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Question about absent player's hand

Discussion in 'Home Poker Rules' started by toad94, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. toad94

    toad94 Well-Known Member
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    Robert's Rules says that (in a tournament) an absent player is dealt a hand but that hand is mucked as soon as the deal is completed. Wouldn't it be more proper to keep the hand live until a decision is put to the hand (e.g. a raise) that an absent player can't make?

    Let me back up: let's assume the absent player is one who paid but had to leave. The chips aren't removed from the table because the player paid for the right to have their chips on the table and the chips will simply be blinded off and the player's position (including ending in the money) will be advanced accordingly. If that's the case and the chips are kept in play doesn't it also make sense that the hand would stay in play until a raise forces the hand to be mucked?

    I know this would be a rare case but let's say the player to the right of the absent player's chip stack is down to just one bet and they're the SB. Everybody else folds to the SB and that player completes the minimum bet (basically a forced "all-in" given the blinds vs. the live player's tiny stack). According to Robert's Rules the BB's (absent player's) hand is mucked and the SB would win the blinds by default. But it seems like if the absent player paid to have his chips in play then in that spirit the player also paid to have a live hand (as long as it completes any action that round that an absent player can complete, which is the case in this example since the absent player is the BB). I guess I just don't understand the reasoning behind mucking the absent player's hand right after the deal is completed vs. keeping the hand live until a decision is brought to it. Thoughts?
     
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  2. DemonJester

    DemonJester Well-Known Member

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    I think it is mucked right after deal because there is not a physical player there to play the hand so it is dead, in your scenario above who would play the absent players hand the dealer?

    My take if the players are that concerned about the short stack SB player, the person with the DB should raise it since he knows the BB is already dead, instead of giving free money to the shortstack SB.
     
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  3. pltrgyst

    pltrgyst Well-Known Member

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    That's right. If the butt is not in the seat when the deal is complete, the hand is mucked.
     
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  4. albie

    albie Well-Known Member

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    Unless your some kind of vile jobsworth nazi-sympathiser, you don't muck someone's hand before it's their turn to act and unless they've popped out for their 12th fag that hour, you don't instamuck them when it's their turn (imho).
     
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  5. pltrgyst

    pltrgyst Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Albie, any time you want to compare resumes, family military histories, or personal military records and decorations, just let me know. You're out of your depth on all counts. (No smiley here.)

    From the latest TDA Rules (and unchanged for years):

    27: At Your Seat
    A player must be at his seat by the time all players have been dealt complete initial hands in order to have a live hand.

    Now of course, in a friendly home game, you might handle it differently, but this was posed as a tournament situation.
     
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  6. xswl

    xswl Well-Known Member

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    The reason to muck the hand after the deal is finished is to make it fair for everyone. Imagine a situation where the hand on the button is not mucked. It's folded to the cutoff. Up until that point everyone was playing as though it was 9 handed. Cutoff raises. Suddenly the player shows up and goes allin.
     
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  7. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    The reasoning behind this rule is sound, and pretty simple. The hand is mucked at completion of the deal (i.e., the dealer mucks the hand after the last card has been dealt to the dealer button position, even if the absent player's hand is in the blinds), at which point first action is on the UTG player.

    If the absent player's hand is mucked, then all players in the hand who subsequently act will have the exact same knowledge regarding the absent player's hand (i.e., it's mucked and no longer live).

    However, if the hand were to be kept live until action on it was required, it would be possible for one or more players to act without knowing what the end status of the absent hand would be, yet for other subsequent players to be able to act with knowledge that earlier players did not have (that the absent hand was mucked or perhaps played, if the player returned). This would create an unfair advantage for some players.

    The fairest way to equally protect all the players at the table is to muck the hand before the first action -- that way ALL players have exactly the same information regarding the absent player's hand.
     
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  8. toad94

    toad94 Well-Known Member
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    Nobody needs to play the hand, that's why this scenario is questionable. No decisions need to be made, the pot is good, but the SB wins by default only because the absent player's hand is mucked.

    Agreed, but I was just curious about the reasoning behind the insta-muck rule, it seems to go against the good-will of "the player paid to have their chips in the game" --it makes sense to me that the cards would be live, too, unless a decision has to be made.

    Actually, putting it that way may hint at the logic behind the rule: if a table had a player who wasn't in their seat when the deal was completed and this rule didn't exist the table could end up with some people (like the missing player's buddies) saying "just wait a second, he'll be right back" and having the game either slow down to a crawl with a sympathetic dealer or a more-strict dealer might muck the hand anyway to keep the game going and draw the ire of the missing player's buddies. I guess in the end a clear-cut rule about mucking the hand keeps things flowing and keeps dealers/players/floor-people/etc. from having to make a judgment call that's easily avoided with a simple rule. I guess it makes sense after all. :embarras:
     
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  9. toad94

    toad94 Well-Known Member
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    I was typing the previous response before I read these. Good technical reasoning and much better said that what I was getting at. Thanks, everyone. :)
     
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  10. HawaiiStyle

    HawaiiStyle Member

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    For my home game, I couldn't AGREE more. t least a couple times a night we have to wait for someone in the bathroom or whatever, but that's we we do. It's about a friendly game with good buddies. It's NOT casino poker. However some clearly are more intense and that's cool. Just not the way we play.
     
