At a WSOP tournament there was an open raise, then an all in by the SB and BB folded. SB mucked forgetting about the raise in front of him. The open raise called.

Not that it matters but open raise had SB covered.

The floor ruled SB did not have to pay off the all in only the open raise. The floor ruled play was dead when the hand was mucked.

The open raise contended she called before the muck but the floor contended she did not.

Open raise showed her cards - KK. From the reaction of the SB he was behind KK.

Was that the correct ruling?

  • 1
    This is 100% dealer error. The all-in player IS NOT ENTITLED TO FOLD in a tournament, and the dealer's job was to keep his hand out of the muck. If it is in any way recoverable, even if it has touched the muck, it should be recovered, turned face up along with his opponent's hand, and the board dealt out. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 23:52

2 Answers 2


An all-in that has been called cannot be dead, never ever if the player is at the table, because the dealer is meant to protect the muck. If the cards didn't touch the muck they are live. Even if the cards have touched the muck, if they are clearly identifiable then it is often ruled as live. I say often as clearly from the above question not all floors are aware of this, I would have said always, but evidently not.

Now in a situation like you described, I would argue that the player should be eliminated from the tournament as he has forfeit his hand. To punish the other player because the SB was not paying attention does not make much sense to me.

I've asked several of my friends who are floors, one for the WSOP and they disagreed with the above ruling. It is the players responsibility, i.e. SB here, to pay attention to the game.

During an all-in and call situation hands are turned face up, no excuses. The dealer should know this and shouldn't have mucked the cards, he/she should have left the cards in front of the player or pushed them back to him or her.


Definitely will not accept my own answer. This is my opinion.

If open raise called before the muck then SB definitely should have to pay off the all in.

Assume the muck was before the call.

No way SB mucked to gain an advantage. If SB did not want to play the pot against the open raise the SB would have just folded.

The tournament made no attempt to retrieve the cards from the muck. In my mind the hand was not dead and they should have attempted to retrieve the cards from the muck and play the hand.

Assume they did attempt to retrieve the cards but could not.

Then I can kind of go along with the ruling. Taking a guys stack for a mistake like that is kind of harsh.

They did make the SB pay off the open raise.

The open raise did get the the pot with no risk. Even AA does not win every show down.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.