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Tournament etiquette

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  • Tournament etiquette

    An interesting question of tournament etiquette came up yesterday in the MSPT Regional tournment in Blackhawk. It was Day 1B, with a two hands left for the night.

    Blinds 2000/4000/500

    Short stack to my right, UTG, with about 53 K left, opens for 10K.

    I have about 300K and am Day 1B chip leader at this point, with two hands left. I have K-8 hearts. I know UTG wants to double or come back for Day 1C so he should be playing a very wide range. But I am suspicious that his bet sizing may indicate a monster.

    Two other reasonably big stacks are to my left (260K and 153K). I don't want to shove and face a call by them or call and face a shove from either of them with my hand. So I consider folding. Based on their table posture, however, I predict that one of them (A LAG with 153K) will call and the other will fold (this is the end of a very long tournament day due to a three hour power outage and the other guy just wants to bag his chips and go to Day 2).

    So I call and LAG with 153K calls.

    The flop comes 8-10-J, two hearts. UTG shoves.

    I don't want to call and face a shove from the LAG, effectively risking cutting my stack in 1/2 at this point with bottom pair and a draw that might not be the nuts. But I don't want to let the 43K guy take down the pot either. The LAG and I have a long history and he knows that I might call to try to induce a shove from him, so I think he will not shove over me unless he hit the flop very hard. So I call.

    The LAG puts in his remaining 143K stack, says, "I don't care, I'll take the penalty" and turns over 7-9 diamonds to show the made straight but no chance at the flush draw.

    The short stack who shoves goes ballistic, saying that he is trying to triple up and it is horrible poker etiquette with me still in the hand. I say to myself that showing the hand actually increases the likelihood I would call, but keep quiet in the battle between the other two guys.

    It seemed to me that the short stack was correct. Showing your hand as an attempt to influence the action of a player who hasn't acted when there are three players in the pot seems wrong to me. (Whether it is effective or not is a separate matter). Any contrary views?


  • #2
    Yes it horrible ettiquette hence the penalty but I give the guy credit for doing everything to win the hand, win a huge pot less 3bbs while simultaneously shorting the all-in's equity. In my head, it's mathematically an advantageous move.

    You have to think about his angle like an intentional walk in baseball, the QB throwing the ball away to force the clock to stop or when he's in trouble or the obvious intentional foul in Basketball. It's exploiting the rules and part of the game.
    Last edited by XBobLove; 03-25-2017, 07:08 PM. Reason: Additional Thoughts

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    • #3
      Some card rooms will rule any exposed hand as dead. Additionally, in card rooms where your hand is not declared dead and the hand is played open, players whose exposing of cards happened repeated times in tournaments after receiving warnings, have resulted in players being suspended from the card room.

      It is not like exploiting the rules for strategic advantage. TD's take this serious. They will warn you once, maybe twice, but if the player keeps doing this they will be flagged.

      TD's also take into account if the exposure of cards are accidental, appeared accidental or was a blatant violation of the rules. The intent is not to penalize accidental exposures, but to prevent angle shooting that effects the equity of all of the other players.
      Last edited by jjpregler; 03-25-2017, 08:43 PM.

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      • #4
        In my local card room, exposed hands are automatically dead, if action is pending.

        Players are very careful not to turn over hands until instructed by dealer.

        We also can't state what is our hand, we can lie about our hand.

        A few years ago we had a big tournament with a lot of out of town pros.

        We were near the money and one pro had AA, 3-bet, but he didn't want a call.

        He stated his hand and got a three lap penalty.

        If he had said "I have not got KK", or "I have a big pair", he would have got the same penalty. If he said "I have got AK" this would be OK. Of course he could say this so we know he doesn't have AK.
        Last edited by Patrick O; 03-25-2017, 09:27 PM.

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        • #5
          In Blackhawk, if you say anything about your own hand, true or false, it is a one round penalty, and an accidental exposure of your hand while any action is pending, including your own action, is also a one round penalty. Since that is the penalty for an accidental exposure, it seems like an intentional exposure of your hand to try to gain an advantage in a tournament when the action is on someone else should be a more severe penalty. That said, I would prefer a rule that permitted you to lie or tell the truth or show your hand, but that doesn't seem to be the rule for tournaments anywhere. In a cash game here, however, that's the rule and it works fine.

