(Note: this situation drew a lot of attention in the Pavilion room & was notable enough that I feel it belongs in NVG, but if necessary mods can move it.)
I witnessed one of the strangest things I've ever seen while playing cash at the Rio and imo it brought up some interesting rules & ethics considerations. tl;dr alert
It's a very loose 5/10 NLHE cash game at the WSOP that played much higher with double straddles, in-the-dark raises UTG, etc. All players were very deep with the biggest stack around $7k.
A hand comes up that is initially one of the smallest of the night. On the flop the pot is only ~$300 and all four active players check down a rainbow board of KQxx.
The river is a 10 and the first player to act is the $7k big stack - a nutty Asian guy who speaks in broken English. He stands up and pitches his cards at the muck face up, and we see they're 4s2s -a hand that can't even beat the board. After the hand hits the felt in front of the dealer, Asian Guy jokingly announces "All-in". We roll our eyes at his attempt at humor and the next player to act reaches for chips to take a stab at the pot.
Suddenly one of the other active players stops the action and tells the dealer that the Asian guy is indeed all-in. We murmur and look at each other, but another active player chimes in, agreeing. Now everyone is chattering, with some players (including me) pointing out that there is absolutely zero chance that the Asian guy's intention was to move all-in, and others claiming the hand is live and that it doesn't matter what his intention was.
The dealer shrugs and explains his understanding of the rules: a face-up hand is live even if it hits the muck
. Chaos ensues and the Asian guy goes bananas shouting "I muck! I muck hand!" over and over while reenacting the gesture of throwing the cards away. A floorman is called and once the action is recounted he snap-rules that the dealer is correct and that the hand is live. The shouting goes to 11, a sizable crowd gathers, and Asian Guy has a conniption, demanding confirmation from the senior supervisor. But once called, the senior floorman snap-rules that the snap-rule is correct: the hand is live.
So to recap: Asian Guy has moved all-in for $7,000 into a $300 pot with the nut-low face-up on the table and three players yet to act.
Player 2 fist-pump insta-ships for ~$5k. The final two players curse the Poker Gods that their hands likely aren't strong enough to win and that stacks aren't deep enough to profitably overcall, and fold. Player 2 flips up J9 for the second nuts and drags a $10,000 pot. Asian Guy howls into his cell phone for a minute, grabs the remnants of his stack and disappears.
Was this a good ruling? Should the floor have superseded the letter of the law in favor of the spirit of the game and the man's obvious intentions?
If you're the 2nd player to act, what hands do you ship? If you're the 3rd player to act and the 2nd player ships, with what hands do you call? If you're the 4th player and both Players 2 & 3 ship, with what hands to you call?
And if you're Asian Guy, what would be your preferred method of suicide?