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Old 05-09-2017, 03:54 PM   #1
Shai Hulud
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Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

A couple days ago I got back from a trip to Winstar World Casino. I grinded a ton online ending on Black Friday, but this was my first time to play live cash games in a casino. I was playing 1/2 and there were a number of procedural mistakes I made that cost me money, and also some rules pointed out to me by the dealers, for which I didn't understand the justification. Finally, there was a situation with an obnoxious player I didn't know how to resolve. So, I'm hoping you kind people can clarify/advise on all these situations. Thanks in advance.

Situation 1

I had just sat down on the first day and was generally having trouble following the action. Effective stacks are around 150BB. I'm on the BTN with A2s and five players limp in front of me, so I limp behind, and both blinds limp also. The flop is A82 two-tone. Everyone checks and I bet $15 into the $16 pot. I then look away from the table because I figured it would take several seconds to get to the turn action and I didn't want anyone eyeballing me. My right arm was resting on the rail, with my hand right next to my chips but well behind the betting line and at least 3" from the felt. I was bouncing my legs, and also my right hand was rapidly moving up and down in small movements (maybe 1/2"), but never touching the table or even coming close. I am a very fidgety person. Anyway, I got four callers, dealer deals the turn, and they all check in less than a second. I'm still looking away, still fidgeting in the same manner, and the dealer calls a check. I immediately said "whoa I didn't check!" but the dealer said I did and the other players seemed to agree. It actually turned out to be a significant error because the turn was a non-flush-completing 2, and there was a maniac in the pot who I almost certainly would have stacked, plus I likely would have gotten more calls from anyone with an Ace or flush draw. My announcement "whoa I didn't check" screamed "the turn hit me" so when I bet $75 into the $91 pot on the river (which was a blank), only the maniac called.

I figure my fidgeting here cost me close to $200, maybe more. If I had bet $75 on the turn, I expect I would have gotten two or more calls. Assuming just two, the pot would then be $316 by the river, giving me a perfect spot to shove. I almost certainly would have been called by the maniac, who had about $150 behind.

So do you think my turn action was a check, and if so, how should I have handled the mistake? If not, what should I have done? It seems calling the floor would have screamed even louder that the turn hit me.

Situation 2

After the above hand, I was very cautious not to move my hand if it were anywhere near the table, unless I were grabbing chips or making a purposeful check (which I was doing with two palm raps on the table near the betting line).

Still, I ran into a situation the next day where my fidgeting was very nearly called a check. It wasn't a particularly significant pot, as I was in the BB with garbage. I had my arms crossed on the rail, with my left arm on top of my right arm. My right hand was flat on the rail under my left arm, and with my left hand I was drumming on my right arm in a repeating pinky, ring, middle, index finger motion. The dealer had just dealt the flop, and unlike most players, I deliberately take about a second to process instead of just insta-checking. So during this pause, the dealer says "check--wait, was that a check?" and I said no, but then checked anyway. I feel like the dealer in situation 1 would have just called it a check.

Anyway, same question--was this a check?

Also, what can I do to avoid these kinds of scenarios? Obviously "don't fidget" is a solution, but that's borderline impossible for me. I thought I was safe keeping my arms on the rails but this hand would seem to indicate I'm not.

Situation 3

I have **** vision (bad astigmatism + partially correctable nearsightedness). I have to squint really hard to see how many chips people have or the bet sizes, depending where we're seated. There was a hand where a couple people limped, somebody raised, and there were a few callers. I was in the blinds. The action all happened very quickly so I missed who it was who raised. I asked the dealer "Who raised?" because it would be quicker than squinting around the board to figure it out. But he said something like "I can't tell you that. I can only tell you the amount to call."

I don't understand this at all. I was just trying to speed up the game. Is this a real rule and if so why does it exist? Anyway, I ended up just squinting around the table to figure it out, but this took me about five seconds. Most of the players at the table were loose and very bad, but the woman who raised was solid, so I folded my marginal holding since I was out of position.

