Thursday, December 20, 2007

Making deals, a retrospective

DealsIt is common practice for some final tables to alter the tournament payouts after all players know they are in the money. For example, at the weekly game for which I used to deal, the payouts were 5o% of the kitty to the winner, 30% to second, and 20% to third. This payout structure was the rule everyone agreed to when they put up their money. However, many times the last three players opted to split the money pool evenly between the three of them. The game usually ran late and everyone, including the staff, wanted to go home; and the chip stacks of the players were usually close enough for no one to have a clear advantage. I understand the reason, but as a rule I am against final table deal making.

I feel that a deal is often the brainchild of the player's lack of confidence to win. A player would rather take the 33% cut than risk only 20%. That being said, when I'm playing with someone who suggests a deal, I take it as a sign of weakness, and continue the game to win.

The last real reason I had to deal was as follows: My friend and I got into a new game at someone's home who we weren't familiar with. The game was a $20 buy-in tournament with one re-buy, neither my friend nor I rebought but most everyone else did. We both made it to the final three. I had a very good night, proud of my stack just over twice as much as the other two guys who were about equal to each other. I fold a hand that my friend and the other player move all-in on. As it turned out, this hand hurt me more than either of them.

There was some confusion with the final burn card, and the dependent river card could have won it or lost it for either of them. I, of course, took the side of my friend, but I also knew that the owner of the house and all the regular players there in the adjoining room would take the opposing viewpoint. As the room was getting heated, I offered the deal. I was confident with my playing enough so that I would beat whoever ended up winning the hand in question, but the possibility of the fight becoming physical and the chance of us both being kicked out without any winnings at all was looming. We split three ways.

I didn't realize I was still mad about this until now as I write it. In fact it may well be the reason I am now adverse to deal making. But the story ended well enough with us both well in the green and off to another game across town.

We didn't ever play at that particular venue again.

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