Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Craig's Corner | Comments

Fresh off my fifth place finish in the Borgata 2014 Spring Poker Open and I have been provided with a perfect story to share. I understand that not everyone understands the rules fully and that some do not play a lot of tournament poker, but the events that unfolded at my table on the money bubble of this event are truly unbelievable.
The set-up:
Event 2 of the open was a $350 +$50 buy in with a $100 bounty on each player. 28 players remained and 27 players would cash in this event. With blinds at 3,000/6,000 and a 400 (I think) ante, I am big blind with about 197,000. The under the gun player moved all in for 13,500. He was called by UTG +1, a middle position player with a big stack, and me, holding KQo. Players from the other tables gather around to watch the all in bubble confrontation.
The story:
After I called, UTG +1 says to me “Do you want to check it down?” I say “Sir, you cannot say that.” Others start chiming in saying he is out of line and other things of the sort. UTG +1 is obviously flustered and getting defensive. He then points to the dealer and comments that no one cares, the dealer does not care, the other players do not care.  I respond that maybe the all in player cares that collusion is being proposed. I then say “You can’t do that, but never mind…I check.” And with that, before the flop was put down, I tapped the table.
The dealer spread an 899 flop. Action was on UTG +1 who now bet 15,000.00 The table exploded with comments and laughter about how he was the player that offered to check it down, but now he bet. With that bet, both the second caller and I folded. The all in UTG exposed AKs. UTG +1 exposed 77. Turn card Q. River card Q. Not only would I have knocked out UTG with a full house, collected a bounty, and sent us into the money, but with the board double pairing, 77 was counterfeited, and the all in survived. Now the entire room erupted as players from the other table realized we were not in the money because of a bet that should not have been.
The aftermath:
UTG turned his quadruple up into a final table where he got knocked out in 10th place. Even though the bone head move cost me a bounty and an additional 46,000 pot, I was very happy for the young player that should have busted, but instead made the final table. As for the UTG +1 player, he busted out in the money, in some middle of the payout pack spot.
We all understood this tournament was the players first real live tournament, but if he knew enough to understand the concept of checking it down, he should have known enough to not say it. It is apparent which players have tournament experience, and it should have been obvious that neither of the two opponents in the hand needed to be reminded to check it down, especially after I checked before the flop even came down.
I do not know what the outcome would have been had the player followed form and checked. I would have won a nice pot and $100, but I may not have made it to the final table. As it was, I made a deep run and busted in 5th place on a post flop coin flip, but that is a story for another day.

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