and not sure in what order to put them back (or maybe not willing to make it obvious they had fallen off) slipped the 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. ( a player at the table had spotted this and told the player after the event not wishing to cause aggravation at the time- future casino head office management material me thinks).

A player who plays in our regular live cash game was playing in a much smaller game than he usually plays in 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 potentially very lively game and, if one or more players are playing at a level much smaller than they are used to, it can only be expected that comparative fireworks will occur.

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 being the only two players left in the hand as many of tight players were calling with marginal to reasonable hands and then deciding when the heat was on that their hand was not good enough (even though pre-flop at least they were very often sitting with by far the best hand).

As the game progressed due to reloading themselves and also accumulating lots of dead money from the tight players, to two aggro monkeys developed large stacks which resulted in them treating each other with a lot more respect than had earlier been the case. It came to pass that in one particular hand one of them had top set versus the nut flush draw and straight draw of the other and all the money went in.

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

Although it did not happen one of the two players involved openly 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 potentially bet other players out of a pot and then “make an arrangement to not risk your money when left heads up” though it is also easy to appreciate, if you look at the facts and know them, that this was a genuine attempt to reduce variance rather than a deliberate act of collusion designed to disadvantage any fellow player.

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 on leaving the casino. Both were instructed to immediately leave the game, the casino 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. Unfortunately the reason is that, if allowed, it would leave a loop hole that devious 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 try to not lose money to each other in the circumstances described by making an agreement across the table, with just the two of them left in the pot, to prevent losing cash they were going to split afterwards anyway.

Tue, 7th December 2010

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