You are the Tournament Director Series 3: Flopped Too Soon, Does the Raise Stand?
This one was send in by Eliza the editor of Poker Europa Magazine.
This ruling was made on the 5th June 2007 at the Grosvenor Club in Cardiff. Six players in a self dealt OMAHA game. Player 6 is dealing, 6, 1, and 2 have 100 each in the pot. Player 3 raises to 500, player 4 raises to 1000, 5 calls and player six (the dealer) passes. Player 1 calls, 2 passes. Before 3 can act the dealer turns over two cards of the flop and realises his mistake and replaces them. At which point player 3 re-raises. A ruling was asked for and the card room manager ruled player 3 out of the pot. Being player 3, I was furious, and would not accept this ruling. It was then decided to shuffle the pack and my raise stood. The following day I attended a meeting at the 'Vic' in London to clarify the ruling. I maintain that if the ruling to eliminate me from the pot stood, it would be the first time in 25yrs that I can remember a casino making a ruling that would cheat a player out of his money. The consequences are horrendous, it opens the door to collusion, and based on this ruling 5 players could have called, the 6th player raises and before the others can act, the flop is turned over making the raiser the winner of the pot. There was no clear answer from the 'Vic', but Jeff, the card room manager asked me to send you this scenario for your experts to give their opinion.
The Mob Verdict
It is important in any poker game whether self dealt or dealer dealt that all action before the flop MUST be completed before the flop is dealt.
Any flop that is dealt in part or whole is invalid if action is incomplete – even if it is just the big blind not taking his option by checking or raising.
Although Jeff makes an interesting point about angle-shooting it doesn’t really apply in this case. This is not a situation where the action has been checked around and the last player keeps his head down hoping not be noticed until he's seen whether he likes the flop. Player 3 was facing a raise and was going to have to either put some chips in the pot or fold his hand. The dealer clearly made a mistake by not waiting for his action.
Jack sums it up perfectly.
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