Situation 4

One young player sitting to my left, whenever we were involved in a pot heads up, would turn 90 degrees facing me and lean in less than a foot from my face, staring me in the eyes. He would do this until time was called on him, then announce his action. Is there some kind of rule about personal space? He was obviously doing this to make me uncomfortable and/or soul read me, and it did make me extremely uncomfortable, more than it would most people because I have Asperger Syndrome and we Aspies HATE extended eye contact, especially from such a close distance.

Is there anything I can do about players like this? His behavior was incredibly obnoxious and invasive, but the dealer and other players didn't say anything (though I could tell the dealer was getting annoyed by how long he was taking). If there's no rule about personal space, he could theoretically slide his chair over and stare into my eyes from a couple inches. It just doesn't seem right, especially since he's exploiting a disability. I don't know if I can make an appropriate analogy, but it'd be something like pulling out the hearing aids of someone hard of hearing

Anyway, I didn't know what to do about this player. Asking him to stop would have just encouraged him, so I just pulled up my hoodie, tightened it completely, and turned away from him so he couldn't see me at all. Unfortunately this limited my view of some of the other players and made the action harder to follow, so I had to pull my hoodie down until this guy entered the hand, then I pulled it up and looked away. Advice?
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
Rawlz517
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Situation #1 - 100% on you. Looking away from the table while you're in a hand is never a good idea.

Situation #2 - Could easily have been ruled a check. Again this is completely on you. Good for the dealer to confirm, but sometimes your motion is going to look like a clear check to the dealer. Think of how slow the game would be if every time somebody checked, the dealer asked for confirmation.

If not fidgeting is "borderline impossible", I'm not sure what to tell you other than maybe keep your hands below the table at all times unless you're going to bet.

Situation #3 - This is an uncommon rule from my experience. Usually, dealers are not allowed to answer questions about a previous street, but asking about the current street is fine. If this is the house rule, you're just going to have to live with it and do a better job of following the action yourself.

Not to be rude, but the first three situations all involve you not paying attention. You're playing with your own money, so you may want to stop doing that.

Situation #4 - Welcome to live poker - people are weird. Politely ask him not to invade your personal space. If that doesn't work, ask the dealer if what he's doing is allowed.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:43 PM   #3
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Situation 1 and 2 are both very contextual. You really have to be there to decide if something look like a check or not. In situation 1 in particular, if your hand is bouncing up and down that can look a lot like a check to all involved. That said, if there hadn't been any action after your check (i.e. the river hadn't been dealt yet) and you immediately made clear you hadn't checked then you should probably be allowed to bet. Hard to say how to fix this other than just be careful. I must say I don't know if this has ever happened to me so sounds like your fidgeting can pretty easily be interpreted as a check.

Situation 3 - Pretty standard rule that the dealer can't tell you who raised.

Situation 4 - No rules about this per se, just basic etiquette/decency. You could just ask him nicely but firmly to back off a bit. Make him feel awkward, and if he continues try to make a joke out of it. I recognize this is a bit confrontational and may be difficult if you have Aspergers. You could also just pull out your phone and stare at it to just ignore him. Finally, you should be aggressive about calling clock on this guy.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Live poker is filled with interpersonal interactions and if you ran into four (!!!) issues on your first day, you should take some time to honestly consider whether this is really for you.

There's a lot of subtlety at the tables. People who slam their hand down in triumph vs people who slam their hand down in frustration; people doing things they know annoy you just to throw you off your game; etc. It's not for everyone and if you decide it's for you, you can't expect everyone to change to suit you - you're not meeting them halfway, you'll need to meet them 90-95% of the way.

Like if you were in an end seat I would offer to trade seats with you so you can see the board better. Or if you're in a wheelchair I would trade seats to give you an end. I would allow you one pass on an accidental check and then afterward request the rules be strictly enforced. Zero sympathy for Asperger's, this is a private for-profit business, not an essential government agency.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawlz517 View Post
Situation #1 - 100% on you. Looking away from the table while you're in a hand is never a good idea.

