You are the Tournament Director: A Fouled Deck
The hands are turned over:
Player A has Ace of hearts and ace of diamonds in his hand.
The turn is the seven of clubs and the river is the three of spades giving player C quads. However he also has the three of spades in his hand! Upon checking the deck there are 52 cards and the 3 of clubs is missing. How do you rule and why?
The Mob Verdict
This situation didn’t specifically happen in the early stages of a WPT event and we made it up although similar situations have happened many times.
Matt, Thomas, Jack and Mel all gave the same response. The hand is voided and all chips are returned to the players but all previous hands stand and the deck is changed. This sounds fair to us.
Liam would agree if there was an extra card in the deck but as there are the correct number of ‘threes’ in the deck he believes that the hand should stand. This sounds ok but what if a flush came into play or someone was drawing to a flush. Then the correct number of spades or clubs wouldn’t be in the deck.
What Marty says is interesting as the question was phrased ‘early stages of a WPT event’. What he says has merit but could be problematic especially if a player has won or lost a big pot previously or even been eliminated.
We believe that, although likely, it is impossible to know whether the deck was fouled for any previous hands. For this reason any previously completed hands should stand and this is the only hand that should be voided.
Liam says ‘that’s why dealers are supposed to check before they start to deal them and the players should be checking the cards as well, that’s why they’re fanned out’ and he absolutely right. Dealers should have the proper training and the cards should be changed on each push (dealer change). When the new dealer sits down the cards should be fanned out in order and thoroughly checked. It’s a good idea for the players to watch the process and speak up if they see an incorrect deck.
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