Tuesday, June 03, 2008

He shoulda listened to the Grump

I have railed previously about the importance of using a card protector to prevent various misfortunes befalling one's cards. But some people won't listen (or--if you can believe this--might not even be readers of this blog!), and have to learn the hard way.

Here's another example of the problem, from today's WSOP $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em with Rebuys event, as reported in the PokerNews live updates:

Mucked and Out of Luck

Quite a commotion took place at table Blue 1 when Bill Pryor made it
950 to go from under the gun. A player in the hijack moved all in and Mark Puma,
from the button, moved all in as well for his remaining 3,000. Pryor called but
as the dealer scooped in the blinds she inadvertently mucked Puma's

"Where'd my hand go?" Puma questioned the dealer. The table seemed to
acknowledge that there was no reason for Puma's hand to be mucked and a
tournament director was immediately called over to determine the outcome of the
hand. The tournament director decided that 950 was owed to the pot from Puma's
stack but that his hand would be dead.

Pryor, who had shown his pocket aces at this point, became quite upset at
the ruling and asked for a person to appeal the decision to. The player in the
hijack showed pocket nines while the wait began for a second ruling. Pryor was
upset as he thought he should be allowed the opportunity to triple up rather
than have the other player's hand forfeited.

The new floor staff upheld the decision and the hand continued, albeit
against Pryor's wishes. The board ran 7s Qd 5h Qh Td and the player with the
pocket nines was eliminated.

As the chips were being shipped Pryor's way, Puma chuckled and said, "You
woulda lost, dude."

If Puma is on the level here (perhaps he had a queen, and would have made trips), he lost out on an enormous pot because of not taking the simple expedient of protecting his cards from accidentally being scooped up by the dealer.

The news story doesn't actually specify that his cards were unprotected, but anything else is almost unimaginable. I have never seen cards covered by a chip or other kind of protector picked up by a dealer, and if it ever happens at all, it must be exceedingly rare.

It's such a simple thing to do, and you can see that the magnitude of the problem caused by its neglect can be quite large. My guess is that Mr. Puma will decide that maybe he should change his ways. But how many more players have to learn the same thing by sad experience, instead of heeding warnings given by others who have been there?


Anonymous said...

This is Mark Puma...... I had pocket Queens in that hand and made QUADS.... the reason I didn't have a chip on my cards??? I was all in! I feel unlucky when I use a card protector. I was in seat #1 and the corner of my cards were actually tucked under the padded rail. Everyone at the table alarmed the dealer when she reached for my cards but it didn't stop her. The very next hand I had pocket 8's and lost to J-10 when a 10 hit on the river.....

Rakewell said...

"I feel unlucky" when using a card protector, you say. So, you actually believe that placing an object on your cards (or keeping a finger on them) causes the cards in the deck in the dealer's hand to magically rearrange themselves in some unfavorable way. Right? I mean, it's hard to figure out what else that rather striking claim means. I'd love to know what mechanism you think is triggered that causes bad things to happen more often when you use a card protector than when you don't.

And just as a matter of empiric observation, if you have quad queens all in against pocket aces, and you have your hand accidentally mucked, isn't that rather astronomically unlucky? Why has this experience not caused you to change your perception, and come to believe that NOT capping your cards is unlucky?

It is tempting to conclude that you are a very slow learner.