Saturday, June 28, 2008


Two people are playing at a six-handed table online. A third player sits down, and the first two request that they be allowed to play heads up. Should the third player accommodate this request? Why or why not? Assume that a heads up (2-max) table is not available.

(I am not interested in a discussion of what is generally done now in this situation.)


Blogger Matt said...


This is a problem I run into quite a bit playing Stud at Pokerstars, where there are no 2-max tables. I have found myself on both sides of the equation --- as the new player and as one of the heads-up-ees.

Personally, I think their wishes should be respected. If the only reason they aren't quitting and moving to another table or site is because it's a hassle, then you are basically taking advantage of transaction costs to make an unhappy situation for people. That's not too cool.

The real solution, of course, is for all sites to allow private tables. Then there'd be no argument.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous The_Butcher said...

If two people asked a third not to board a bus so that they could have more privacy, anyone in their right mind would refuse. But if they offered that person some sort of compensation, it might make it more attractive. Sort of like being bumped off an airplane. This has happened to me recently for the first time, and I was pretty gleeful about being inconvenienced in this way when offered a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the continental U.S. I think this is the answer. They should be allowed to ask, but only if they are prepared to compensate the person who can't play. And the compensation should be fair, and fairness should not come cheap here, as this essentially gives them the right to decide who can and can't play--thus effectively manipulating the texture of the game--at a public poker table.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Butcher said...

I just realized that I did not answer your question, at least not directly. But it should be obvious that in order for this sort of thing to happen, the third parties would first have to refuse.

11:40 PM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

My first instict was to think, screw em, and play. I figure this might take them off of their game. However, more likely, the two players will just sit out, so there is nothing to be gained. I would oblige and leave the room, but lord knows a piece of me would have prefered telling them to get rid of me the hard way and then sitting down.

12:45 PM  

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