Situation #2 - Could easily have been ruled a check. Again this is completely on you. Good for the dealer to confirm, but sometimes your motion is going to look like a clear check to the dealer. Think of how slow the game would be if every time somebody checked, the dealer asked for confirmation.

If not fidgeting is "borderline impossible", I'm not sure what to tell you other than maybe keep your hands below the table at all times unless you're going to bet.

Situation #3 - This is an uncommon rule from my experience. Usually, dealers are not allowed to answer questions about a previous street, but asking about the current street is fine. If this is the house rule, you're just going to have to live with it and do a better job of following the action yourself.

Not to be rude, but the first three situations all involve you not paying attention. You're playing with your own money, so you may want to stop doing that.
+1 to all this.

As for #4, Just give him a nice big kiss on the mouth or just ask the prick to get out of your face and ask for a seat change.

Did you say anything to the guy?
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:13 PM   #6
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

I have nevery heard of a rule that the dealer can't tell you who raised during the current betting round. You are entitled to this information. What the dealer can't tell you is who raised during earlier betting rounds.

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Old 05-09-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

1) This is the greatest live 1/2 table ever. People are playing fast, instead of completely in the twilight zone. This is a gift....pay attention. That said...I would just announce to the table that I had some "whatever trait", and whenever I check, I will do so by <insert whatever motion you intend to make>. Most people are friendly, and again, as long as you are acting when it is your turn, noone will care one iota about any mildly different mannerisms.

2) Works the same as #1. If you can't stop yourself from <whatever>, let each dealer know when they sit down that <suchandsuch> is your check motion. All the players will have your back on this as long as you are consistent...and more importantly....are paying attention when it is your turn.

3) A general theme seems to be you can't follow the action. Isn't online poker a whirlwind compared to live poker? Most online players think live is glacial.

4) He's just weird. However, I agree with basically what callipygian said....this might not be for you, and expecting everyone else to change is just not gonna happen.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

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Situation 3 - Pretty standard rule that the dealer can't tell you who raised.
Man, this isn't the first time you've called something "standard" that is exactly not.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:28 PM   #9
MIB211
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

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Man, this isn't the first time you've called something "standard" that is exactly not.
Uh, sorry? I've heard this rule a lot, but obviously if others haven't it's not standard and I was wrong. Not sure what other times you're talking about, but like most people (though of course no one on the internet) I've been wrong about things before and will be again. I'm glad you're keeping a tally though.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:32 PM   #10
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

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I have nevery heard of a rule that the dealer can't tell you who raised during the current betting round. You are entitled to this information. What the dealer can't tell you is who raised during earlier betting rounds.
Was going to post pretty much the same thing. I think the dealer misinterpreted that rule here.

Regarding #2, I hate when people check by doing anything other than tapping the felt or saying "check." It creates problems like this if that's normally considered a check. I remember seeing a guy on TV that played with his arms crossed and always checked by tapping near his elbow. Stupidest thing ever.

I'd also like to add that in any of these situations, if you're not happy with the dealers decision, ask to call the floor. It's not always going to go your way, but it's nice to get a second opinion if you feel like you're being cheated.

Also +1 to "welcome to live poker." You're going to see all kinds of crazy ****. Hopefully more entertaining than bad.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:44 PM   #11
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

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Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
a purposeful check (which I was doing with two palm raps on the table near the betting line).
I can't remember how each player checks.

Have you noticed how many ways people check?

If it's you're turn to act and you make a motion that could be interpreted
as a check, you may be held to a check. So be careful and pay attention.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:41 PM   #12
Shai Hulud
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Thanks for the responses. Let me clarify a few things.

1) Yes, I did make a lot of procedural mistakes, mostly during the first hour I sat down. I had never played live before and told the dealers this. I only played four hours the first day, then ten hours the second and third. By the second day I only made the one almost-check with the drumming my fingers. To me it did not look remotely like a checking motion and I wasn't near the felt, so I thought it was fine. By the third day I wasn't making any procedural mistakes.

