ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
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September 9th, 2010 at 2:12:55 PM permalink
I was playing in a $1/$3 THNL game at Wynn last summer and the following happened. I don't remember the details of the cards but for brevity, it boiled down to this:

A player to my left was contemplating a raise by an older gentleman a couple of seats to my right. They were the only ones in the hand, for this story's sake, only their stacks matter.

Anyway, after thinking for a short while, he goes all-in and pushes his stack forward. His stack is worth about $400 - $500, but the way he's composed it is the issue. IIRC, Wynn's $3 chips are blue, or maybe it's a different denomination, but he had his 2 blacks under a large stack of blue chips. The rest of his stack was $1 whites, $5 reds, and I think a green or two.

I saw that there were two blacks in the stack; after the hand when we were all talking about it, there was no one else that failed to see them. He never "hid" them, they were out in full view the whole hand, but just at the bottom of a stack of blues. But the blues were the closest in contrast to the blacks.

The older gentleman called pretty quickly and lost the hand. When the dealer counted out the winner's chips, the older gentleman called foul, saying that he wouldn't have called if he had seen the blacks. He eventually made good, but he left the table, called the winner all sorts of foul names, and complained. He was an older guy, so the winner was never going to hit him or anything, but the kinds of things the old guy was saying ... it would've been hard for me to hold my tongue or my fists, it was that bad.

So ... fair or foul?

The blacks were at the bottom, but don't we generally keep our larger denom chips at the bottom of the stack? But yeah, it wasn't in highest-to-lowest order, either. But also, it wasn't like the blacks were hidden inside the stack; they were at the bottom. But I can see how the older guy might not have seen them, and it was about half the all-in bet. And, as I said, the black-under-blue, while see-able, definitely didn't jump out.

I can see the old guy's point, and yes, I agree that the old guy should have taken a moment to see the size of the bet. His speed to call, though, indicated he would've called any bet, but I do believe he didn't see the blacks under the blues, and was surprised when they turned up.

The floorman made the right call and the old guy made good. But my question is, is it ever incumbent upon the players to CLEARLY show the blacks? I know you shouldn't "hide" them, but that's not what happened.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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September 9th, 2010 at 2:54:11 PM permalink
In tournaments, players are required to keep all their chips, sorted, in plain view. I'm not certain, but I think in live play the same is true. If it is not a rule, it is part of the table etiquette.

In the case you cite, the older gentleman should have asked for a count before calling. It is at his peril to call without an exact count.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
marksolberg
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September 9th, 2010 at 2:58:12 PM permalink
As long as the chips aren't hidden I'd say the caller had no right to be mad. It's his responsibility to know what he's calling.

Mark
Wizard
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Wizard
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September 9th, 2010 at 3:01:23 PM permalink
I'm not the best one to ask questions about the fine points of poker rules. That said, I thought there was a rule that you weren't supposed to mix colors at all in a stack of chips in pot limit or no limit poker. In tournaments I've played, the dealers were usually sticklers about that. Usually when I play a cash game it is a limit game, where mixing colors seems to be allowed, because it is always obvious what the bet is if you're paying attention.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
cclub79
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September 9th, 2010 at 3:13:05 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'm not the best one to ask questions about the fine points of poker rules. That said, I thought there was a rule that you weren't supposed to mix colors at all in a stack of chips in pot limit or no limit poker. In tournaments I've played, the dealers were usually sticklers about that. Usually when I play a cash game it is a limit game, where mixing colors seems to be allowed, because it is always obvious what the bet is if you're paying attention.



I agree that the chips should be sorted correctly, but that is only worthy of a correction and warning for the first offense. It is the responsibility of the caller to know how much he is calling. Every caller has a right to ask for a count. (In fact, they don't have to wait for an all-in to ask for that information.) The caller chose to not avail himself of that right, and instead decided to go by his own estimation. Similar colors are always a problem, but that is something that he must have been aware of going into the game. He is responsible for his incorrect estimation.
thecesspit
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September 9th, 2010 at 3:15:54 PM permalink
No issue here at all. He called the bet, the chips were on view and he had a chance to count the value before hand, or at least check it.

I bet if he'd won the hand he'd have been very happy by the 'bonus'. In fact, I bet nothing would have been said.

Know the rules, know what your betting, never assume.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
AZDuffman
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September 9th, 2010 at 4:18:16 PM permalink
I agree, no issue. With no one behind him he lost nothing by asking for a count. Caveat Emptor.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
mkl654321
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September 9th, 2010 at 4:42:07 PM permalink
Level of fault: Old guy (caller) 70%, dealer 20%, bettor 10%

Of course the old guy should have asked for a count, if indeed, as one poster points out, the amount he had to call truly had any influence in his decision (perhaps he would have called ANY bet).

The dealer should have spotted the hard-to-see denomination chips and spread out the bet, announcing the amount whether or not he was asked. I agree that the dealer is not OBLIGATED to do this, but in order to avoid disputes just such as this one, he SHOULD count down ambiguous bets.

