In a recent post about angle shooting, I described several deceptive tactics that violate the unspoken norms that hold poker games together.
This week, at Live at the Bike, came an incident described by numerous poker pundits as the worst angle shooting ever coupled with one of the worst floor rulings ever. Ryan Feldman, who is an owner/producer/host of the show, is participating as a player and makes a full house on the river. Another regular, known as Armenian Mike, has racked up his chips as if to leave soon, and slides out his rack announcing “all-in” as his hand lets go of the rack. Ryan immediately says “call” and puts out a handful of chips, then Mike pulls back his rack of chips and tries to walk back his all-in bet (which was $10,000) claiming that he was just joking.
Apparently Mike has made a similar shove on previous river cards without being called and without indicating that he was joking. I tried to find some video of those earlier hands, without success.
The floor is called over, and rules that the bet stands, but then states that it is up to Ryan to decide if he wants to take Mike’s $10,000 in chips or not.
Ryan is a Live at the Bike owner/producer. Mike is a regular player. Both should be fully removed from the decision.
For the good of the game, the floor should simply and firmly insist that the chips be given to Ryan with the winning hand. Creating any wiggle room gives Mike an opening to try to guilt-trip Ryan into declining the money. If Ryan lets Mike keep his chips, it’s a terrible precedent. If Ryan takes the chips, he risks pissing off or losing a regular player or being perceived as the greedy bad guy. As an owner/producer, Ryan has meta game considerations, which the floor supervisor could and should totally preempt with a clear and strong ruling.
Popular poker podcaster Joey Ingram offers a much longer discussion in this YouTube video:
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