APPT Melbourne: A little controversy
We love a little bit of controversy. When things get a little slow around the poker room, we love to see a little verbal warfare to get the blood pumping. And it was certainly pumping over on Table 33 just a few minutes ago with two well-known Australian poker identities going at it!
The yelling in the background caught our attention and we scurried over to find Tony Hachem and Billy "The Croc" Argyros pointing fingers, raising their voice and general mayhem around the table. Three tournament directors were standing there, a sizable rail had gathered and Mr Hachem was pretty unhappy.
Both players recalled the action which seemed pretty simple. Hachem had raised to 3,400 from late position before Argyros had three-bet to 9,000 from the blinds. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Hachem was in the tank as Argyros finished the last of his ice cream. Vanilla flavoured according to Julian Powell. With a decision still pending and Argyros' delightful treat now consumed, he took the opportunity to step two paces to this left to dispose of the ice cream wrapper in the bin.
Argyros' cards were protected with his crocodile card protector but the dealer went to muck his cards since he had walked away from the table. Argyros yelled out to the dealer and was able to grab his cards before they hit the muck.
"That's a muck everywhere in the world!" exclaimed Hachem in protest. "I know you're a friend but the dealer mucked your hand so that's a muck!"
Argyros disagreed and the floor staff were called. The ruling was that since the cards hadn't hit the muck and were retrievable, the cards were live and the action was with Hachem.
An irate Hachem wasn't satisfied and demanded a senior floor person to come in to make a ruling. Gary Benson chipped in to defend Hachem after it sounded like the dealer had mucked Hachem's cards in a similar situation just moments earlier.
By this time most of the table were pretty annoyed at the length of time that was being taken over this situation. Jonno Pittock arrived to the table and received the details of what had happened. Pittock quickly ruled along the lines of his floor staff and the action was still waiting on Hachem.
"I'll fold ace-queen to you," said Hachem as he released his cards. "This is not because it's you and me Crocky, it's because the dealer ruled it as a muck."
"I can spend 30 seconds to explain the ruling if you like Tony," offered Pittock but Hachem declined.
"Just let it go," said a frustrated Hachem as the pot was pushed to Argyros. Crisis over.