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The Poo Principle

The Poo Principle There is an unfortunate dilemma that afflicts all UK Casinos when setting their rules for Poker games.

They have to set the rules that prevent the vagabonds and scumbags from taking advantage at the expense of other players.

There are obviously different opinions as to where the line is when it comes to "bending the rules" to favour yourself, my own view is that a slight bend of the rule or using ill thought out rules to aid your chances is generally acceptable but overt dishonesty verbally or otherwise, is not.

If someone asks you a question then any response at all is ok but to offer lies unsolicited is scummy, albeit, within the rules as it happens.

The big problem is that most UK card rooms have lost sight of the reason for the rules (normally in such small print you could not possibly read them) and they are only interested in "control".

They would obviously prefer fair play and respect for customers to be upheld however, if those areas have to suffer in order to maintain control and the application of the rules then so be it. It is usually more than their job is worth to even consider diversion from the head office directives and so long as they can justify their actions and decisions by reference to the rules then all is good with the world.

The examples I give below are all from different card rooms but could very easily be from any UK card room.

Many card-rooms used to have the pathetic objection to the use of mobile phones.

There is nothing wrong with using a mobile phone in a card room period. The same as there is nothing wrong with using a motor vehicle on a public road. You could use a motor vehicle on a public road for a nefarious purpose and you could use a mobile phone in a card-room for a nefarious purpose but it makes as much sense to ban one as it does the other for that reason.

If two players feel that the to state by phone call or texting hand details to a partner is the most effective and least detectable way of cheating they can think then, in reality, it might be a better option to allow them to hang themselves so that they can be identified and sterilised to prevent propagation, for the betterment of the human species.

Fortunately many card rooms have recently changed their previously stupid view on this issue.

I play in a decent sized live cash game regularly (in 3 different casinos) and I have had to negotiate playing outside the casinos rules for "our game" so as to be treated with at least the minimum level of respect that we in the game are prepared to tolerate, which is a lot greater than other card-room poker players are forced to endure.

Many dealers will not start the dealing process unless the players in the blinds have posted the blinds; maybe they think the player might run off with their stacks.

If you clearly make a mistake in terms of throwing in chip denomination the bet always stands. I totally understand the reason for this but if you were on a table of honest players with a dealer that was able to exercise reasonable judgement then this should not be a problem. It is not an enforceable error in our game because no player would "do a moody" move in this area.

If your cards are accidently taken by a dealer and the cards are "recoverable" they should be recovered. A friend of mine played for 7 hours recently was in a final 2nd chip leader with 14 big blinds moved all-in from under the gun plus one with 88 and the dealer took his cards. His cards were face down on the table he was able to specifically name the cards and his cards had touched no other mucked cards. He had been using a chip to protect his cards (only because he was in a seat which happened to be in reach of the dealer) but had moved all-in so had no chip to use.

The card-room manager is called during which time another player suddenly announces all-in (knowing the "rules" in the casino) the manager comes across and instantly announces the "wrongly taken" hand is dead and he has to lose chips equal to the stack of the player who was allowed to move all-in before the manager came and made a ruling. This might comply with the "rules" but is it fair play? Was the interest of the game best served here? Would the generally adopted caveat in card-room rules that the Card room supervisor’s judgement is ultimately final not be appropriate here if the main focus was fair play rather than a blind application of rules to control the players?

At another well know club, where a player, with chips already invested in the pot, was facing a bet the dealers were specifically instructed to refuse to advise the player, even if asked, the amount the player was required to call. The dealer would only advise the "total bet" to that player without taking account of the chips already invested. This is ok for an experienced players but it caused a lot of unnecessary confusion and mistakes and a slowing down of the game, where less experienced players were involved. I tried very hard to get this changed in the interest of the game but was told it was standard practice around the world (total bollox).

It was probably a co-incidence that the card room manager, who vehemently defended this policy, was the sexual partner of the women training the dealers and it is probably another coincidence that the couple have now split up and also that policy has been changed. It may be unfair to suggest that his judgment was previously "orally challenged".

"Rabbit hunting" is generally not allowed as it slows the game down (rules that slow the game down are apparently Ok though) or revealing the cards that would have come might cause some unacceptable psychological disturbance to certain players.

We were playing in "our cash game" and all players are happy to allow each other to Rabbit hunt if they wish but the card room manager absolutely refused to allow it without any logical explanation other than an unexplained "directive from head office". We are mature enough to allow rabbit hunting without killing each other or turning the table upside down in a frenzy and we no longer play in that particular casino.

Show one show all is another blanket bull shit rule.

In one casino the other extreme is the rule in cash games (though an exact opposite rule applies in Tournaments- very sensible). In the cash game you are theoretically able to make a player fold when heads up and then walk around the table and show every single player except the one that was in the pot with you. In the tournaments if you show one player you have to expose the hand to everyone.

I think a modification is required whereby if you are heads up in a pot you should have the right to only show that player your hand, if you wish. Though if you show another player not in the hand, when the hand ends, then all other players should have the right to see also.

Another casino, refused to allow a player to use his credit card because he had not signed it. He would be able to come back the next day (after signing it off premises) and use it.

He was a member of the casino they had a copy of his passport and signing the credit card (with a signature that could not and was not required to be compared to another example signature) and returning the next day was acceptable.

Now when I asked for the reasoning behind this policy the answer again given was a "head office directive".

The only reason I could think of, I was required to guess as the manager applying the policy had no understanding of why the policy existed, was that perhaps if a credit card was stolen or cloned, making the "attempted user" wait for twenty four hours may give what is regarded as an adequate time frame for the credit card company to potentially discover and prevent the fraud.

Then I thought that it might be reasonable to presume that an individual involved in credit card fraud might have some idea of the practice for using such cards and might also be capable of writing any random signature (as it is not compared to another when used) on the card to enable them to use it. Perhaps the effectiveness of this policy from a security perspective has not been very well thought out.

So who are these people in head offices instigating all these stupid regulations which seek to control and restrict and often do not even do that very well, if at all?

This is where I realised that the "Poo Principal" must be coming into play.

Every body has a limit to their own capabilities and some individuals need to be told what to do in all areas.

For example, the type of person that stands at a pedestrian crossing on a straight road where they can see no vehicles for a mile in both directions, but refuses to cross the road until the green man starts flashing, will never be president of the United States (though I accept that George Bush and Ronald Reagan are strong counter arguments to this).

Now I imagine most people are familiar with the Peter Principal. This is the theory that an employee in a particular job that does their job very well gets promoted to a more difficult job with more responsibility and if they do that job very well will get promoted upwards again and so on until they effectively reach the level of their own incompetence ie a job they are unable to do well enough to be promoted further.

In most cases this is the highest level that most employees can attain. However a new opportunity exists which appears to be in very high usage in large Casino group organisations and this is the "Poo Principal".

If you can imagine an individual stuck for days in the desert and dehydrated to the point of unconsciousness. Now provide that individual with a water melon cut in half and allow him to only consume it using his tongue.

If you can picture the depth, the moisture and the voracity of movement of their tongue that will give you a small indication of how individuals engaged in the "Poo Principal" deal with the bottoms of their immediate superiors in order to progress.

Thu, 9th December 2010

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