Thursday, September 12, 2013


Have slipped back into almost-too-busy-to-post mode today, I’m afraid, and so I’m just going to share a short observation here before getting back to other duties. In fact, I’m finally just about committed to doing what I’ve suggested I might do several times over the past year or so, namely scaling back to a less intensive posting schedule whereby instead of publishing every weekday I’m going to adopt a three-post-a-week routine for the near term at least.

I might on those off-days indulge in tweeting links to some older posts which might be interesting or entertaining to some readers. With over 2,000 of them, there are a few that could be worth reprising I think, including some that relate to current poker news or ongoing debates.

Speaking of, I’m kind of amazed at the legs this whole “first card off the deck” discussion has had over the last week, an issue that had earned some scant attention prior to EPT Barcelona, then thanks to Daniel Negreanu’s FCOTD-related blow-up in the High Roller event suddenly became the hot topic for poker writers and players looking for op-ed topics.

“FCOTD” has definitely replaced “OFC” as the most popular poker acronym of late.

I said last week that I’m ambivalent about the “At Your Seat” rule which requires players to be seated (or “at” their seats, however that is interpreted) when the first card of a hand is dealt or have their hands declared dead. A different rule -- followed widely in the past -- had the “At Your Seat” requirement coincide with the last card of the hand being dealt, meaning players could loiter about, notice the hand starting to be dealt from a neighboring table, then rush back in time to avoid missing a hand. But now it’s FCOTD and everyone seems to be either A-OK or WTF.

I should say I am not indifferent about a rule requiring players actually to be at the table in order to play their hands. That is needed (as I think most would agree). Beyond that, though, I’m not really that concerned about when the decisive at-your-seat-or-lose-your-hand moment occurs, although I do think it whenever that moment is should be understood by all with the rule applied consistently.

For both an explanation of FCOTD and thorough “pro” and “con” takes on it, see the pieces on PokerNews by tournament director Matt Savage in favor of the rule and player Dan O’Brien who is against it. Both make some good points, and both seem fairly firm in their opposing positions.

Meanwhile, like I say, I’m not moved very much in either direction. If anything, I appreciate the point those in favor of the rule (like Savage) make about it preventing players catching a glimpse of opponents’ cards while walking around the table during a deal. That said, I also see what the objectors (like O’Brien) are saying about this issue not coming up often if at all.

I noted before how when I play, I’m usually so glad to be at the table I don’t want to miss a second of it. I never get up except during breaks, and rarely will pull out my phone to check messages. I want to be there, and fully there, from the first card off the deck right through to the point when all of the cards are delivered back to the dealer.

Of course, as a recreational player, I see the time at the table as recreation, and thus rarely if ever am looking for respite from that. From a certain perspective, arguing about when and how often to be able to leave the table almost sounds like players saying they don’t want to play (if that makes sense).

Alas, I haven’t any extra respite at the moment to think about it further. Probably just as well, as everyone else has provided plenty on the topic already.

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