Poker authority

Aug 3, 2010 7:04 AM

It sure is nice to be home again here in Las Vegas after our long summer poker tour of the Northwest.

It was in the cool 70’s most of the time but it did not take long to warm up when we got home here in Las Vegas.

You know, folks, a little authority is a dangerous thing.

Rules of the poker road are still a little different wherever you sit down to play!

Here is one: Most poker rooms have a bad beat jackpot but their rules for payment are different. Here is a bad beat that was not a bad beat.

One player held a King high straight flush which won the pot, while the other player had a 10 high straight flush – considering the rules that both cards in each player’s hand must be a part of the flush.

Everyone in the poker room believed that. Yes, we were all winners because of the table share rule of bad beats that states all players who are playing in the room in the same type of poker game would share in the payoff of the bad beat.

Both players had a straight flush, using three cards from the flop and the two in their personal hands.

One player had Ks-Qs in his hand coupled with Js-10s-9s from the flop for a king-high straight flush, of spades using the Ks-Qs from his hand and the Js-10s-9s

The complete flop was Js-10s-9s-2h-8s.

The other player was holding the 7s-6s, which gave him a straight flush when coupled with the cards on the board.

Obviously, he was in compliance with the rules of using two from the hand and three from the flop.

But the house said no, sorry, that is not a bad beat that is in compliance with the house bad beat jackpot rules!

The king-high straight flush won the pot and the other player truly had a bad beat straight flush beaten by a higher straight flush.

If you can tell me why the house objected, you will get an A, and the answer will be at the bottom of this column.

Now I started out telling you a little authority was a dangerous thing.

Rules of the poker road are not the same in all poker rooms!

In the early 1980’s I was one of the founding members of the original Poker Players Association, which is now the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).

We generated rules of play, but the poker tournaments would not comply with our rules!

And that was the end of the old PPA rules.

Now there is a new PPA and those folks have tried equally hard to establish the rules of the poker road.

But still the casinos and the poker rooms will not always agree with the new PPA rules.

They will have a notation that states that they will use the PPA rules in their tournaments when the PPA rules are in compliance with their poker room rules, and will state that if the rules are different then the poker room rules will trump the PPA rules.

OK-J Poker tip of the week

So, folks, just remember when you are in Rome you must be a Roman and comply with the rules of the local Roman poker room!

Now, the answer to the straight flush question: The winning and losing poker players with the straight flushes both complied with all the rules except one.

The winning and losing hands using two cards from their hands and three from the flop must be the best hands possible, using all the cards in the flop!

The flop held Js-10s-9s-8s-2h, therefore, the winning hand of Ks-Qs-Js-10s-9s was a qualifying hand as the winner per the house jackpot rules!

But the losing hand was not a 10-high straight flush; it was a Jack-high straight flush because the 6s did not play and four cards were used from the flop. By the rules, the losing player could only use three from the flop to make the best hand possible and losing to the winning hand.

Until next time, study the rules of the poker road and stay lucky.