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playing poker and teaching science: Call the floor...
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Call the floor...

What do you do when a dealer makes a mistake?

Last Saturday evening I was sitting in the Lumier Casino poker room in St. Louis playing in a $1/$3 NLHE game while the Cardinals entered the 20th inning tied 1-1. I was playing well but had taken a $80 beat when top pair top kicker was beaten by donkey-calls-third-pair-bottom-kicker
-and-then-pairs-his-donkey-kicker guy.

I was one off the button when I was dealt two black kings. The action came around to me and I raised to four times the big blind, which had become the standard raise, and got two callers at the opposite end of the table. One caller had a big stack and had been catching good cards and the other was a solid player with a medium stack.

The flop was 10, 4, 2 rainbow and the action came around to me as both players checked. I picked up some chips, pointed at the pot as I counted how much was on the table, and the dealer said, "Check."

I said, "No. I'm going to bet. I was just counting the pot."

"Any hand movement means "check."

"I really don't think that's accurate."


The floor came over immediately. The dealer accurately explained what happened, and he said, "The dealer said it's a check."

What do I do here? I can continue to argue, likely to no avail, or I can play the hand out. There's more than $50 on the table and no draws, but I have two opponents and don't want the hand to go too much farther.

I don't have much choice but to acquiesce.

At this point the situation becomes moot because she turns over a queen, it's checked to me, I bet, and everyone folds. If she had turned an ace I may have lost the pot due to a poor decision and I don't know that I could have been as cordial.

I raked in the pot, tipped the dealer, and said, "You're just doing your job."

I thought she had handled it very well. She did not argue with me but called the floor and explained what happened. She made a mistake, the floor made a mistake, but fortunately it didn't cost me anything.

I did discuss it with the poker room manager afterwards and he agreed with me that I should have been allowed to bet as there was no action behind me and the dealer's called "check" was easily correctable.

That, and the fact that there were some very poor players there that night, resulting in a little cash in my pocket, made me feel good about the evening.

On a side note, I saw a MASTERFUL play by a young loose player with a big stack as he played a huge pot against the other big stack at the table. He induced a call while he was holding quad nines when his set hit the case nine ON THE TURN. He drew the big stack into a $105 call on the turn and then another $330 on the river.

Watching world-class plays by no-name players is always fun.

Thanks for reading.


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