Friday, August 13, 2004

An interesting story by Daniel Rentzer on an encounter with Jim McManus during the World Poker Tour championship event at Bellagio. I'm going to excerpt it, as frankly, Rentzer isn't much of a stylist, and the story is buried in the middle of a less-than-interesting article. The full piece is here, if you want to wade through it. As to the McManus episode...

"... Prior to this hand I lost roughly 25,000 chips which was about half my stack, to the well respected author of "positively fifth street" James McManus. The confrontation we got in was really strange and made me very angry to say the least. If I recall correctly I was dealt K-Q and brought it in for a raise from middle position. Jim took his time and called the raise. The flop came with three spades and a Queen, giving me a pair of queens with a strong kicker.

I bet again and Jim took his cards and pushed them towards the dealer and it looked to me like he was folding. Jim never called for time and never protected his hand. The dealer also thought he was folding and took his cards and put them in the muck. Right when I was about to throw my cards away Jim started yelling at the dealer and claimed he never meant to fold his hand. He had flopped the nut flush and was apparently trying to determine how much he was going to raise me. But the entire situation confused the hell out of me and I did not understand if he was serious at first, because he had actually pushed his cards towards the dealer.

Anyways, the floor man came over and took Jim away from the table to ask him what he had thrown away. The floor man then checked the muck where
his cards had been thrown away and gave him his hand backafter confirming that the cards were his. It was clear which two cards were his because they were only about half way into the muck. Most casinos would never even have considered giving him his hand back, but the rules differ from casino to casino. He finally got his cards back and raised me whereby I called.

I also called his bets on the turn and the river when the river card came with a king. I now had top two pair and liked my hand enough to call his all-in bet on the river. He showed the nut-flush and I lost about 25,000 chips on this hand. I probably would have folded my hand if I could have got a read on him during the flop betting, but after all the commotion I was confused and made a bad call. I still don't think it was correct to give a player his cards back after they hit the muck, especially if the player had pushed his cards towards the dealer. This hand hurt big time and most likely was the main reason I did not have a chance to win this event."

...right, Daniel. It's all that nasty ol' writer's fault.

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