Friday, June 20, 2014

Chris Ruby Out of $1,500 PLO Event on a Board With Two Queens of Hearts

Ok, I’ve been avoiding controversy-related commentary for some time. I haven’t commented on the Mike Matusow and Brandon Cantu table antics (and hotly debated floor decisions) because I wasn’t there and if I am going to report on such shenanigans, I want to see them with my own eyes. 

It is however incontrovertible that two queens of hearts came out on a hand in the $1,500 PLO tournament, nearly costing Chris Ruby his tournament life. Talking with PokerNews, Ruby gave a shorthand account of the fateful hand. Late in level eight, with 20,000 behind, he flopped a set of aces and got it all in against an opponent who flopped a set of queens. A red queen came on the river he was down to 2,500 in chips, busting shortly thereafter. No one noticed the two identical cards, Ruby’s hand was mucked, and play resumed. 

Hand posted on Facebook “for laughs"

The story does not end there because Ruby took a picture of the hand and posted it on Facebook “for laughs, with people who had a piece of me.” His friend KC said “take a look, there are two queens of hearts” and Ruby said “nah, you’re full of sh––t. He zoomed in and “oh my god.. but it was too late by that time.” Ruby did argue on the 2+2 poker forum that he believed that he was entitled to compensation from the WSOP, at least for the $1,500 buy-in amount. He spoke with tournament director Jack Effel twice and unfortunately, compensation was not offered. This is technically a correct decision, as once the next hand is dealt, the time to contest the hand has expired. If the hand had been contested within the appropriate timeframe a misdeal would most likely have been declared, with play reconstructed and chips returned to appropriate stacks.

Compensating Ruby would have been a nice move by the WSOP, for publicity reasons if nothing else. Unfortunately, it would have opened the door to further such claims in the future and the even the possibility of other people in the hand asking for some sort of compensation––they were affected (directly or indirectly) by the hand and how that affected subsequent stack sizes and play. 

Resigned to his fate––Ruby speaking with PokerNews about the hand 

As to how nobody at the table could have noticed two hearts? This is Ruby’s take: “When [the queen] hit I was in shock. How nobody at the table including the dealer realized both Queens were hearts remains a mystery. Believe me I've been going through all the possibilities all day and the only thing I can come up with is misdirection. The shock of a red Queen hitting, the counting of the stacks, some people on their phones not playing close attention, etc.” Clearly, Ruby does not mean misdirection in the sinister sense, but in the “shock & inattention” sense. Which makes perfect sense––with 70 players to go until the money, the angle shoot of someone wanting to see as many players busted out as possible seems unlikely. Needless to say, the winner of the hand probably did not look a gift horse in the mouth too hard. 

Tapes were reviewed and the Nevada Gaming Commission was finally brought in to investigate, finding no wrongdoing. Meaning, get over it. This also means that Phil Ivey has a slam dunk case against the Borgata in their baccarat edge sorting lawsuit–– hand's over, dudes.

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