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  11. albie

    albie Well-Known Member

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    apologies was a bit drunk & assumed it was a home game situation.
     
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  12. cdnmoose

    cdnmoose Well-Known Member

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    The simple reason is that it gives everyone at the table the same amount of time to return to play the next hand.
     
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  13. bluesman250

    bluesman250 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting debate. We have 25-30 guys at our monthly tournament. Our standing rule is that if a person is not in his seat at the time of the deal, the hand is live until folded. Usually the player lets us know he's stepping away (bathroom, etc.), and we'll call him once or twice before mucking. The situation above isn't a problem, because people assume the hand is live until otherwise folded. Just seems friendlier that way.

    Now, this rule applies only to people actively in the tournament; it doesn't apply to people who are late and being blinded in; those are auto-mucked for reasons listed above.
     
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  14. cdnmoose

    cdnmoose Well-Known Member

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    Just change your thinking to calling the person while the deck is being shuffled. Call again when the cards are being dealt. Sometimes the dealer will slow down a bit to give a player time to get back. Still friendly and aligns with the proper rules and etiquette.
     
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  15. Seitz333

    Seitz333 Well-Known Member
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    Best answer.

    FWIW, I like to use the TDA rules over Roberts Rules for tourneys.

    Chuck
     
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  16. xswl

    xswl Well-Known Member

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    For a home game, I think it's fine to wait as long as this applies to everyone and everyone understands this. However, if the tournament clock is not stopped, then the short stacks are being punished. I like using the TDA rules myself since that is what most casinos use so most players know what to expect and most of the rules are pretty black and white leaving little room for debate (other than perhaps why?).
     
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  17. ChipReeses

    ChipReeses Member

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    Confused about the logic of some people having more information on the hand than others. Isn't that the way position works? Whether it gets to him and is folded or it gets to him and he's in the seat now and folds it, there is still uncertainty. It's their fault if they assumed otherwise?

    What I'm trying to say is, the argument that it's unfair because some players might see it as no one while others might have to deal with him if he sits down, the hand should be live either way and it should be disregarded at your own risk, the same as any player's.
     
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  18. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    To a degree, yes.... but to this extent, no.

    Position does allow some players to have more information than others (mostly regarding the action already made by other players in the hand). But concrete information on future action is a HUGE advantage, and it would be unfair for some players to have this info and others not.

    Best way to show this patent unfairness is to have the BB be the missing player. From the UTG position all the way around the table to the button, nobody knows for sure if the hand is in play or not. But if he never returns, the SB now has concrete knowledge of future action that nobody else had -- that the BB will fold to a raise, since he's not there. It's like giving the SB a free-roll.

    If all of the other players have this same knowledge of FUTURE action, their individual actions might be different.


    The difference is that players who are still in the hand don't have to assume anything if he returns.... they now KNOW the hand is live (or dead, if he never returns). Prior players did not have that same information about a FUTURE action yet to be taken. This is exactly why it is against the rules (and unfair) for players to announce their action out-of-turn, whether it be call, raise, or fold. Knowledge of future actions is a huge advantage, and it is not fair for all players to not have equal access to all information regarding future actions. If the missing player's hand is mucked, then everybody is playing the hand with the exact same knowledge of future action.


    Fuzzy logic, debunked above. It's the rule for good reasons..... the missing player's hand is mucked by the dealer after completion of the deal, because 1) that's the fairest way for all players to deal with the situation, 2) it is always dealt with the exact same way in all situations (standardization), and 3) it becomes just another dealer action removing any responsibility of other players to make administrative decisions.
     
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  19. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Another reason for following the rule is the returning player could see the hand of live players because they are looking at their hands when he returns.

    We generally follow the rule, but it depends on why the person is gone. If a player got up to take a break, he's folded. If he got up to relay or obtain info from another table (like making sure they got the message on blinds going up or checking the number of players to see if someone needs to move), we don't fold them because it's "official tournament business." It rarely comes up, but we play in 3 different rooms. One is separated from the other two and communication isn't always easy.
     
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  20. TenPercenter

    TenPercenter Administrator
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    Same here. If they are in the room (grabbing food for example) we call them over. If they are out of sight they don't even get cards, even if in a blind. (cash games). For tourneys the hand is dealt but considered dead.
     
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