Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Altruism at the Poker Table

Sunday night at the 5/10 Razz table on Full Tilt, one of the pros named Perry Friedman began to complain that one player bet out a hand only because he knew Perry had timed out and would be forced to fold. The circumstances of the event seemed to lend truth to that claim, but the culprit denied any wrongdoing.

I thought to myself, "So what. We're all here with the goal of taking each other's money, where's the crime in betting into a disconnect? It's just another opportunity, right?"

In the cutthroat world of poker, that line of thinking may be OK. But let me relate two events that happened in a live environment that may make you change how you view the degenerate players of our beloved game.

Scene 1: The Concord Card Club, Vienna, Austria. The big blind forgets to post his blind and the dealer forgets to remind him to do so prior to the deal. The cards are dealt, and the big blind mucks his hand after looking at his cards, but before posting. It is at this time that the dealer sees that the big blind is missing. The player, realizing he owed the big blind, threw 3 Euros into the pot silently but visibly upset at mucking. After the hand was over, the winner of the hand tossed 3 Euros back to the player and said "Honest mistake." I told the winner of the hand that what he did was very honorable, and had earned my respect. Granted, that and .25 will get you a cup of coffee in the morning, but still...

Scene 2: Home Game, BadBlood's House, G-Vegas. Fellow local blogger G-Ron mucks his hand after the river in the Omaha portion of last week's HORSE game. Forgetting that cards speak and that the winner of the hand, The Rocket, did not have a qualifying low hand, G-Ron lamented the fact that he threw away a valid low hand as well as half the pot. As the cards had been mucked, G-Ron understood that he had no valid claims to any of the pot money. The Rocket, being a more than honorable gentleman, relinquished 1/4 of the pot to G-Ron stating that he did indeed believe him to have a valid low hand and felt that it was the fair thing to do.

So there you have it. As Pauly would say, improving one's karma is a good thing.

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