Monday 7 January 2008

Rules R Rules

Rules R Rules
By Mick McCloskey

As I travel around different venues for poker tournaments, I come across all sorts of local rules which vary from place to place. Even the most experienced and attentive players can be caught out. A situation came to my attention recently in a card room, which shall remain anonymous. A player, who for the purpose of this story I will call John, was involved in a No Limit Hold’em cash game. He got into a pot with two other players, holding a pocket pair. The other two players were all in and John had money back. When all the cards on board had been dealt out John waited for the other two players to declare their hands. They both had big cards and both missed the board. John then picked up his cards and turned over his winning pocket pair. One player piped up and declared that John’s hand was dead as it was placed face down “over the line” A ruling was called for and the Floor man ruled the hand dead. Now I know that the ruling should be final but, whatever rules are in force the rule of fairness to the player should always take precedence. To my mind there was a major flaw in this ruling. Because the card room was running a major festival, they had borrowed some card tables to cope with the extra numbers. Their own tables were all of the same design and had a clear action line around the table which was at least 12 inches in front of the players. The borrowed table, on which this incident took place, had a line which had at most a 6 inch space and in some places was only around 4-5 inches in front of the player. With chips placed in front, it was difficult for any player to keep all of their cards behind this line. The visiting player may have had his cards placed face down in front of this line but they were never in the muck or touching any mucked cards. Common sense and fairness should have ensured that John should have won the pot. Until all card rooms adopt a common set of rules, travelling players should, within reason, be aware of local rules. Even the most astute are liable to be caught out some times so be very, very careful.

While on the subject of rules, conformity and common sense, a couple of dealing incidents took place which didn’t make a lot of sense. I was playing in a couple of fast structured satellites when some situations came up. Incident no. 1 came up on a board of 10, J, Q, K. Two players got involved and all the chips ended up in the middle. The cards were turned up and of course each player held an Ace for the top straight. Neither player had a re-draw to a flush or better on the river so the only possible outcome could be a split pot. Despite this, the dealer insisted in counting out and matching up the chips and then pushing them all together into the pot. Then the dealer had to separate and split all the chips between the two players involved. What a waste of time. I saw the same situation occur at another table where two players were all in with A, K each. Surely dealers can be trained to leave the chips separate in these situations. If by chance one player happens to hit a flush the pot can be sorted out afterwards. In most cases, there will be a split pot and it is usually a waste of time to match up and push all the chips into the centre. Maybe the card room managers could do us all a favour and make a New Years resolution to eliminate this time wasting nonsense.


Neill Kelly’s Big Slick Events Company seems to be upping the ante in running reasonably priced poker events outside of the Dublin area in 2008. The first of these takes place, in association with Irish Eyes Poker, from 10th to 13th January. Entitled The Lakes of Killarney Hold’em Festival, the action takes place in the Killarney Avenue Hotel, Co. Kerry and kicks off with a €50 super satellite with one re-buy and one add-on. The three day main event starts on Friday 11th and features a 15,000 starting stack and 60 minute levels. The buy in is €500 + 50. There are two support events costing €200 + 20 and €150 + 20 with the €200 event being played over two days on a 40 minute clock with 10,000 starting chips.
The following month Big Slick moves to Clonmel, Co. Tipperary for the four day Coursing Festival running from 3rd to 6th February. The venue is The Minella Hotel and entry fees range from €100 to €250.
They then move to Waterford for a team event, in association with Blonde Poker. The venue is the Woodlands Hotel and the dates are from 22nd to 24th February. Each team consists of four players and the buy-in is €210 per player.
Further events are planned, including The Irish Series of Poker, featuring a €1,000 main event.
For further details, log onto the Big Slick Events website or Blonde Poker’s website.


Another major event coming up in February is The Green Joker Poker European Deep stack Championship running from 2nd to 10th in the Drogheda Poker Club, about 20miles North of Dublin Airport. Players will start with a massive 50,000 chips with 60 minute levels played over 4 days. The entry fee is €1,400 + 100 and qualifying satellites are running on Green Joker Poker and Bluesqpoker.
There is a full schedule of support events including Short Handed Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha events. The main event is restricted to 300 players and the support events are less than half that number so early booking is recommended. For full details of the schedule and local hotels etc. check out the Green Joker Poker site or the Antes up website.

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