A Bad Situation

I was in Crescent City for the $45,000 guarantee Poker Stampede tournament and I played deep into the tournament cashing in twelfth place. The deep run in the tournament left me hopelessly buried on the list for the live game. Around 3AM we actually started a second game. The second game lasted a little over an hour and when it went down I was transferred into the main game.

The main game was a $3-5 No Limit game that had been loud and full of drunks all night. I know Frank played in the main game and actually cashed out because the players were giving him a headache. Bob had come by the second game and offered $100 for someone to trade places with him. The second time Bob came by he offered $200. The game was loud, slow and chaotic. I could see the dealers were earning their money on this night.

A young kid from Hoopa was drinking and buying drinks for the table and he was loud and rarely shut up. A few of the players were loose and the action was good. One of the guys from the dredge crew was in the game. The true prize winner at the table was Idaho Bob a player travelling through town. Idaho Bob reminded me of an older version of Hoss Cartright. Idaho Bob had a huge white ten gallon hat over which he had draped a green string of beads. The beads were lying nicely on the brim of the hat.

When I describe the action of this game I feel words are truly inadequate to describe this chaos. The dealer looked like a hockey goalie at a practice shoot around with shots fired from everywhere simultaneously. The dealer was forever trying to fend off flying chips headed for the pot. Not only are they splashing the pot they are doing it out of turn and in random amounts. Skate save and it is a beauty.

The following hand arose and I share it for educational purposes. Sam from the dredge crew had just joined the game and is in the five-seat between Idaho Bob and myself. Idaho Bob was sloppy drunk and they quit serving drinks at least two hours ago. Five players saw the flop; Daryl a young Asian kid who is drunk and loose, Dura an 80 year old woman was playing loose passive, Sam a good but drunk player, Idaho Bob, and a young player in the seven-seat on my left that has been drinking and was relatively quiet. The flop was 964 rainbow and Idaho Bob picked his cards up to look at them. The cards were a foot above the felt and clearly visible from my seat two to his left. Sam mentioned that he needed to protect his hand. At this point the dealer took an aggressive action and asked Sam if he saw the hand. Sam by no fault of his own and trying to do the right thing was asking Idaho Bob to protect his hand and admitted to seeing the cards. Daryl in the three seat was on the opposite side and had no chance to glance the cards. The dealer asked that Idaho Bob place the cards face up on the table giving all players in the hand the same information. The hand was still live but must be shown to all players. The table exploded over the ruling and the floor was called. The floor tried to get everyone to shut up so she could hear what the dealer had to say. The ruling supported the dealer.

Sam who was in the hand mucked his cards and picked up his chips. The player to my left also mucked and picked up his chips. Idaho Bob tried to muck but they would not let him and turned his cards face up. Idaho Bob picked up his chips and headed for the cage. Daryl seeing all the craziness made a bet out of turn. I never saw Dura act on her hand and she should have acted before Daryl and she mucked after Daryl bet. The bet out of turn was a minimum bet but every other hand except Idaho Bob was mucked and Idaho Bob had left the table with his chips. The pot went to Daryl and nobody was sure of the ruling. Before I discuss the ruling I need to venture off into telling the story.

When Idaho Bob stood up to leave it was obvious to Bob H. and I that Idaho Bob had pissed his pants at the table. Idaho Bob had a huge wet spot on the front of his pants and when he walked by me on the way to the cage he smelled like piss. Bob H. and I were laughing so hard we could hardly sit up at this point. I knew the guy was drunk but he must have been almost passed out if he could not get up to use the bathroom. I had barely stopped laughing when Daryl moved into the pissed on chair. I tried to bullshit Idaho Bob into staying and Dura of all people glared at me and said, “Let him go”. I shut up and let him get away.

Just when I thought the game would return to normal, Idaho Bob came back to the table and sat down in another chair. He was on my immediate right and the waft of piss whether real of imagined was nearly unbearable. The game was again crazy for another hour until Idaho Bob lost all of his chips and decided to leave us with this parting shot, “You guys play like shit, you should have taken my money hours ago”.

I must now return to the discussion of the dealer and floor ruling on the exposed hand. In my estimation none of the actions of the players were intentional. Older players with poor eyesight often expose cards in an attempt to see the hand. Drunken players are often careless in the way they look at and handle the cards. Sam was in a normal seated position and had every right to look at all the players at the table and the cards were clearly in his field of vision. Sam was trying to be polite and warn the player to be careful. These are the facts that we brought to the issue at hand. The house had a responsibility to conduct the game in a fair manner. If a player exposed his hand the dealer should have been the one to notice and admonish the player. I feel a couple of warnings would be appropriate in this situation. If the player remained unable to look at the hand without showing his cards to others at the table the player should not have been allowed to continue to play. In this case I found fault with the house for allowing the player to become so drunk at the table. I also found fault in that the player had been exposing his cards all night and had never been warned. At the point where a floor person had been called and was required to make a ruling the ruling made was the only fair ruling available. While this was not a huge pot and the hand that had to be exposed KT on a board of 964 was probably irrelevant to the play of the hand, I feel that all players in a hand were entitled to the information.

If a player raises his hand letting a player with cards possibly see it before mucking the hand the dealer should intercept the hand and turn it face up for all players to see. The ruling was very disturbing to the players and nearly broke the game up but it was the correct ruling.

I am 100% in agreement that Idaho Bob had a live hand and should not have forfeited the hand for unintentionally exposing his cards.

I have seen this happen on at least four other occasions in the past, once a player fumbled his cards and one dropped to the felt face up. The player immediately covered it with his hand but the dealer made him expose it to everyone in the hand because some players may have seen it while others may not have the information.

Think about a hand where three hearts are on the board and I know Idaho Bob has the ace of hearts in his hand, I can play my king high flush as the nuts against you because you have no idea what Bob holds. All players deserve to have a fair chance in every hand.

This was a tough situation and it was handled as well as it possibly could be handled.

I will probably never see Idaho Bob and his piss stained pants ever again but rest assured the memory will remain for a very long time.


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