2) Yes it was difficult for me to follow the action at first. I believe this is related to having Aspergers--it is easy to become overwhelmed by information during new experiences. I could follow the action quite well by the time I left, though. I just require an adjustment period. Seven years ago, I doubt I could have just sat down and played two tables online, much less up to 30, which I eventually was able to do quite easily. Still, the online format is far easier for me to follow. It's a 2-dimensional space and sounds are limited and predictable. Live play is much more variable moment to moment, and at first I was overwhelmed, but at this point I can follow the action, count the bet sizes, the pot size, calculate pot odds, read various players, etc. It seems simple in retrospect. I'm not sure a neurotypical person would understand this difficulty in processing new experiences (particularly social ones), but in any event, it passes as one slowly becomes acclimated.

3) Regarding checking, is there an official list of motions considered a check somewhere I could reference? It seems some dealers will call just about anything a check, which I guess is not surprising given at this casino's 1/2 games many players check like 90% of the time. But why isn't there a rule defining the checking motion? E.g., two raps on the felt. They were very strict about betting motions, but I could probably bang my head against the rail and they'd call it a check.

4) Regarding the third situation, I'm still confused why that would be a rule (if it is a rule). I asked the dealer why he couldn't tell me who raised but he just repeated "I can only tell you the amount." Anyway, this one is not a big deal either way. I was just curious as it made no logical sense to me.

5) I do not expect or want sympathy from other players regarding having Aspergers. I made no mention of this while playing. I only did so here to clarify why I made some of these mistakes, or why it grates on me so much when some weird kid invades my personal space for as long as possible. I didn't say anything to him because I thought it likely he would simply become more obnoxious, so I just tried to ignore him and play the hand despite the strong urge to "accidentally" headbutt him. I realize people stare each other down in poker, but this was way beyond that. I thought perhaps there were limits to this kind of behavior. Am I hearing correctly that a player can move his seat (or get up if he's on the other side of the table), position himself inches from my face, and stare unblinking into my eyes until time is called?

Hmm...maybe I should have sneezed in his face. Or maybe I should have said something like, "I think you're sexy too." LOL. What a weirdo...

6) Finally, I have already made the decision to grind for the near future. Despite my lack of live experience, poor social skills, etc., I did EV calculations for every major hand I was involved in, and despite being largely card dead, my EV was still 30+/hour. Moreover, I have saved living expenses and bankroll for over a year, so I don't even need to be a winning player immediately, though I'm confident I already am. I think I will be fine, but thanks for the concern.

@KL03

Would it have helped to call the floor in any of these situations? The way I see it, in Situation 1, the dealer already called check and I immediately objected, which gave away that I did not want to check. Calling the floor it seems would say I REALLY did not want to check. Though... the maniac was so clueless he probably still would have called the turn and river bets, even if I had to get a floor ruling. With Situation 2, there was no need, but if I had hit the flop and wanted to bet and the dealer didn't ask me, I guess I would call the floor. With Situation 3, I guess the floor could clarify the rule, but at the time it just seemed odd, not worth arguing about. With Situation 4, would the floor do anything given the general opinion here is the player did nothing wrong? Also, I'm not entirely sure how to call the floor. Didn't see anyone else do it. I'm guessing I ask the dealer to do it?

Last edited by Shai Hulud; 05-09-2017 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:08 PM   #13
KL03
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

In most card rooms, you ask the dealer to call the floor, and they are obligated to do so.

But you're on the right track about calling the floor. You have to consider all the variables and decide if it's worth it. I'd save it for the really big problems. I let a lot of things go because I would rather keep it a fun enjoyable atmosphere and not waste three minutes of everyone's time. I only mention it because the last thing I want is anyone feeling like the dealer or players cheated them and they had no recourse.

#1, they may have let you bet. Sometimes they side with a new player when it's clear they made a mistake.

