Poker Tournament Directors Debate Hand at Summit

Poker tournament directors from all over the globe are meeting in Las Vegas during the WSOP at the Rio at this very moment. They are in their final day of a two day Summit to standardize rules for poker tournaments.

Below is a video of a hand from the 2009 European Poker Tour Barcelona event Matt Savage just showed and asked the tournament directors to debate.

What is your opinion about the hand. Please leave a comment below.

Donna Blevins
Dean of Poker Mindset

36 thoughts on “Poker Tournament Directors Debate Hand at Summit”

  1. he mucked the hand so it is dead…the dealer should not have turned the cards up in my opinion since he mucked….even though he showed a K my belief is if both cards aren't turned up its a muck…I could be wrong.

  2. I think a standardized process needs to be in place.  The players must show after the final call after the river, otherwise we as players can muck our cards and then claim the win. This was unfortunate as he only showed the one card briefly and then pushed it into the muck.  Players are responsible to protect their cards and should also be responsible to let the dealer see their cards.

    1. Yes, I agree Bill. There are stardardized rule in place to cover much of this. However, this hand was a compounding of errors from the possiblity of one player trying to angle to firing this dealer.

  3. The minute BB's hand touched the muck his hand was dead.  The dealer had no right to pull his hand out of the muck.  The director made a good call.

    1. I also agree with SB's decision wait and  have BB turn over his cards before showing his.  He called BB's bet, so it was BB who should have showed first.
      On a side note, neither one of them should have been in the hand!!!! LOL

      1. Once again, Diane, you are right. The SB called the bet. The player who was called has the obligation to turn his cards up first. What is disgusting is that the Q high actually called the final bet rather than raise… really, actually call off your chips with a Q high. Shut the front door!

    2. Just listened to the Tournament Directors take on the video. One mentioned that the first action was to fire the dealer, who made a grossly bad mistake in pushing the cards back to the player.

  4. The cards were clearly identifiable as belonging to de Wolf. The dealer knew the exact cards belonging to de Wolf.  The cards were not in the muck and the dealer, after turning the cards over, should have  pushed the pot to de Wolf.

    1. The burn cards are considered muck cards, and his cards did touch them. Tjhe problem is that once the floor person arrives, he does not have the full view that we had.

  5. Dude mucked his hand. Dealer should not have turned the cards over. The hand was dead. Too many fish in the sea.

  6. The hand was mucked so it is dead.  I can not understand why the Dealer was enticing him to muck.  He showed the King and pulled back his hand while the dealer kept reaching for his cards and then the Dealer pulls his hand out of the muck.  But it is the players resposibility to protect his hand.

    1. You are correct, Linda. Once the hand hit the muck, it is dead. From what I can see of the video, the dealer’s actions were out of line. And, yes, it is the players responsibility to protect his hand.

  7. Why did the dealer flip over Rolands cards? There were at the show-down… Was it requested by another player?
    Ultimately Rolands cards were tabled which would allow him to win the pot (regardless of his attempts to much which were obvious). That being said, I am unsure how I would rule on this as I don't understand much of what was said in the video. If anyone could enlighten me…. 
    I need to know… what was said between the two players at the show down…
    Why the dealer prevented Roland from mucking?
    Why the dealer flipped Rolands cards?

    1. By the time Roland’s cards were tabled Nathan, they had touched the muck. I think this is a good lesson in observation because the commentary is in German.

  8. I have often heard dealers inform players that they must show both cards to receive the pot when they only turn one over. I think the exception in this case would have been if the caller had mucked his hand first. Since he retained his cards and the raiser folded his (they hit the muck), the caller gets the pot.

    1. You are correct, Joanne. If there is any gross fault here, it is the dealer’s. A perfect example of protecting your hand.

  9. I wish the commentary could be subtitled into English. It is difficult for me to decipher the setup to the clip not being able to speak German…

    1. Me too, Ken. Interesting tho’ how poker translates so well to any language because it is a visual game.

  10. i don't see it as a muck. only because he never took his fingers off his cards. i re-played it three times. the dealer put his fingers on his cards at the same time. that confused the player and he lifted his fingers off his cards. the dealer should have never touched his hand until the player lifted his fingers off his cards. if ur fingers are still on the cards unless u announce a fold, it's not a muck. i blame the dealer. he had no right touching his cards while a player still has his fingers still on them. call me crazy. that's how i see it.

