Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something new all the time

Above: The Horseshoe Casino has a Starbucks where I like to go get a Caffe Americano during a poker tournament break.

Something unusual happened in the 4 p.m. tournament at the Horseshoe today. There were 71 runners who paid $160 to get their 10,000 in chips. Nothing unusual about that.

The blind structure was the usual one that the Horseshoe uses except that levels were 30 minutes where normally they are 20. You wouldn't think that extra 10 minutes at each level would matter very much. I used the Arnold Snyder formula and was surprised to see that it made a large difference.

When we were down to 12 players, two from the money, someone asked how much would we get if we chopped. I've seen chops when the field was at the final table, but I'm not sure I've seen a 12-way chop. The answer was $833, so everyone at our table agreed. The Tournament Director went to the other table and they agreed, too.

Now here's where it gets weird. A guy at our table changed his mind. He said he didn't want to chop. The TD said that after everyone agreed, he wasn't allowed to change his mind (news to me). Then the guy said he never agreed in the first place. This was a big fat lie. The TD asked the dealer and he said the guy had agreed. Then the other players at our table confirmed this.

If you were the TD, what would you do?

I think he did a sensible thing. He asked everyone to wait and he called somebody more experienced than he. When he came back, he said he'd been told that once a chop was agreed upon, there was no changing ones mind. If at least two people were witnesses that the guy had agreed to chop, then it was a chop.

I've never seen anything quite like that before.

At the time, I had 75,000 in chips which would have been an (arithmetic) average stack at the final table, so I was fine to play. First place was $3400 which would have been something nice to shoot for. On the other hand, $833 was about fourth-place money. When the blinds and antes get high, one lucky (or unlucky) deal can change everything, so a chop was okay, too.

Photo by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. Nice!

    The ruling seems fair even if it did benefited the casino. Verbal contracts are enforceable in many instances.

    The chop also makes sense even with that nice chunk for first place. ~6BB is a decent payday looking from the start to hoped for outcomes.

    The game has shifted a lot from the skill factor and a bird in hand...

    P.S. Haven't read the book but, yeah, 20 v. 30 minutes is a big difference. In online play the difference between FT and UB was a couple of minutes and that was huge too. (UB typically gave longer play.) I had very different gaming on the two.

  2. Sort of a chop-block os sorts... at least for him.

  3. I'd imagine he was wanting the rest of the field to offer him more money as hush money.