#3, Unless the room has some weird rules, I think there's a good chance the floor would have said the dealer could tell you where the bet came from on that street. But again, like you said, this doesn't seem like a situation where it would be necessary. Also, most players play as if this information is completely irrelevant, so making a stink about it isn't a good idea. Were you not able to see the chips in front of each player to determine where the raise came from?

#4, They'd probably laugh at this, but I've seen people call the floor over more ridiculous things. I doubt there's anything they would do. I think responding to this player in an equally goofy way would be best. Hopefully you can do this without giving away any information.

And since we're talking about it, most rooms are pretty clear about floor decisions being final, so once they make a decision, just accept it and move on.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:35 PM   #14
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

I have heard of the rule where they cannot tell ou who raised. Of course, I play 90% of my poker at Winstar, so there is that. In my experience, there may be like 2 dealers that enforce it.

you can usually reconstruct the raiser by looking at the chips in front of the players. if a player has a single chip, you may ask if that was a raise or a call.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:08 AM   #15
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Ambiguous checks are common, in my experience. Knocking or tapping the table, with your knuckles, a chip, a card, or a fingertip, can all mean a check. But some players also make these motions when they're thinking—and they do so unconsciously, so when the dealer says they checked, they object strenuously because they weren't aware of making any motion at all.

Sit on your hands. That's what my father used to tell me and my brothers when we were fighting in the car as kids. If that's what it takes to control your fidgeting, try it. Or just rest your forearms on your lap as you await the flop, turn, or river. As an added benefit, this will prevent you from making any unconscious movements that will give away how much you like the flop, turn, or river when it hits.

As for the guy who got up in your face, that sounds pretty extreme. Meaning, I haven't seen anything quite like that in 25+ years of playing in card rooms. But personal space is in short supply at the poker table. And it is a competition, so you should expect some openly aggressive behavior. Was this guy doing the same thing with other players? If so, how did they react? Like you, I'd be reluctant to confront him for fear the situation would escalate. But if he made me really uncomfortable, I'd ask for a seat change or a table change, or I'd get up and take a walk.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:35 AM   #16
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Hopefully you will continue now that you have come back to the game. I think you will find that the more you play the more slack you will get from the dealers as a reg since they will have seen your behavior.

Obviously it's your responsibility to follow the action. My hope would be that a Dealer would recognize that you aren't looking at the table and verify your 'action' before trying to move on. Certainly I've seen some players who will go into 'check-down' mode and just never stop a checking motion.

The Dealer should be able to verify action on the current street, but room rules do apply. Once a street is over the Dealer should only verify how many players remain in the hand and give no information about previous action or pot size (unless PLO). Again, it's the players responsibility to pay attention.

As far as personal space, call the floor and get a ruling. "Leaning' is where I would have an issue. But to just turn and stare, that's OK. Not sure how he can look 'into' your eyes if you aren't looking at him as well, but this type of behavior is allowed in a LIVE cash game ... but not to an extreme of course. GL
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:03 AM   #17
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

I've definitely heard "can't tell you who raised" before. It might not be standard but it's not as rare as some here are saying. The reasoning is the same as why they won't talk about previous streets. It's the player's responsibility to follow and remember action. If the dealer is going to recount action is he now responsible if he gets it wrong and it influenced your play.

Overall most of your issues seem like new to live poker issues and you get used to it all with experience.

The obnoxious staring happens now and then. You can take a passive approach by looking away or go after it if it's really bothering you. I like an escalating strategy with something like "I know I'm sexy but we're all waiting fir you to act". If that doesn't work then blow a kiss when you're getting the stare. And if he still persists the sneeze would be the nuclear option.

The other day I had a hoodie and sunglasses guy staring deep into my soul with a scowl on his face from across the table . He was facing like a $40 bet in a 1/2 game. It was so comical I actually bust out laughing.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:30 PM   #18
Shai Hulud
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

@KL03

Thanks for the clarifications/explanations about calling the floor in those situations. I appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by agamblerthen View Post
Ambiguous checks are common, in my experience. Knocking or tapping the table, with your knuckles, a chip, a card, or a fingertip, can all mean a check. But some players also make these motions when they're thinking—and they do so unconsciously, so when the dealer says they checked, they object strenuously because they weren't aware of making any motion at all.

