Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Good attendance at Gregg's game as Robin and Slink came out of hiding and so kept the numbers up despite Jerry's absence.

It was another loss for me at Gregg's and again based on a single hand. This time I was trying to swim upstream. I held pocket queens, and ace came on the flop and I still called Gregg's all-in bet. Well, no queen came, and just to rub salt in the wound, another ace showed on the turn. So that meant I left a loser rather than a winner.
I was never up today at all, sometimes I was even.

Bruce lost and left early. Not a good week for him.
Did you leave money as well Phil?
Peter racked up his three rows of chips, but Peter always hates to leave with money, so he plays a double or nothing game and finally Ed took him out catching a single queen for a pair of queens on the river backed with a board pair of 8's and calling Peter's all-in to win the last rack.
Oh, well.
Peter has been pretty lucky in life lately so what's a few dollars?
Peter beat me once with four sixes when I had a good full house, but he only made a value bet.

Gregg has not been at his best. He lost a little as well. without my poor poker at the end, he would have lost a lot.

It was good to see Gregg's cold has gone, but his computer work while trying to play must take a toll on his game. He rarely sees how other players make their bets, so the game then is cards and not people.
So grab another computer, would ya Gregg?

I think everyone lost except Ed.
Ed racked up so many chips he was complaining that they were in his way, obstructing his play.
Poor Guy!!

There was some friendly banter and holiday wishes all around.
And thankfully, even without Jerry or Bill, someone arrived who could once again wonder what the poker rule actually is on who shows first.
I was so overjoyed to have this discussion once again.
I miss it if it doesn't come up.

Slink contends that whatever the rule on who should show first, it is the choice of anyone to show out of order if they like, and only those with cards have much say in the matter.
That fits with my casino visits and experience.

Blowers has noted in the past that it is quite common for the last person checking after a check-around to just show a pair which he thinks is the winning hand, but that he does not want to bet. this is even more true if the last two rounds were void of any bets.

This fits perfectly with my casino experience.

Generally, if no one has played the trash that they held, we don't gain much information by holding up the game to find out what it was.
If I am in that position at casinos with say a king in my hand and one on the board, I'll often say " Well, I have a king." Those who don't have anything more than my pair and have not bet in a round or two (so have not bluffed) hold cards from which I can extract practically no important information and I'd like the game to move along.
Of course any looking to check raise or trap will show the winning hand.

Bill and Jerry are sticklers for showing "in turn" and 90% of the time I go along just to keep them at ease, just as 90% of the time I manage to deal when it is my turn, keep my chips from falling off the table, etc. I don't follow any rule 100% of the time.
It is especially hard for me too if I have recently come from a casino game to remember that it matters to those without cards how I show mine and I'll get a lecture if I don't wait and just grab the pot to keep the game rolling.

Lately, I've been thinking that following this rule just to keep those without cards from being ill at ease, is a mistake.
Why should I want my opponents at ease anyway?

Of course, anyone with cards who has called a bet always can simply wait until the called player shows.
In casinos where I want to see the other guy's cards, I just look at him and say, " I called you, sir," and wait.
In no limit games the dealer will also remind him he needs to show first.
In 2-4 limit the dealer will just say, "Come on, turn em up," in an effort to speed things up and get more tips per hour.

Again, all casinos are different and any single casino will do different things at different times. Often a "rule" depends on the whim of the dealer unless you want to call the floor person over and get a ruling.
Or if you have a lot of guts, you can look the dealer in the eye after winning a big hand and say,
"I'll tip again when everyone is asked to show in turn."

Here is a good discussion of who should show first that reveals some of the complexities:

Here is a couple of simple rule guides that support Bill's/ Jerry's position

As we know, laws are not really very important unless there is some way to enforce them. I take my opponents chips or insult a player, casinos will eject me. No one who does not follow the show in turn rule would get even a lecture from the dealer. At Gregg's, well. what is the worst that can happen?

