You are the Tournament Director: Did He Check?
Situation: it’s three handed in a $1000 one table satellite at the Horseshoe. There is only one prize, a seat in the WSOP championship event. All three players are in a pot and there are over 50% of the chips in the middle of the table. The river card has been dealt. Player B (the player in the middle) has missed his draw but reads player C (the button) for ace high, he is fairly certain of this. Player B has decided to bet if player A checks. The three players sit there for a several seconds. The dealer is starring at player B. Player B asks ‘Has player A checked or hasn’t he acted yet.’ The dealer doesn’t answer. A few more seconds pass and player C turns his handover – he has ace high. Player B objects that no-one has acted. Player C says that player B checked. The dealer says nothing and you are called for a ruling. The dealer, now asked, says that player B said something, he’s not sure what, but that he heard the word ‘check’. Player B insists that he only asked the question. How do you rule?
The Mob Verdict
This did actually happen at Binion’s a few years back. Matt, Thomas, Jack and Mel all agree that player B should be allowed to act. The player who turned his hand over should be allowed to call and the third players hand is still live as well. In fact the third player, player A, should be allowed to act first if he hasn’t done so. None of our TDs mention any penalty for the player that exposed his hand and in the circumstances it may not be appropriate. It is very possible that he is shooting an angle but it’s also possibly a genuine mistake.
Not to allow player B to act would be wrong. As Thomas points out the dealer didn’t announce a showdown and that would be normal if everyone checked.
Marty is the only person here that actually gives the same ruling as the floor supervisor in Binions did. If player C doesn’t want to call a bet he could very easily use this situation to shoot an angle and if the dealer was a friend he could get away with it more easily.
It is important to have rules in place and to make rulings that eliminate the possibility of players taking unfair advantages.
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