Check Your Nuts

I decided to head to the Casino last night to get a little practice on the live scene before I head out to Panama.

There was a £10 Rebuy tournament running which I thought would be good little test – or at least just an opportunity to get in the habit of doing the right things at the Poker table.  The tournament ended up being a bit of a joke.  I thought there would be more play than there was, but the structure was pretty terrible and the tournament became a shove-a-thon only about an hour in.  If you fancy getting the highlights, have a scroll through my twitter as I’m posting this update more-so about the Cash Table I played shortly afterwards…

I sat down at a £1/£2 table with the maximum (£400) with 2 others and had to wait for another to join before we were allowed to start the game.  After about 10 minutes of waiting we were joined by three others and could get going.

An hour in, there wasn’t much of note going on.  I had increased my stack to circa £600 but hadn’t done too much.  Then out of the blue one of the weirdest hands I’ve ever played occurred.

The man to my left (didn’t catch his name) had a bit too much to drink.  Mumbling in his thick Liverpudlian accent ‘I’ve got a boner’ after seeing his cards every hand was somewhat amusing to the rest of us, but I think most saw him as an opportunity to win some money as he didn’t seem to know what he was doing.  The morality of this is dubious at best, but its up to the Casino to determine if customers are fit enough to play, not the other players at the table.

Guy to the right of me straddles the big blind to £4 as I look down at my cards to see the beautiful sight of AA.  We are now 9-handed and I raise to £12 UTG.   The Liverpudlian next to me looks at his cards and for the 14th time declares ‘I have a boner’ and calls my £12.  Who knows if he did have a boner, but I sure did.

Straddler calls and we are 3-way to the flop.

Flop comes.

Qh  Jc  10s.

Eurgh.  This is pretty much the nut worst board to have Aces.  The only way it could be worse is if there were flush draws out.  I decide to bet £22 (half pot) and see the Liverpudlian reach for a £100 chip asking if he can raise.  He does and suddenly its £78 more to see another card.  Other guy folds leaving me to make my decision.

The vast majority of the time, on that board and to that action, I fold.  However I had seen this man get to showdown with some shocking hands playing them like the nuts, so I make a decision there and then to take a check/call route all the way down to the river should the board not get even scarier.  I call.

Turn

4d

Doesn’t change anything.  I check.  He bets £100 and I call.

River

5c

Again, a nothing card.  I check.  He looks at his cards again, sighs and then checks behind.  I wasn’t sure before, but after he checks I’m quietly confident my Aces are the best hand and flip them over.  Other players at the table say nice hand etc but the Liverpudlian still hasn’t shown his cards.  Dealer asks to see his hand and he flips them over to reveal AK – the nuts.

Sat there bewildered by his check with the nuts, I remembered a video I had seen online where a similar thing had happened in a major tournament.  A player had misread his hand and didn’t bet when last to act.  When he showed his hand, the floor said he had to miss an entire orbit as punishment as not deciding to bet with the best possible hand can be interpreted as collusion with another player.

I asked the dealer about this but he wasn’t interested.  Neither were any other players.  Despite the check saving me a whole lot of money, I was the only one who seemed remotely bothered by the entire incident.

I asked the Liverpudlian about it and he just said “Oh we are only here to have some fun”.  I couldn’t work out if I was just being uptight or whether or not I was correct.  Imagine if two mates were playing on the same table and you are the spectator in the hand and the same thing happens.  You’d suspect foul play – and rightly so.  The difference here was that the man was drunk enough for no one to care, but does this make it right?

I ended up leaving the table with £825 for a decent profit, but the above hand still has me thinking about the ethics in poker.

What do you think?

 

 

 

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