Sit on your hands. That's what my father used to tell me and my brothers when we were fighting in the car as kids. If that's what it takes to control your fidgeting, try it. Or just rest your forearms on your lap as you await the flop, turn, or river. As an added benefit, this will prevent you from making any unconscious movements that will give away how much you like the flop, turn, or river when it hits.
The thing is, I wasn't anywhere near the felt. The first time my hand was about 3 inches above the felt and just rapidly vibrating up and forth the same way my legs tend to bounce. The second time my hands were on the rails and I was just drumming on my arm.

Sitting on my hands isn't a bad idea except my hands would go numb after a while. I guess I'll just try to keep them behind the rail and/or tell each dealer to only honor verbal checks from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agamblerthen View Post
As for the guy who got up in your face, that sounds pretty extreme. Meaning, I haven't seen anything quite like that in 25+ years of playing in card rooms. But personal space is in short supply at the poker table. And it is a competition, so you should expect some openly aggressive behavior. Was this guy doing the same thing with other players? If so, how did they react? Like you, I'd be reluctant to confront him for fear the situation would escalate. But if he made me really uncomfortable, I'd ask for a seat change or a table change, or I'd get up and take a walk.
I guess I'm just that lucky to encounter such a weirdo when just starting, lol. And no, he didn't do this to other players, though I think he would have. The guy on his left was his friend, and I highly suspect they were colluding but had no proof. I saw them get into one pot together and they checked it down, which was unusual for this guy. At that point I wasn't sure how to change seats (I know now, get a seat change button), but I was considering leaving the table. The other guy left after a little over an hour of play, though. But while he was there we ended up in I think four pots heads up and he did the same thing every time. Except, all but the first time I just pulled up my hoodie and looked away. He still did his staring and time-out thing, but I can't imagine he was able to get any information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psujohn
Hopefully you will continue now that you have come back to the game. I think you will find that the more you play the more slack you will get from the dealers as a reg since they will have seen your behavior.
Thanks. I will continue, though maybe not at the same casino (Winstar). I'm not suggesting I was so traumatized I can't go back or anything like that. I'm just trying to decide where to move to grind. Winstar is closest (3 hours) but it's the middle of nowhere. I'll go back this month if they send me the promotional free rooms I'm supposed to get, but they haven't emailed me yet.

I'm going to Tampa in a few weeks. I've been before so I already know the area decently well, so I'll mostly be evaluating the Hard Rock Casino and Derby Lane, and whether the players seem better or worse than at Winstar. Though even if they're a little better, I'd be inclined to go to Tampa due to better quality of life. Max buy-in is also higher at 1/2 which is an advantage. Plus, free drinks. At Winstar they're not free and beers are max ABV 3.2%. I didn't see anyone drinking the whole time I was there, and I played until roughly 3AM the second and third days. On the other hand, moving from Texas to Florida is a pretty long move that I do NOT look forward to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psujohn
Obviously it's your responsibility to follow the action. My hope would be that a Dealer would recognize that you aren't looking at the table and verify your 'action' before trying to move on. Certainly I've seen some players who will go into 'check-down' mode and just never stop a checking motion.
I get it's my responsibility to follow the action. It just didn't seem like it would be giving me any information the other players didn't have to tell who raised on the current street. From where I was sitting, it was hard to tell because my vision is quite bad, but I was eventually able to reconstruct the betting sequence. Just took longer than if the dealer had simply answered my question. And yeah, there were many weak-tight and loose-passive players at Winstar who would almost always insta-check unless a card gave them at least two pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psujohn
The Dealer should be able to verify action on the current street, but room rules do apply. Once a street is over the Dealer should only verify how many players remain in the hand and give no information about previous action or pot size (unless PLO). Again, it's the players responsibility to pay attention.
In PLO, will the dealer actually count the pot and tell you or just say if your bet is too large?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psujohn
As far as personal space, call the floor and get a ruling. "Leaning' is where I would have an issue. But to just turn and stare, that's OK. Not sure how he can look 'into' your eyes if you aren't looking at him as well, but this type of behavior is allowed in a LIVE cash game ... but not to an extreme of course. GL
I was in seat 3 (end of table) and he was in seat 4, so we were kind of perpendicular to each other, which is what allowed him to turn 90 degrees, lean in and stare directly unblinking into my eyes. I'd have to turn to the right away from the board to avoid this.