The bettor should likewise make the amount of his bets clear, again, not because he is obligated to do so, but because it will avoid confusion and disputes. There is also the possibility of being seen as an "angle shooter", which I for one would prefer to avoid.

I know many would just say "caveat emptor" and place 100% of the blame on the old man, but I think such a cutthroat attitude is what keeps many people away from the game in the first place. Again, it is easier just to head off such disputes before they occur, by the dealer clarifying any ambiguous action if possible, including an inadvertent action where the "burden" might be on a given player to seek such clarification directly.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
DJTeddyBear
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September 9th, 2010 at 6:58:36 PM permalink
Yeah, you're supposed to keep the stacks sorted, and need to have your highest value chips in clear view.

It seems like the player did both of these things.

I've never heard a rule to keep the denominations separate, just that the stacks are sorted.

The caller is 100% wrong for calling without asking for a count first.

Often, when a bet like that is made, if the other player hesitates, the dealer will start stacking and counting the bet. This generally happens at low stakes tables. At higher stakes, dealers do a better job of not interrupting.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
TheJacob
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September 9th, 2010 at 9:07:44 PM permalink
I think both players are wrong.

First, to whoever said you keep high denom chips at the bottom...you shouldn't in a poker game where they are in play. High denom chips should always be kept on top of a stack or better yet in front of your other chips where everyone at the table can see them.

A good portion of my mental effort when playing live poker goes into keeping on eye on things like this. Its much more exhausting than online where you can clearly see every stacksize,position,etc. For that reason I am, rightfully, very very annoyed when a playing is interweaving chips, hiding high denoms behide other chips, or doing anything else that makes it difficult for me to estimate their stacksize.

But yes, I'm going to say it. You should always ask for a count.

Unfortunately in almost every poker room there isn't any real consequence for breaking any of the rules like this. In my opinion the dealer should pull forward all the stacks, remove the high denomination chips, return them to the player, announce the bet without the high denom chips, and verbally give the player a warning.

That is if it somehow gets to this point. I'm not going to blame this on the dealer, because this generally isn't seen as their responsibility. However, it should be.

This might not seem like a huge deal, but if you played hundreds of hours of live tournaments and you have to tell some guy to put his yellows out front every 5 minutes because he didn't listen the first hundred times it is.

I know my post is long, but overall I think the staff in poker rooms need to start taking responsibility and enforce the rules. I'm not saying this playing is trying to deceive the other players, but what if he is?

This player is breaking a rule either out of ignorance or malice. Either way the consequences should fall on him and not his opponent.
DJTeddyBear
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September 10th, 2010 at 6:52:05 AM permalink
Quote: TheJacob

High denom chips should always be kept on top of a stack

Too many players, myself included, have done this only to accidentally bet the high value chip. The result is, we keep them at the bottom - but in plain view.

Quote: TheJacob

In my opinion the dealer should pull forward all the stacks, remove the high denomination chips, return them to the player, announce the bet without the high denom chips, and verbally give the player a warning.

An "All-In" is an all-in. Nothing returned for any reason other than having more chips than what is called.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
rtpud
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September 10th, 2010 at 7:38:34 AM permalink
A similar thing happened to me where the player had 3 blacks under a stack of red and hte stack of red was behind two other stacks of red...so instead of 300$ he had around 600$...the difference was I moved all in thinking I had him covered +extra when in fact we had equal stacks; if I had known this I would've acted differently.
I payed it off and didn't complain, but now I always ask for a count. And personally, I keep the chips stacked with lowest denomination on the bottom which is typical of tournament rules if you have a stack of several denominations.

I have also had the dealer count a "dirty" stack and had to correct it (e.g. the dealer counts the bet as 55$ when it is in fact 51$ with one white chip...etc.)
Nareed
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September 10th, 2010 at 7:43:33 AM permalink
I think it would be good manners on the players part to state how much they're going all-in for. Just count your stack and say "All-in for $672" After all, you should know how much you're betting.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
ItsCalledSoccer
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September 10th, 2010 at 8:26:23 AM permalink
The bettor never hid his blacks or interwove them. They were there, in plain view, just at the bottom of a stack of blues. It was just that the colors were close enough so that the old guy didn't see them.

I will say that, IIRC, his stacks were all about the same height. The details fade, but if that recollection is correct, then the bettor had, say, a 20-stack of $3 next to a stack of 18-$3 + 2-$100, which could be kind of cheesy, except that there's no reason to think it was anything other than just automatic leveling his stacks at some point, something we all do.

I was at the table for about 90 minutes before this happened. I don't know the guy but I never got the sense he was doing something untowards on purpose.
DJTeddyBear
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September 10th, 2010 at 10:46:28 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I think it would be good manners on the players part to state how much they're going all-in for. Just count your stack and say "All-in for $672" After all, you should know how much you're betting.

Manners? At a poker game?

Besides, some people will remain silent to avoid giving away info. I.E. If you're good at reading tells, you'll ask the player 'how much?' not so much to know the count, but to see if the player fumbles and if there's any wavering in his voice, etc. I HATE when dealers automatically start counting bets....
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Nareed
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September 10th, 2010 at 11:30:53 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Manners? At a poker game?



