You are the Tournament Director Series 2: Less Than One Big Blind
This TD question was sent in by Barny Gribbin who is a TD in a new poker room in Bangor, N Ireland.
I was wondering if you could help with a ruling. It is bubble time in a free roll satellite. Three players fold then a player in seat 10 moves all in and stands up. As he stands up the dealer mucks his hand. All action at this point is stopped and I am called over to make a ruling. First thing I ask is was his bet called or has any other action occurred and the answer is “No”. Then I ask did his cards go into the muck? “Yes they went right into middle of muck”. So I ruled his hand is definitely dead and his cards can not be returned. Now the rule we use is the amount of his raise is taken back and the value of the big blind or previous bet remains in pot, but as he stack is very short and he doesn’t even cover the BB then he would be all in and playing the board. but as this was a free roll and on the bubble I decided as it was the dealers error and as the guy claims he didn’t have time to protect his hand and that as he pushed his chips in the dealer took his cards (the guy only has one arm) , I decided to make an exception and let him take his chips back. Do you think this was a fair ruling?
Danny, Matt and Roy all call his hand dead whereas Thomas, Luke and Mel give him back his chips. Obviously a player is responsible for protecting his own hand but in reality dealers do sometimes make mistakes like this. This is a case where for the good of the game you couldn’t really expect anyone to object to the guy being given his chips back.
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