Dealer’s Choice 2

I realize that there is an obsession in the poker world with looking cool at the table. You see it at every table you sit down at. Nine players = at least five I-pods and seven or eight pairs of sunglasses. The TV cameras and the audiences at home are very impressed I have no doubt. What is not as is impressive is when those little luxury items start costing you chips. Follow me with this one, believe me my story is pretty good…

It was last year’s Ultimate Bet WPT stop in Aruba.; One of my absolute favorite tournaments to deal and some of the best beaches in the world by the way. The people that put that tournament on from top to bottom are fantastic. From Ultimate Bet to Suzie Weiss it is a fantastic tourney. One of the only complaints I have heard about that tourney is the fact that some of the chips (especially the $100 and $500) look very similar to each other.

We were in the early rounds of a tourney and the blinds were at $100 – $200. I sit down, shuffle up and get to dealing. Please remember the $100 (black) and $500 (dark purple) are very difficult to distinguish. About three hands in to my dealing the player under the gun raises to $600. He verbally announces raise and I also say raise and he tosses in a $100 and a $500 (to save time just assume that is the case in all these examples). The player on the button (wearing an I-pod) then says I call and tosses in $200. I explained to the player that there was a raise and that the bet is $600. He says “Oh, I didn’t hear that, then I fold” and starts to pull his chips back. I informed him that since he had said “Call” he is verbally bound to call the $600. He disagreed and we called a floor and the floor made him put in the $600 as I and many of the other players stated that he did say call.

Now this happens a lot at tourneys and I am sure you are saying why on earth is he writing about this….stick with me though…I think you’ll be chuckling at the end…

So we move on and about six hands later a player in early position makes it $600 again. Sure enough three players down the table someone (wearing sunglasses this time) tosses in $200 to call. I say there has been a raise to $600 and he says “Oh sorry, these damn chips look the same, I didn’t see it” and tries to pull his chips back as well. I inform him that once the chips are in they don’t come back out. He disagreed and we called the floor again and the floor made him put the $200 back in the pot. Then as you all know he has the option to fold or complete the call of $600. He called and we moved on.

Four hands later, we repeat example one with another I-pod player. Two hands after that we repeat example two with another sunglasses player. The only advantage is I didn’t have to call floor because we had already gone through it.

And now the one that caused the biggest headache. Please keep in mind this all happened in less than thirty minutes of dealing. We get an under the gun raise to $600 again and a player wearing an I-pod says “Call” and tosses in $200. At this point we are all kind of laughing and shaking our heads. I say “Sir it has been raised to $600”. He laughs says “Oh, sorry, missed that” and mucks his cards. I take his cards, put them in the muck, and then ask him to please put $600 in the pot as he has announced call. I’m sure you can imagine his reaction. I call the floor over for the third time and explain the situation and he has the player put in $600 because he announced call.

Now, for all you tournament players out there I hope you agree that when any cards are pushed forward the dealer should kill them as the players’ intention is to fold. I know it’s a harsh rule sometimes but if I don’t kill that hand and that guy goes on to win the pot, now the pre flop raiser is mad because that player’s hand should have been folded.

I deal one more hand and then get pushed out and most of the players are laughing as I say thank you and good luck. So over the course of thirty minutes of dealing there were five I-pod / Sunglasses related miscues that cost $2200 in chips. And that was just on my table. I may get five of these in a day or maybe over the course of an entire tournament, but on one table in thirty minutes??? I think that must be some kind of record.

So I’m asking you please, enjoy your I-pod and enjoy the tourney, but keep your eyes and ears on the action. Whether you believe me or not, most dealers don’t want to be involved in the hand at all and we hate (at least I do) having to make players put chips into the pot when they didn’t want to.

Well, the push is here and I have to go to the next table. So thank you very much Ladies and Gentlemen and good luck. See you next time I’m back in the box.