Let me put this out there first: if you need to shoot angles during a $30 tournament in order to win, you are a pathetic piece of shit.  Last night, there were 3 incidents in the first hour of play.  If you follow me on twitter @caveman921 you know where I was playing.

Definition of Angle shooting form: www.flopturnriver.com

In live poker, deliberately violating either the letter or the spirit of a poker rule for the purpose of making a profit that one would not have been entitled to otherwise.

Example: Examples of angle shooting include: miscalling one’s hand in the hope that a player with a better hand will muck, intentionally acting out of turn to see another player’s reaction, verbalizing an action in an ambiguous manner that can be interpreted in one of two ways depending on how the hand goes, or misrepresenting the size of one’s chip stack. Angle shooting is generally discouraged by casinos and poker rooms although sometimes the dealer or the floor will uphold the angle shooter’s actions.

First incident happens on the river where I had flopped 2 pair and the board runs out A6579.  On the river, the guy on my right shoves all in for 15k more.  I tank for a few and finally call.  He says “I got a straight”.  Lesson 1: Don’t ever release your hand until the original better shows his winning hand.  I say “Nice hand, show me!”.  He turns over AT and I show 65 and scoop in all his chips.  #thankyouverymuch

Second and third incident happen in the same hand.  We have to call the floor over twice while someone was trying to break the table at the same time.  Hero #1 (me) was on the button, Hero #2 was in the small blind(SB) and villian (angle shooter) was in seat 8 in middle position.  The big blind(BB) was an older lady that plays there enough that everyone knows her name.

It’s a limped pot (everyone just called the big blinds bet).  The flop comes out 998.  The SB checks while the BB is turned around talking to the waitress.  The villain checks out of turn a second after the SB checks.  The Dealer is looking at the BB as the action is on her.  BB finally checks and the villain bets out 3k.  I say that he already checked out of turn and at least 1 other confirmed it to the dealer.  The rule: out of turn action is binding if the action in front has not changed.  I have the floor called over and the dealer tells him what happened a confirmed that multiple people saw him check out of turn.  The villain ever said to the dealer and the floor when he came over, “what if I was trying to get her attention.”  (‘what if’ should have been clue number 1 that he wasn’t) The floor is getting the story and asks if anyone else saw him check and no one responded so he lets the bet play.  (He must not have heard the dealer confirm that multiple people saw it.. its the only explanation)

The floor leaves the table and I fold.  The Hero#2 calls and it’s heads up.  As soon as turn hits, ‘J’, the villain says “I’m all in” out of turn again. Lesson #2: Always confirm action with the dealer.  The Hero#2 says check softly enough for me to hear out of my bad ear but not enough for the dealer to hear it.  Then he puts in his stack to call the all in and flips over a straight. Lesson #3: Don’t turn over your cards until the dealer instructs you too.  The villain then turns over 93 for trips.  The dealer burns and turns the river which was a blank giving the Hero#2 the win.  Here is where it gets interesting again.

The villain says, “I folded and didn’t call.”  The Hero#2 says, “you said all in and I called it.”  The floor is called over again while someone was still trying to break the table.  I get moved to another table while the floor is on the way and put my chips down and come back to the table.  It is explained to the floor that the dealer did not hear the Hero#2 say “check” although I confirmed with the floor that he did.  The villain then says he just flipped his hand over his hand and had not called yet. This was the angle shoot: if he hit the boat, he would say that he was all in and the other guy called and if he lost, he can say he didn’t call.

I was back and forth between the two tables so I could not hear all the conversations but here is what was finally ruled:  Shuffle back in the river and the villain has the option to call or fold to the Hero#2’s all in.  WHAT????  Are you f’n kidding me?  The guy said “I folded and didn’t call” as soon as he lost the hand.  If that was the case, the Hero#2 should have received the pot without the villain putting any more chips in.

So the villain decides to call and the river is a ‘J’ giving him the boat and the sb is out of the tournament.  What a horrible experience for this guy.  I do not know if he plays there regularly but do you think this guy wants to come back after that experience?  I’ve seen the villain many times before and he is always trying to play some angle.  You would think the floor knows this but maybe not.

This is one of the situations why the Tournament Directors Association has this as the first rule:


1:   Floor People

Floor people are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness as top priorities in the decision-making process. Unusual circumstances can on occasion dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over the technical rules. The floorperson’s decision is final.

 The charity rooms in the area do not have this rule in place.  This allows the floor person to make a decision that is in “the best interest of the game” and keep POS angle shooters from coming out ahead like this.

I really wish either the charity rooms would adopt the TDA rules for their tournaments or the State of Michigan would require them.  The rules were developed by the best Tournament Directors in the world with more experience than any of the TDs in these rooms.  They even have a certification process for $10 for the TDs they would hire.

Protect yourself with a few simple things:

  •  Don’t ever release your hand until the original better shows his winning hand.
  • Always confirm the action with the dealer.
  • At showdown, always turn over your cards in front of you and keep a couple fingers on it until the dealer ships you chips (if you won of course).
      – This keeps the dealer from mucking your hand and giving the chips to the wrong winner. 
Just remember that no matter what rules are used, there will be angle shooters trying to get around them.  Protect your cards, protect your action.  You cannot count on the TDs to always make the right decision.