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A Missed Angle Shot

January 30, 2010

Here’s an interesting little situation from last night’s $1-$2 game at the Venetian.

The hand started after I made an $11 raise with As-9s from middle position and got called by the big blind, a bluffing machine who I had already felted twice in the past 30 minutes. I check-called his $20 bet on a flop of K-J-9 rainbow and we both checked the brick on the turn. The river was gold, bringing the 9c, and I eyeballed his stack before pushing $60 into the middle. Without a word, he moved his stack into the middle and I flipped over my trips.

At this point, my opponent claimed that I didn’t win the pot because I never called.


The dealer asked to see his hand, and he refused, saying again I never called his bet. The dealer looked at the stacks and realized he had put in a total of $64. She shook her head, tossed his $4 back and again asked for him to show his hand. When he refused, she pushed me the pot.

Again, my opponent got indignant, saying I couldn’t win because I didn’t call his all in. Again, the dealer said it didn’t matter because I won at least the $60 he committed after my original bet. My opponent still refused to accept the fact, but finally mucked his cards when the dealer offered to call the floor for a ruling.

I didn’t say a word throughout the whole encounter, but I did find it to be an interesting situation. Obviously, I was attempting to bet enough to put my opponent all in and I could have solved the problem by asking him for a count before I committed my chips. By the same token, you can say the dealer is at fault for not counting his stack when he moved all in behind my bet.

Either way, it was obvious that I would have called the additional $4, but what happens here if we were playing with deeper stacks? At what point do I have a decision as to call the additional money or does it never matter? If I bet $300 and my opponent actually has $400, does that stop me from calling? I think not. What about a $3,000 bet and an all-in raise of $4,000? Again, the math obviously dictates I call.

What about a $3,000 bet and an all in of $5,000?

It’s an interesting spot and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2010 7:50 am

    The insurance policy I use is this: If an opponent moves all in, and it’s not absolutely clear whether the total is more or less than the amount I had bet, I tell the dealer, “If that’s more, I’ll call,” then expose my cards. I’ve never had a problem handling it that way.

  2. katkin permalink*
    January 31, 2010 10:17 am

    That seems to be an easy and logical solution. Of course, that’s probably why I didn’t think of it.

  3. January 31, 2010 1:47 pm

    Hmmmm. Reminds me of something that came up during the HORSE tourney at LAPC. Guy #1 bets 300 on the river (it was hold’em). Guy #2 announces all-in and throws out 350 in chips. Guy #1 (not realizing that Guy #2’s bet was a 50 raise) flips over his hand without saying anything. Guy #2 (presumably thinking that Guy #1 called the 50) flips over his hand. Guy #2 rivered 2-pair against Guy #1’s A-A. Then the dealer says to Guy #1, “You owe him another 50.” Guy #1 pays the 50, the dealer begins the shuffle for the next hand, but then Guy #1 says, “I never said call.”

    Floor person was called. She wasn’t sure. She called another floor person. The second floor person said that because Guy #1 never said call, Guy #1 doesn’t have to pay the extra 50.

    I’m with Grump. Even if it looks like I’m blind or deaf, I ask the dealer to confirm the action / stack size when a situation is unclear.

  4. February 1, 2010 4:54 am

    You screwed yourself out of four bucks, unless the Venetian has a policy that exposing your hand early kills the hand. Usually in cash games turning one or both cards up doesn’t kill the hand. You could turn it up on the flop if you felt like it.

    On the other hand, until you say “I call” or put the four bucks into the pot, your opponent is technically winning the hand, whether your cards are face up or down. But since eventually he mucks his hand without showing and yours is still live, you should get everything.

  5. February 1, 2010 4:56 am

    (And re: CKBWOP’s experience at Commerce, Guy #1 should pay his T50 and be happy he isn’t hit with a one-round penalty for exposing his hand early.)

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