Monday, June 18, 2007

Honor Among Thieves

Lying and deception. They are weapons in every poker player's arsenal. Within the constraints of the game you're playing, any time you can deceive your opponent into giving you their chips, most anything goes. And yet, even among the fiercest of competitors, most everyone realizes that their is no price you can put on your integrity and honor. You can't buy back a broken reputation.

On Saturday, I was playing in a MTT HORSE tournament on Full Tilt. I eventually got headsup with my opponent after 4 hours of play and we were basically just trading pots for 20 minutes, all the while remaining nearly even in chips. My opponent finally offered up this in the chat box.

"Hey BadBlood, send me $50 and I'll leave the table."

Without any official way to do a chop, I would have to risk sending a complete unknown some money in order to end this tourney now. The difference in 1st and 2nd place was $124, so I did the honorable thing and offered to send him $62. He of course agreed.

I was slightly hesitant, but fired off the transfer anyway. Once he received it, he offered to cap each street (we were playing Stud) and then fold the river. More risk I thought. But part of me wanted to trust him. So we did just that, capped each street and when the moment of truth came, when he was supposed to fold the river....

He did.

"How about that?" I said to myself. A random internet avatar who was trustworthy. I thanked him for being true to his word and went on to "unofficially" win the tournament as dictated by the terms of our agreement.

Note to Full Tilt: please implement some kind of chop feature.

Fast forward to Saturday night at the Gaelic Game. All of the G-Vegas underground games have a jackpot. Eighty percent of it is awarded to any player that makes a straight flush to the ten or better using both hole cards, the remaining twenty percent saved to seed the next one. I've actually won it twice at the Spring Hotel in the last seven months. Usually, the jackpot grows to the $1500-$2500 range when it will finally get hit. The Gaelic Game's prize was over $7000 on Saturday. That would be a nice score for anyone.

By a random occurance, when I sat down Saturday night, WingnPrayer was seated to my right. He casually asked, "Hey, 75/25 split on the jackpot?"

"Sure, why not?" I responded. And that was it, that was the nature of our agreement, nothing more nothing less.

Wing would soon bust out of my table when his QQ lost all-in preflop to KK. I thought he'd leave and that it would be most unfortunate if I hit the jackpot after he left. Luckily, he rebought at the second table, being dealt by TheTrooper97.

Since hitting the jackpot is so rare, I concentrated on simply playing decent poker. It's funny, without TheMark, Gucci Rick, G-Rob or Otis all at the same table, poker's a bit easier. There wasn't really anyone there who was going to put me and my chips to the test. It was basically a steady chip up session. Relaxing even.

Not much after midnight, a commotion erupted at the other table. Someone had indeed just hit the jackpot. I turned around wondering who was the lucky soul, completely forgetting Wing had moved over there.

Unreal. It was him. His payout? $5768

It wasn't much longer when Wing came over to my table. He paid me on the spot $1442, or my 25% share. Just from a simple nod and an "OK." Frankly, I wasn't worried and I'm sure he wouldn't have been either had the situation been reversed.

Twice in one day - encountering integrity amidst a sea of deceit. What are the odds?

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