The Cost of Inattentiveness

It’s bad enough to lose a hand when you’re not paying close enough attention, but losing one because the sealer is joshing with the table about sports is really galling.

I was in seat two for a noon tournament yesterday and we were still on the first round of the button. I limped in with 97 and the flop made me top pair, but it also had three cards to a mid-level straight. The turn brought another 9, making me top set, but adding a flush draw to the board. There were five or six players still in the hand, I was next-to-last to act after a raise, and called, but before the final player could act, the dealer–who’d been chatting away the whole time–flipped the river 8x, which paired the board, making me a full house. The player to my left spoke up, frustrated, the card was shuffled back into the deck as it should have been, he raised, I re-raised when it got back to me, and by the time the new river came out there were only three of us in the hand. The new river made the flush without pairing the board or either of the kickers in my hand or the guy on my left, who would have chopped it with me if the dealer had been paying attention.

A few hands later, when the same player was all-in, he flipped his hand over when he was called and the dealer began to pull them into the muck until the player protested and the board was run out. The calling player’s hand had already touched the muck, the dealer pulled the cards out and asked the player if they were his, then ran out the board, and the all-in player ended up re-buying, but I think I might have waited for a different table and a different dealer.