Well, I’m back from my latest Vegas excursion and it will be likely way too long until I return (likely not before the WSOP is underway). Not to worry, this will give me plenty of time to catch up on my anecdotes from the three most recent trips—and possibly earlier ones.
But first I want to return to a topic I discussed in the post here, regarding when the action is reopened in a No Limit Hold’em game. Recall that reader Ed said that an all-in of $95 after an opening bet of $60 was ruled to have reopened the betting action. When I asked my Vegas dealer twitter follows about this, the consensus was that a re-raise should not have been allowed, the shove had to be at least as much as original raise. But Ed said that because the all-in was more than half the original raise, the next player was allowed to raise again.
Well, I questioned Ed and he originally said that he might have misremembered the all-in amount; perhaps it was $120. But after that post ran, Ed checked back with the room (in California) where the action took place and was informed that the $95 all-in after a $60 raise does indeed reopen the betting in this room. That is the house rule. He was told he should have questioned it at the time if he had any doubt but was assured that was the house rule.
OK. I guess the room has its own rules. I did recall that when I asked the question on Twitter, someone actually posted a clip from the TDA rules that made clear that in a TDA tournament, the betting would not have been re-opened in this scenario. I went back to Ed to confirm this room does indeed run tournaments. So either the room doesn’t use TDA rules for its tournaments, or it has different rules for tournaments and cash games. Interesting. Of course, not all poker rooms run their tournaments under TDA rules.
Totally unrelated to that issue, there was a funny hand I witnessed up in Vegas a week or so ago. The room was Caesars Palace, where they allow the (dreaded) button straddle. You might remember how much I love the button straddle (see here). In this game, there was this particular aggro Brit who loved, loved, loved to button straddle. He did it every single orbit. As it happened, for much of the game, the seat to my immediate right was open, and thus this Brit was button-straddling my big blind. And sadly, Caesars does the button straddle the wrong way, the most heinous way possible, and starts the action on the small blind, not Under-the-Gun.
I waited it out, figuring on a Saturday night it wouldn’t take that long for the seat to my right to be filled. The initial person who took that seat waited one orbit to change seats. That first orbit, his big blind was button-straddled by the Brit, and he wasted no time in changing to the open seat to the Brit’s immediate right. Why didn’t I take that seat? Because I didn’t want to be on the immediate right of this aggro. I wanted him to act before me most of the time.
Anyway, the next person who took the seat to my right was the Brit’s buddy. He came from another table with a big stack, and was even more the aggro than his buddy was. Except that until he had joined the table, he hadn’t yet learned to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of button-straddling. But almost immediately, his pal convinced him to try it and he fell in love with it. Lucky my, now my small blind was always being button-straddled, and the first action was on me.
Anyway, on the hand in question, the (original) aggro Brit was on the button and straddled, as always. A few players called the straddle, including the player to the Brit’s immediately right, the fellow who had moved to that spot to avoid having his big blind constantly straddled. So for this hand, he was in the cut-off seat.
Now, with all those limpers, the Brit did what I expected him to do, he put out a whole bunch of more chips and raised. I think he had raised to $30 or $35. One by one, the limpers folded. And then the Brit laughed heartily and proudly showed his buddy—and the rest of us—his hand, which was Ace-King off.
There was one problem. The Brit hadn’t noticed that the fellow on his immediate right still had cards in front of him. Yes, he had not yet acted. The Brit had missed the fact that he had limped in and hadn’t yet folded.
Embarrassed, the Brit grabbed his cards and turned them face down, but it was too late. Everyone, including the player who the action was on, had seen his Ace-King. The Brit looked at the dealer for relief, but there was nothing to do. It was the player’s own fault. The cut-off player now had a decision to make and was playing against a guy who was quite literally playing his hand face up. The cut-off went ahead and called the bet the Brit had made. The Brit kept his cards exposed and said to his pal, “Well, I guess there’s no bluffing this hand.”
The flop was low, and clearly hadn’t connected with Ace-King. First to act, the cut-off naturally bet, about $50 or so. No bluffing this hand, huh? Well no bluffing from the Brit, but was the cut-off bluffing? Heh heh. He most likely was, although it was certainly possible one of those low cards had connected with his hand. The Brit laughed nervously, looked at his buddy as if to ask “what can I do?” but he had no choice but to fold.
It was a nice moment. I can’t say I was sorry to see the aggro get his comeuppance. The only thing I wondered was, would the cut-off show his hand? I think if it had been me, and I had nothing, I would have gladly shown my hand. OTOH, if I had caught a hand, I wouldn’t have shown. Whatever, the guy didn’t show and when the Brit asked what he had, he remained silent.
Does it make me a bad person for so thoroughly enjoying that hand?