If a couple of troglodites about to try to beat each other senseless can symbolically shake hands on the boxing ring, surely poker players can show a minimum of consideration for their opponents.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
TheJacob
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September 10th, 2010 at 1:08:01 PM permalink
I keep my high denoms in a separate stack in front of all the other chips and IMO this is how everyone should do it as its what makes the game run the smoothest. However, you have to option of putting them on top of the stack.

Stacking them at the bottom isn't an option, period.

I don't care that the player is all in, he isn't following the rules and he should face the consequences. To me this is no different than if the chips were in the cupholder. They aren't in plain view and shouldn't play. That said, the dealer should have fixed this as soon as he saw it and it would never get to this point.

Furthermore, I ask for a count 99.9% of the time, but if this happened to be the time I glance at the stacks I would be infuriated. This goes a lot deeper than it originally appears. I fully expect to have to deal with this in tournaments where there are many different denominations, however in a 1/2 cash game there almost never any blacks in play(in fact they don't play in most rooms).

If you bring black chips into a smaller game and don't make it easy to see them you are the one causing the problem.

I'm very polite every time I run into this, but please be aware that if someone asks you to put your high denom chips out front/on top you should do it. This isn't that persons preference, its the correct way to do it.
DavidMatthews
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September 10th, 2010 at 3:42:33 PM permalink
Mike S sent me an email asking about this. I play a lot of poker, mostly 2-5 NL and 5-10 NL. The rule is that oversized chips should be visible in front or on top and if the dealer had known there were black chips then the dealer should have requested that they be displayed. There is the conundrum of if the chips are hidden, how is the dealer going to see it?

Stacks are also supposed to be one denomination. A stack of red ($5) chips on top of a $1 chip is considered a dirty stack because if someone were to eyeball the stack they would likely guess the wrong number for the value. In this case it would only be a $4 difference but that's the way it is. Interestingly, a stack of red chips with a $1 chip on top is not a dirty stack. I really think the dirty stack rules are a bit too much hassle.

Whether the chips were visible or not is a real problem in NL hold 'em because as is demonstrated in this situation there can be confusion. Unfortunately, the ruling by the Wynn poker staff was the correct one. (but it really sucks for the person with the losing hand.)

I have had a similar situation cost me $600. I went all in on a bluff against a guy and he had a bunch of chips on top of some bills. $100 bills play in most places in town. I said to him, "What do you have? 2 Bills?" He just nodded and didn't say anything. I went all in. He called instantly with 3 kings. He actually had 8 bills and the house made me pay it. I would not have tried the bluff for an "All in" had I known how much money he had. That was expensive.

That's why I ALWAYS ask on all ins. Even if a guy has 5 red chips ($25) and he throws it in I ask the dealer how much it is. Dealers get irritated sometimes and look at me like, "It's pretty obvious isn't it." Also, players give me a hard time too sometimes. They tell me it's obviously $100 or whatever it looks like. Doesn't matter. I ask "How much is it?" over and over again.

Another thing is I will usually bet a number rather than say "all in." If I had made a bet of $500 against the guy with the 3 kings, then it wouldn't have mattered how many bills or what kinds of chips he had. I would have been on the hook for the $500 only.

I'm personally against having bills play on the table because I constantly have to ask people how many bills. People get offended when you ask them over and over again, especially when they have less money on the table than other players because they're embarrassed to say "2 bills." And then every hand I'm in with them I ask again, because you never know if maybe they added some bills to their stack in between hands. Or maybe they won a hand you didn't see. In addition, just the fact that you ask someone how much they have might give away information about your hand.

I think paper should not play and on 2-5 games and lower the largest chips allowed in play should be $100 chips. My opinion isn't a popular one though.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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September 10th, 2010 at 7:30:01 PM permalink
Quote: DavidMatthews

Interestingly, a stack of red chips with a $1 chip on top is not a dirty stack.

That supports my policy of keeping my high chips chips at the bottom of a stack - visible - but at the bottom.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
cclub79
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September 10th, 2010 at 7:54:45 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

That supports my policy of keeping my high chips chips at the bottom of a stack - visible - but at the bottom.



Yeah, until this thread I hadn't heard of high value on top; think about every bet you've ever made. It's always red on green for 30 bucks...red on 2 greens on black for $155, etc...I wouldn't expect to be flipping my stack over to place my bets. I do agree that the high value must be up front when you are playing poker. You can't hide it behind a stack of whites.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 10th, 2010 at 8:05:54 PM permalink
It would be really simple if:

1. The player states an amount. That's the amount of the bet.
2. The player says "all in", and the action stops until the chips/bills actually do go in the pot; then the dealer counts and announces the amount.
3. The player shoves in a stack of chips. Action stops until the dealer counts and announces the amount.

I don't see how anyone but an angle shooter could object to this.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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September 10th, 2010 at 8:38:38 PM permalink
Quote: cclub79

think about every bet you've ever made.

This comment actually got me thinking about bets at regular table games. The dealer will ALWAYS re-stack your bets with the high value chips at the bottom.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
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