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You are the Tournament Director: Exposing Cards in Error

A situation happened in the EPT event in Vienna in March 2005. Player A raised pre-flop with pocket jacks and got three callers including Player B. The flop came down Q, 10, 2 and Player A bet out. Player B was the only caller. The turn came a Jack, Player B checked and Player A checked behind him. On the river a blank came and Player B bet 500 into a pot of about 2,500. Player A didn’t like it but decided to raise and threw out two 500 chips. Player B (who didn’t realise Player A had raised) turned his hand over without calling the raise, he had the nuts - Ace King. How do you rule and why?

Matt SavageMatt:
I would have allowed him to obviously only call and I would have issued him a penalty - a time penalty for exposing his cards before the action was complete. I think that in this situation, you know, a while ago it would be ruled that his hand would have been dead. I don’t think that he intentionally did this; he obviously intended to call if he had the nuts - OK so say I would have allowed him to at least call and issue him a time penalty.

Thomas KremserThomas:
Player B`s hand is live and he can call the raise. After this hand Player B must make a 10 minute break away from the table.

JackJack:
The hand is live and player B can still call, obviously he would not fold the nuts. It’s just a mistake.

Liam FloodLiam:
Player B’s hand is dead, he didn’t call, he mucked his hand.

MelMel:
Ruling that I would give would be that Player B can only flat call the bet and not raise. It was a mistake on Player B’s part for not paying attention but he was probably lost in the moment when his miracle 2 outer came to give him the nut str8.

Marty WilsonMarty:
Give it to trip jacks; the guy hasn’t paid attention, if he turns his cards over his hand is dead.

The Mob Verdict

This did in fact happen. Barny was the player with the three Jacks (player A) and Jon Shoreman was player B with the straight. The tournament directors are split four to two on this. Liam and Marty say that Jon’s hand is dead and Barny wins the pot. The other four all allow him to call, no one allows him to raise. Thomas and Matt would give a time penalty whilst Jack and Mel wouldn’t.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that Jon may not have realised that he had the nuts. Ok, we know Jon and he is a very experienced player, and that is unlikely but just say that he didn’t realise and was passing. Now another player says something and Jon realises and wants to call. That can’t be right can it?

There are lots of differences of opinion about exposing cards. This is a heads up situation and *most likely* Jon just hasn’t seen the raise from Barny.

We would allow him to call. Joe likes the idea of the time penalty even though Jon can’t gain anything by turning his hand over if he knows that he has the nuts. The time penalty serves as a warning to Jon and the other players that they should pay attention and it stops others trying to take a shot if they think that one is worth taking in other similar situations. Barny however doesn’t think that a player should be penalised for making an honest mistake from which they couldn’t possibly benefit.

As it happens in this situation a ruling wasn’t called for. Jon was allowed to call the 500 raise and took the pot. Barny knew that Jon had simply not seen the raise.

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