SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2006
I have been posting some decent stuff on 2+2 lately. I’m not a great writer, nor are my posts top of the line, but I do give readers things to think about. Because my posts have given 2+2er’s something to chew on, maybe they will transfer here rather painlessly.
The post below has to do with general poker and/or TDA rules. Since some of my readers have never played poker, or haven’t played live, I’ll try to preface the copied & pasted post a little bit for clarity.
Every poker room we enter has a list of “rules” for live play. It might be posted somewhere in the poker room, or maybe it’s just a simple brochure. In the worst poker rooms, it might be available for staff only, and when we ask about the rules, we are given some lame song and dance about how we aren’t allowed to view them, that “we’ll be told” if we break one of the rules. Of course, this last category goes into the “rooms we will only play in if we have absolutely no other choice” file.
So many players don’t bother to find out the rules in a particular cardroom. Most of these players are simply playing for recreational purposes or believe that cardroom rules are universal. While I would normally say that if they are simply monkeying around at low stakes and that is fine, unfortunately, those are usually the very same players who go ape if they “mess up” while hitting the BBJ. So it truly does pay to know the rules at every cardroom.
TDA rules are a different breed altogether. The TDA (Tournament Directors Association) is a body of like minds who set up some fairly standard rules for touraments. When one goes into a cardroom to play a tournament, he will likely be given a list of TDA rules, or will see them posted somewhere. Buying into the event is like signing a contract stating that you have read and agree to the TDA rules. If you break them and get disqualified from an event, you have no legal recourse. It is astonishing to me the number of players who buy into big events and don’t even familiarize themselves with the rules of the particular tournament.
Some festival venues have additional rules on top of the TDA rules. Foxwoods is a good example of this. Some tourney problems are regional. For example, Foxwoods has an additional rule on top of the TDA rules which states that if there is no more action on a Stud hand, the river card will be dealt face-up. The reason that Foxwoods amended this rule is because so many of the old time Stud players would squeeze out their river card. They lifted one corner, then two, then three. They shuffled, shuffled, shuffled. They called out the key card they needed and stalled for 30+ seconds. This is foolish when everyone is on a clock. So it was a great, regionally amended rule.
Now, moving on to my post on 2+2. This post was in response to a poster who asked about people cheating. I usually don’t answer these types of questions at all, but there are certain top name pros who have the reputation of being “cheats” or “angleshooters,” and don’t deserve that title. While I am usually the first person to bust a cheat, and don’t mind naming names, even in the face of being threatened, there are certain players who do not deserve the reputation they have. Why not? Well, since rules change every day (it seems), plays that were considered “good poker” not long ago are now considered angles or worse. So here was my response to that post:
1) I always thought “window dressing” was a part of poker. I, myself, usually keep my hands away from my board cards, but if a dealer mixes cards on my board, I do NOT go out of my way to arrange them correctly, nor will I tell a player the correct order of my cards.
This was considered “good poker” until a couple of years ago. Now it is considered “angleshooting,” and even outright cheating in some cardrooms/tourneys. Why bad players shouldn’t get punished for not paying attention in Stud is beyond me, but whatever.
2) I also had this shtick of psyching people out on sixth or the river by pointing out (or arranging): “Hmmmm, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven…I wonder if I have a straight. What card would I need for a straight?” Peeking at holecards, “Six? Does Six make a straight?” This was at crummy 1-5, where trapping was the only way to win, but I did it sometimes.
3) Deep in tourneys, I used to sometimes expose a card or tell my opponent what I had before making a move, to get a read on a player. I don’t like this move, particularly, but when I was lost in a hand, especially when it was a strong one, I might show a card. Used to be considered good poker (see Puggy in 1973 video). Now it’s an angle.
4) In O8, I sometimes would purposely miscall my hand. In no way, shape or form would I ever do this to be rewarded a pot. It was more like the “confused” move that some newish O8 players make when everyone has tabled his hand and someone says, “I have a straight. Oops! I forgot, I can’t use three of my cards, can I?” (This, when there is no possible straight on board).
I am very, very rules oriented. I was just trying to goof off and lead players to believe I had no experience in O8. So I sometimes play up the whole “clueless, passive, straight-up female player” bit. Helped me chop a $1500 O8 tourney once, but some of the tricks I pulled would have probably got me a time-out penalty in a TDA event.
5) Also, I tend to turbo-muck. No player is ever going to abuse the IWTSTH rule on me. I don’t care how much of a “right” he thinks he has to see my hand, I have perfected the super-turbo-lost-in-the-muck technique, lol!
6) I’ve had people pay my ante, or I pay theirs. In addition, when Glenn and I used to play all of the time in AC, whomever had correct change at that time would post the others’ antes, just due to keeping the amount of odd chips and half dollars down to a minimum.
7) I once did an experiment at Bellagio, trying to move up limits with a restricted bankroll and play it like a tournament. Later I found out that according to their rules, I would not have been allowed to do this.
So there you have it. This provoked some good discussion on the issue, and also helped some newish players understand that sometimes “cheating” was just considered “good poker” a year or so before.