Finally, the rule that all casinos honor is that any player who called to the river (in some casinos any player at the table who was dealt cards) can ask to see any two cards, even those that a player mucks.
The dealer will then attempt in most cases to keep them out of mixing into the muck and will turn them over.
That's right. There is no right to muck.
While it is a player's right ask to see, it is also an insult because the rule is there to bring out into the open players who are betting on nothing in a effort to build a pot for a buddy who has signaled that he has the nut, or a strong winning hand.

Even in limit games this collusion can put a squeeze on second best player by allowing raise after raise. In no limit games it is a deadly collusion. A good description of this can be found in Andy Bellin's book POKER NATION. Andy was a poker cheat for a number of years and the book is the story of his scams, this being one.

However, I have often seen this rule used just so a player can get information.
For example, I sat down at Foxwoods, caught trip deuces on the flop, raised until the river, and then was beat with a straight. I was new to the table and the fellow next to me wanted to see what I played, so he asked to see my two cards and the dealer turned them over.

Generally, the player who is forced not to muck will get insulted and grumble for a couple hours. S/he might also afterwards call to see every two cards possible on the person who asked to see cards that the player intended to muck.

In practice, I rarely see this rule employed and you do want to be careful. Often if the two cards were going to be folded, but actually would have beaten the caller's cards, the pot is given to the player with the best cards in spite of the intention to muck. Son Keith had this happen outside Chicago and lost a pot of about $300 just because he wanted to see what a super loose player had when he called to the river. It turned out to be a full house that the player not noticed and intended for the muck.

Well, I hope all of those so fascinated with this rule, as I am, have managed to read this far. I'll be happy to post your rebuttals here where we have all the time in world to keep having this discussion.
However, I also know that researching answers and writing is not quite as much fun as raising rule issues at each game.
And Jerry, you can see you missed a good game and a huge opportunity to perseverate .
Jerry might paraphrase Amarillo Slim:

"Poker is a game of rules... It's not the hand I hold, it's the rules that I play with"

I'm off to Foxwoods to play some limit poker early next week. Elizabeth has actually agreed to come along. She'll hang in the spa while I play poker. Maybe we'll catch a show. We have free nights at MGM. That is a mystery to me as I have never dropped a nickle there.

At Foxwoods the grumblers will also have some fun with the rules, but the dealer will decide, or the floor will be called, and anyone who keeps arguing forever will be asked to leave. I hate the rake, but I like that as well as the free Myers Rum or Johnny Walker Black or coffee with amaretto.

I expect next week will be my last week, if I make that one. By April I'll be chomping at the bit to play at Gregg's. It is a long time without a game. However, I should manage some no limit at the horse track or some limit at Ocala where they have a 50 cent 1 dollar limit game. Florida is a low rollers dream. By state law the max no limit buy in is 100 dollars so if I show up as the games begin, it is a long while before I can get bullied out.

So Happy Holidays to everyone.

SLINK adds:

I'm proud to say I avoided the Ed steamroller and walked away up $5. I enjoyed Dewey's calm dissertation on the who shows first rules. It's clear he loves to discuss this and we had a delightful conversation during our game yesterday regarding this. I'm looking forward to further discussing the nuances of this issue the next time we play together


good read, Dewey - and congrats for using 'perseverate' correctly!

next Gregg game I wander into (hopefully the 16th) I'm angling for both 2/7
bonus and the 'show one' when a pot is won uncontested...'tis the season,
after all :)



Wow, what a lot of good chatter!
I can't wait until the next round on who shows first. My pants are already unzipped.
Yes, their will be a game next Wed. beginning at 1pm.
Best to all, Gregg



Sooooooooo, I wanted so badly to be just like my big toe (Stripes reference) bro in law that I found the closest fedora to his and wore it. Played when I normally would have folded and won. Folded when I normally would have played and reduced my losses (learned that lesson from the Dewster). Showed a Blowers bluff on occasion and generally didn't let my hallmark lack of patience get the best of me (this time).

Note to self - Arrive after Dewey to avoid chip and assorted other shrapnel. Just in case I'm breaking out my old kevlar vest from a past life............

Thanks for this wonderful experience Gregg. I was missing the old locker room, ball busting days of my youth. Ah yes, the smell of mildewed rotting socks is all that's missing. :)


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