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          • #6
            At Foxwoods last week my wife exposed her hand early in an Omaha/8 tournament (I know, but I married her anyway.) The hand stood and she was given a three hand penelty because it was deemed unintentional. If it had been intentional it would have been a full round penalty. I don't think I've seen the rule applied like this before.
            In some book (it might have been JL) there was a theoretical example given where you are on the money bubble and have just about enough to fold your way into the money. You get AA and bet all-in turning your cards face up taking the penalty, since you probably won't play another hand until the bubble breaks anyway.
            ​​​​​​​Unethical? Sure. Good strategy? Probably

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            • #7
              Look, this is another Will Kassouf situation. It's exploiting the rules so knowing knowing the rules and capitalizing on them is part of the game. If there were no rules there are a whole lot of angles that we could discuss. Again it's no different than a forced foul in BlackBerry or downing the ball in the NFL. If the penalty for the rule breach is minor relative to the advantage taken, it's one more math equation.

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              • #8
                Except this guy isn't that smart. Under the circumstances he will get folds from everyone who he should want to call, and he allows a flush draw without an ace of hearts to play perfectly, depending on pot odds and whatever overlay they think they need. Pretty stupid move in this case I think. But my starting question was whether it was "the wrong thing to do" for an ethical player, in a case in which it was not so stupid as a strategic matter. I guess there is no clear answer on that. I think that I would not do it to another player whose tournament life was on the line, however, as it does seem wrong to me and contrary to the spirit of good sportsmanship.

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                • XBobLove
                  XBobLove commented
                  Editing a comment
                  He's smart enough to know the rules and smart enough to know this angle and it's a good place to use it. The comments here seem a overly dismissive.

              • #9
                Whatever level we are playing at, we have to live with the people we play against regularly. If I make life miserable for others or angle shoot, I am ultimately making life miserable for myself.

                In the case of Will Kassouf I am not sure if his behaviour hinders or helps his chance of getting sponsorship or a spot as a commentator. I think it would hinder, but then look at Phil Helmuth.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by BDSattva View Post
                  Except this guy isn't that smart. Under the circumstances he will get folds from everyone who he should want to call, and he allows a flush draw without an ace of hearts to play perfectly, depending on pot odds and whatever overlay they think they need. Pretty stupid move in this case I think. But my starting question was whether it was "the wrong thing to do" for an ethical player, in a case in which it was not so stupid as a strategic matter. I guess there is no clear answer on that. I think that I would not do it to another player whose tournament life was on the line, however, as it does seem wrong to me and contrary to the spirit of good sportsmanship.
                  Yes, in my opinion it is definitely wrong for an ethical player to do this. This isn't the same as a QB downing a ball to kill the clock. This is more akin to taking a penalty for chop blocking the DE hoping to take him out of the game.

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                  • #11
                    Equating this angle to a chop block in a last man standing game where the objective is to knock your opponent out of the game is funny.

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                    • #12
                      hi BDSattva, you are such a gambler playing with K8s preflop at that position with two big stack behind you. To me is quite a risky move, but fortune favor the brave. actually i understand why villain open his card he dont want you villain, to suddenly feel crazy and want to gamble with him with what every flush draw with pair etc he is telling you he has the nuts , hero has no odds to draw , dont ever try to come in to crack him. he is trying to protect himself from getting crack by gambler. To the short stack it wont affect him, is either he have the best hand and triple up or he is out. hero has call and villain reshove , villain trying to make hero fold after hero put in the money , so it doesnt affect the short stack at all.
                      At some point i cant deny villain is trying to angle in someway to protect himself.


                      lets see this video
                       

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                      • #13
                        Paul, if you aren't willing to put 10K in the pot with K-8 suited, when (1) you know without doubt that the guy is trying to double up or go home at the end of day 1, because he doesn't want to come back for Day 2 with 8 BB, and (2) you know that you can lose the hand against him and still be near to top of the Day 1 chip stacks, and (3) you know that the other two larger stacks are not going to tangle with you with anything short of a nuttish hand (because you can knock them both out and you have a table image of being a TAG, and they want to preserve their stacks for Day 2) then in my opinion you are just a little bit too tight my friend. But the great thing about poker is that we can all play our cards however we want to play them.

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                        • #14
                          So what happened. Did you get it in?

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                          • #15
                            Poker theory collided with the real world. I had spent the prior three and a half weeks in a time zone 8 hours ahead of Colorado, and had just flown back to Colorado on a flight that ended up taking about 32 hours, with connections. Then there was a three hour power outage in Blackhawk that caused the end of Day 1 to be that much later than I had planned. So I was completely exhausted and jet lagged. I was not able to do the math in separating the all in from the side pot to my satisfaction, so I decided to fold and go into Day 2 as one of the chip leaders, rather than risk making a mental error and go into Day 2 just a little above the middle of the pack. I would have lost the pot so it worked out in my favor, although not the result of particularly good play.

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                            • #16
                              Yes. The side pot situation is always tricky on the fly at any time.

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