I play a $1-$2 no-limit game at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, Fla. In a hand recently, I drew ace-king suited and was one off the button. Five players limped in, and I raised to $20. Three players took the flop with me.
The manager came over and the situation was explained. His decision -- which he stated was standard procedure -- was that the flop needed to be recalled, and the player who failed to call the raise now would have the opportunity to call the raise or go out. At that point, once all the action was completed, the deck was reshuffled and another flop appeared. Of course, this flop was of no use to me, and I didn't even win the hand, not to mention the bonus that was wiped away. What a mess. Have you heard of this taking place, and is it a written rule in these situations to recall the flop?
Let me start by assuring you that this situation was handled correctly by both the dealer and the floorperson from beginning to end.
Whenever cards are exposed prior to all the action being completed, the only recourse is to recall whatever cards have been shown prematurely, complete all action and then reshuffle the cards. Asking players involved in the hand whether they want to call the bet after they've already seen the flop would clearly be unfair. There is no gray area when dealing with a ruling like this, and you'll find that this is standard procedure in poker rooms around the globe.
Of course, in a spot like the one you described, it's disheartening to learn that an error was made, and in order to fix that error, the flop will be reshuffled. Knowing that you would have qualified for a high-hand promo that would've potentially paid out some additional loot is just salt in the wound. In an attempt to lessen the sting, I'd like to toss in a "moral of the story" that, if truly taken to heart, can lead to a more stress-free and enjoyable poker experience in the future.
Always keep in mind that there are multiple possible outcomes in any given situation. It seems natural for players to have a negative initial reaction in a situation where the rules work against them. But if you toss in some logic and common sense, you'll realize that some errors work in your favor.
I have to say, Gerry, you seem to have taken this in stride. From the tone of your question, it seemed you were genuinely curious whether the matter was handled correctly, rather than being outraged. Let's pass along your easygoing approach to other players, and maybe alleviate some of the overall grumpiness at the tables.
(Scott Fischman is a professional poker in both the live and online poker worlds. He has won two World Series of Poker bracelets and has accumulated nearly $3 million in career earnings. He is also the author of the poker book "Online Ace." Send your poker questions to him on Twitter: @scottfischman88.)