    1. This is a tough call, Joanie. The lesson above all is to protect your cards. In some houses, once your make a forward motion with your cards past a certain invisible line, they are considered mucked… much like carrying a stack of chips over the bet line in some card rooms means you are betting the entire stack.

      1. thanks for that.  i did not know if u make a forward motion past a certain invisible line they are considered mucked. i had an incident the other night i'd like ur opinion on if you would be so kind. i was heads up in a hand and was (as usual lol) talking and laughing with someone not in the hand. he bet after the flop and i called. we checked all the way down to the river. i said to him "i don't have anything u got it" and flipped both my cards over. turns out i hit a flush on the river and didn't see it. he said that since i said "u got it" i folded. i said i showed my cards and I have it. he was very upset. i ordered the chips shipped and they were.

        1. Joanie, the forward motion rule is in some rooms, not all. My job is to make your aware that you must know the rules of the house, regardless of how long you have played.

          Regarding, your verbal declaration then flipping your cards over, cards read. That means that regardless of whether you knew you won the hand, you won it as long as you show your cards, you do not say, “I fold” prior to showing the hand, and you do not fold.

          When I first started playing in 1996, I was sometimes embarrassed to show my hand when I was in with substandard cards. Then, my poker coach (the coach’s coach), said, “You paid to be in the hand. Turn your cards over and put your fingers on them until the hands are read. Do not let the dealer take your cards and muck them until you are convinced you have lost the hand. Do not release a winning hand until you are convinced the dealer has acknowledged you are the winner.”

          BTW, about the chatting with someone not in the hand when you are heads up. What do you think would be my counsel regarding that?

  11. well first i must say, your poker coach is right! i started playing in person about 2 years ago, but league poker, which is completely different from casino's and tourney's. i have to say it wasn't until i stepped foot into a casino that i started learning the rules. and i didn't know they differed from place to place. your so knowledgeable i might have to start saving my $$$ and hire u as my coach!!! in regards to your counsel regarding me talking and laughing while in a heads up hand, i think u would advise me to pay attention to the hand and stop talking until i'm out of it. which i normally do. but i was with close friends and we were having a blast. i know there's no excuse. i was reminded of saying my Mother use to tell us driving home that night: "Never miss a chance to shut up" lol

    1. You are so right, Joanie! (don’t you just love seeing that in print.) I look forward to welcoming you into my family of coaching clients. Frantly, I never expected that my clients would become my poker family. In fact, our poker community has become like a Montessori poker environment with people from all walks of life who actually help each other.

      I believe the concept of having a poker buddy, who functions as is a loving mirror, is a vital part of improving our game. For years, poker champions have been doing this. It is just now becoming public that poker pros have peer coaches as well as personal coaches.

  12. If he knew he lost , it is right to show just the one card, the other card can go in the muck,  I was in a situation where the winner of the hand flicked his cards in to the dealer, one up , I wanted to see the second card.  I was told that I could not see the second card because it was flicked to the dealer.  So what is the right rule on seeing mucked cards from a player who knows they lost a hand and turned over one card .
    The dealer shoud be fired for what he did, taking the cards out of the muck and turning them up/

    1. I certainly agree with your last statement, Steve, about firing the dealer.

      Regarding wanting to see the other card ~ as long as you won the hand, do NOT ask to see it. If for some reason the hand has not been killed AND the hand proves to actually beat your hand, cards speak.

      It is correct that you do not have the right to see a card that has been mucked face down. With that said, the official TDA rule about seeing a called but losing hand was tweaked during the Summit. I haven’t see the final draft. Will post the entire updated rules when they are released.

  13. Isn't this what happened to me in the Daytona tournament? Then my hand should have won since the other player mucked her cards and did not show them. The dealer then turned her cards up. ????

    1. Tania, if this EVER happens to you in a live tournament, where another player’s hand is mucked and the dealer turns the other player’s cards up, hold onto your cards and say, “Dealer, stop. Call the floor… Now. That hand is dead.” Be polite but firm. You have the right to stop the action and have a floor person come and make a ruling. At the same time, go to that calm place without allowing the incident to put you on tile… egardless of the outcome.

  14. Is clear…..both of Roberts cars touched the muck…there for IS a muck.   EVEN if they are turned up, player put them on the muck!!!!

  15. The player mucked his hand therefore the chips go to the player that didn't muck his cards.  I agree fire the dealer.

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