You say it's not allowed to an extreme, but that's what I'm wondering? Where's the line? To me this seemed pretty extreme. I've watched lots of live poker on TV and see people staring each other down, but never like this. And I didn't see anyone else do a staredown remotely like this while I was there. Some players would try to soul-read of course, but they'd stay where they were, and do it at most for a few seconds, maybe five or six if they were facing a big call.

Thanks for the good luck wishes.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:36 PM   #19
WillYumTX
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Best of luck in live poker!

There is indeed a lot of information and stimuli in a poker room. And there are quite a lot of oddities and quirky personality types at the table - and that's just the dealers!

I would check with the floor away from the table if there are any questions that come up. And like others have noted, not all dealers (even in the same room) are going to follow the rules to the same degree.

In regards to your situations/examples, there is a lot of good feedback provided in this thread. Here's my take on them.

Pay attention when you are in a hand! If you look away, you risk missing action, getting your cards mucked, or slowing down the game/hand.

Tapping in any form can be construed as checking. Be careful. As suggested above, maybe put your hands and arms below the table. Or get a fidget toy.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...vinyl-desk-toy

Some players will tap their own arm to check. Some will just move a pinky on to the felt to check. Some will point at the left to check. And some will mumble "check." So be careful with your actions.

I've heard that dealers are not allowed to talk about the action - and the limits vary depending on the room, the day, and the dealer. It should be apparent (usually) who raised based on the chips/bets in front of each player. But watching the action will help you track the calls and raises.

As for the staring guy, I would joke at him if you are comfortable with such a response. A friend in my old home game would wink at you if you stared at him. It was very effective.

Or you could make a comment like you suggested. "Sorry, but I'm already dating someone."

I'm reminded of this video clip.

https://youtu.be/rhjzQfuR3fQ
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:52 PM   #20
Reducto
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

#1/2 is very common with new players especially when they have big hands. Most have no idea they're tapping the table in what looks like a very deliberate manner and will swear on their mother's grave that they did not move. It usually goes away in time as you become more comfortable.

#3 I've heard that from some dealers but there is no specific rule about it I've ever seen. Hopefully the dealers that are doing it are at least announcing the amounts when they don't match what is put out.

#4 is something anyone would find creepy and annoying. I'd either move or laugh and say something like "That staring thing is weird, man! What are you doing?"
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:56 PM   #21
MikeStarr
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

2 years ago, I had back surgery and 10 days later drove a 26' U-Haul packed to the rim from Dallas To Ft. Lauderdale, swallowing pain killers at a record pace. Im sure you can make the move.

Tampa is a hell of a lot nicer place to live than Gainesville, Tx area. Its like night and day.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:47 PM   #22
steamraise
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
2 years ago, I had back surgery and 10 days later drove a 26' U-Haul packed to the rim from Dallas To Ft. Lauderdale, swallowing pain killers at a record pace. Im sure you can make the move.

Tampa is a hell of a lot nicer place to live than Gainesville, Tx area. Its like night and day.
Huh?
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:45 PM   #23
Shai Hulud
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reducto
#1/2 is very common with new players especially when they have big hands. Most have no idea they're tapping the table in what looks like a very deliberate manner and will swear on their mother's grave that they did not move. It usually goes away in time as you become more comfortable.
I didn't realize I had a big hand when the check was called. I mean I figured my top and bottom pair were probably good, so I was going to value bet the turn regardless, but then I hit a full house on a board with flush draws. My hand was moving, and I realized that, but it wasn't near the felt or betting line, so I had no idea I was making what could be construed as a checking motion. But...lesson learned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStarr View Post
2 years ago, I had back surgery and 10 days later drove a 26' U-Haul packed to the rim from Dallas To Ft. Lauderdale, swallowing pain killers at a record pace. Im sure you can make the move.

