Monday, May 24, 2010

The first rule of Jackpot Club is: You don't talk about Jackpot Club

I have kept Richard Marcus's blog about poker cheating and other casino cheating in my RSS feed--despite him being a flagrant, frequent, and unrepentant thief of online content from legitimate writers--because it does serve as a useful aggregator of news about the subject. He had a post today about a poker bad-beat jackpot being nullified at the Royal River Casino in Flandreau, South Dakota, because one player talked about the possbility of a bad-beat jackpot while the hand was in progress.

Because he is an unethical person, Mr. Marcus reprints an article from the local television station, KSFY, without even providing a link to the original. His modest "reform" since being caught habitually plagiarizing is that he now names a source, but then steals the material anyway, with no link to the original. But it's easy to find:

(I'm sure Mr. Marcus just "accidentally" overlooked this notice at the end of the article that he copied without permission: "2010 ksfy Action News. All RIGHTS RESERVED. This MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.")

The article doesn't give a lot of detail about what actually happened. The claim is that only two words were spoken, and we aren't even told what those words were, or what the exact context was.

For my purposes here, it doesn't matter. What matters is that every poker room I know of that has high-hand and/or bad-beat jackpots has a rule in place to the effect that the awarding of the jackpot may or will be voided if the players discuss the jackpot possibility during the play of the hand.

This rule is eminently sensible. It helps prevent distorting play just to chase down a jackpot.

But even if you were to disagree about its purpose or utility, just the fact that it's there on the books and MIGHT be enforced, as it was in South Dakota, should be enough to shut up the nearly inevitable talking about the jackpot that occurs every time a board makes it possible. It seems that there is always at least one idiot that just can't resist pointing out what is obvious to anybody paying attention, and that one idiot might cost everybody a whole friggin' lot of money.

The worst thing is that the guilty idiot is at least as often the dealer as one of the players. I saw this just a few days ago at Binion's. The flop was three parts of a royal flush. When the turn paired the board, the dealer said, "Here we go!" I wanted to dope-slap him. In fact, I think that dope-slapping any imbecile who violates the rule should be explicitly permitted--even encouraged--by poker room rules.

At least one Vegas poker room recently terminated an ace-cracked type jackpot because of rampant collusion and discussion during the hand.

I have written about the whole problem of talking about jackpots while the hand is still in progress several times: here, here, and most especially here.

Even if you somehow manage to forget the first rule of Jackpot Club, please try to remember the second rule of Jackpot Club: You DO NOT talk about Jackpot Club!


Grange95 said...

About two years ago, a badbeat jackpot was voided at my local casino (Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa) because a player who didn't know about the bad beat jackpot showed another player his losing hand but did not table it. The player started to muck, then was stopped by the player who had seen his hand who told him to table it. Probably the right ruling, but ... it still sucks!

Greylocks said...

As far as I'm concerned, there should be a special place in hell for whoever invented the bad beat jackpot. It's pure evil. It encourages collusion, sucks huge amounts of money out of the small-stakes poker economy, effectively allows (in some states) the room to take an extra hidden rake by calling it "promotional expense", and punishes the regulars who pay most of the jackpot drop while rewarding the people who never show up at that room unless the jackpot is big. There is no reason for it to exist.

Another stupid thing players do in jackpot games is hold their cards behind the rail.

Conan776 said...

Clearly they should Sioux!

(thanks, I'm here all week, try the buffet!)

SirFWALGMan said...

I doubt that a dealer mentioning the bad beat jackpot could void it. I mean this is the casino's own personnel. That would be ridiculous.

JT88Keys said...

Based on one of the quotes in the article I think the two words that were uttered were BAD and BEAT.