Tournament Rules – Forcing to Show Hands

by , Jan 30, 2007 | 9:28 pm

I don’t pretend to be a know it all, nor have I played one on TV. But there are times when I know that I am right. Like last Saturday night when playing in my favorite monthly (legal, non-raked) tournament in Southwest Houston. I picked up J-10 under the gun. Having an M of 6.5, I moved all in. It folded to the table captain small blind who called. Not feeling insecure about taking Dan Harrington’s suggestion, I flipped over my hand immediately to conserve time. The dealer proceeded to flop and turn before he heard my request to stop dealing so I could see the other player’s hand.

My opponent, angry he had to wait to see the river, said, “I don’t have to show my hand.” Wanting to help better the world, I explained it was a basic tournament rule that all-in players when heads-up had to show their hand. Not to mention I’ve played in this tournament for two years — I have always been asked to flip over my hand in this situation, but this “new” guy informed me the rule did not apply to this particular tournament. ??????

After telling him it was not only a standard ruling but indeed it was a house rule as well, he told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. I regretfully became sassy, and asked how could I not know what I was saying if I am barely on the top 100 Women money winners of all time list —in the world?! The argument escalated but ultimately without surprise the room backed me up on the issue.

As it turns out he only plays cash with these guys so it’s safe to assume he was trying to enforce a cash-game ruling. We didn’t speak much the rest of the tournament but surely in the end we will become fast friends (without calling him Shirley). We both made the final table and we both left without cashing. Sigh.

Friendly game or not, it’s important to state your rules and stick to them. While this may seem trivial, it will help keep the drama low and allow other players to see more hands instead of watching a side show. Jack McClelland stated in the January issue of Card Player: “In the good old days of poker, I used to say “shuffle up and deal.” Now, I give a two-minute speech about all of the things the players “can’t and shouldn’t do.” It’s unfortunate Jack has to do this speech. If you are in the business of making money in Poker, then do your research beforehand. No pun intended.

9 Comments to “Tournament Rules – Forcing to Show Hands”

  1. Bubba

    Hoyles rules state the following:”34. All hands will be turned faceup whenever a player is all-in and betting action is complete.

    P.S. are you the fresh princess of Bellaire?

  2. DanM

    Hey Bubba! This is indeed The Fresh Princess of Bellaire … aka “Michele,” Pokerati’s new Houston correspondent. I hope you and the other readers will give her a warm welcome … she’s a smart lady and accomplished player taking her stabs on the pro tournament circuit, so she should have some good insight to provide.

    We look forward to “using” her to class up the joint make Clonie jealous.


    “Rule 9. Face up All cards will be turned face up once a player is all in and all action is complete.” Tournament Directors Association Rules

  4. Fresh Princess

    Thanks Bubba and Dan. Thanks for telling everyone I am smart after I disclosed to the public that I didn’t know everything.
    PokerLetter.Org thank you for the TDA ruling.

  5. Marvin C

    In the good old days, as Jack McClelland called them, there was collusion, dumping, and long delays as two bluffers waited for the other to show their hand. As no-limit got more popular and not enough tournaments were televised with miniture cameras, the rule makers made the right decision to make all all-in players show their hands. It cut down collusion and dumping and sped up the game. It is not an absolute rule, as I didn’t have to show my losing top pair ace kicker all-in hand to a straight this past weekend because nobody at the table asked for it and the dealer dealt the turn and river quickly.

    Without having to turn over her hand, a well known sister would have dumped all her chips to her brother in the winner take all tournament where her brother was favored but she wasn’t. She outflopped her brother. The split in the so called winner take all might have been different.

  6. DanM

    interesting. i never thought about this in terms of preventing collusion. but i can now see where that could be the case. that’s the thing about poker rules … as minutiae-oriented as they can be, they all generally have a purpose, often in protecting the integrity of the game. (burn cards used to prevent the infusion of marked cards, for example.)

  7. Fresh Princess

    Yes Marvin, great of you to mention. Players dumping chips to one another is collusion. This is one way online sites catch cheaters.

  8. Bubba

    I think I have played with michele at the bellagio or the wynn in the last couple of years. After checking out her site; I need had some much fun losing money to a girl she is extremely witty and talented and of course easy on the eyez………I wish all players looked like her.

  9. Bubba

    woops never had so much fun