Tampa is a hell of a lot nicer place to live than Gainesville, Tx area. Its like night and day.
Well that doesn't sound like fun. I don't have any physical reasons why the move would be hard. Moving just makes me very anxious, far more so than most people I think. So, any chance you can send me some of those painkillers? Oh, and my cat would like some valium, please.

I know Tampa is much nicer. Well, any random city would be nicer than Gainesville, but I've been to Tampa a couple times on vacation. It's a nice, albeit hot, city, with good restaurants, grocery stores, and things to do. Saw the Devil Rays play or whatever they call themselves now. Went to Busch Gardens and rode all the roller coasters. On the other hand, Gainesville has the advantage of cheap and plentiful methamphetamines, so it's a close call.

P.S. I'm joking about the drugs, in case there are any overzealous mods here.

@steamraise - I'm moving this summer to somewhere I can play live poker full time, and I'm looking mostly at Gainesville TX / Thackerville OK (Winstar), Tampa FL, and maybe Vegas if I convince myself to take a third trip.

Last edited by Shai Hulud; 05-10-2017 at 08:51 PM. Reason: bad grammars
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:54 AM   #24
MIB211
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai Hulud View Post
I didn't realize I had a big hand when the check was called. I mean I figured my top and bottom pair were probably good, so I was going to value bet the turn regardless, but then I hit a full house on a board with flush draws. My hand was moving, and I realized that, but it wasn't near the felt or betting line, so I had no idea I was making what could be construed as a checking motion. But...lesson learned.



Well that doesn't sound like fun. I don't have any physical reasons why the move would be hard. Moving just makes me very anxious, far more so than most people I think. So, any chance you can send me some of those painkillers? Oh, and my cat would like some valium, please.

I know Tampa is much nicer. Well, any random city would be nicer than Gainesville, but I've been to Tampa a couple times on vacation. It's a nice, albeit hot, city, with good restaurants, grocery stores, and things to do. Saw the Devil Rays play or whatever they call themselves now. Went to Busch Gardens and rode all the roller coasters. On the other hand, Gainesville has the advantage of cheap and plentiful methamphetamines, so it's a close call.

P.S. I'm joking about the drugs, in case there are any overzealous mods here.

@steamraise - I'm moving this summer to somewhere I can play live poker full time, and I'm looking mostly at Gainesville TX / Thackerville OK (Winstar), Tampa FL, and maybe Vegas if I convince myself to take a third trip.
No offense, but if you're still so uncomfortable at live poker I'd consider pretty strongly putting a lot more hours in before moving to play full time. Just because you have the poker skills to beat live poker does not mean you have the other skills needed to do it, or the temperament necessary to do it day-in day-out for a living.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:17 PM   #25
waldoworld
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Re: Ambiguous checks and other mistakes

Players use a myriad of motions to signal a check, so a tapping motion of any kind will almost always be taken that way.

As for the statement that the dealer made about not saying who raised on the round of betting you are still in, this is a misinterpretation. This is not the rule at Winstar, if anywhere. That rule applies to previous betting rounds only. If this comes up again, state to the dealer your understanding of the rule and feel free to get floor clarification on it due to your eyesight. It should be remedied promptly so you can clarify action in the future.

As for the staring guy, have some sunglasses handy. Don't necessarily wear them all the time. If a player wants to have a staredown show, put them on theatrically, look down at the felt if it's more comfortable and let him stare. Someone will eventually call the clock if it gets excessive.

The drinkers usually show up on the weekends, but it is a calmer room than some others in terms of alcohol.
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