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Eoghan O'Dea: Back Grinding & Cash Game Ruling

by Eoghan O'Dea |  Published: May 18, '12


It felt like the longest time I’ve not been not able to play online for about eight or nine years. I think it was around five weeks that I wasn’t able to play a hand of poker.

Thank God Wicklow Broadband sorted it out as the only other option in my area is Eircom and they must be one of the worst companies on the planet. Since I’ve been back online I’ve had a losing last three to four weeks but there hasn’t really been too much action on the higher stakes games so I haven’t gotten to play a huge amount. Maybe everybody is saving up for Vegas? It seems like the WSOP is even longer than before with side events starting at the end of May and the whole thing not ending till the 16th of July now. I’m going to head off on the 10th of June and play about eight side events plus some cash games, and then run really good in the main again.

I headed over to London there for a week at the start of the May to play some live. They have a monthly tournament in the Palm Beach on the first Monday of every month which is pretty good. It’s a 1k event and they usually pick up a fair few runners. So I played that and I managed to get the bubble. Something I’m coming more familiar with recently!

Apart from that I won in the three long cash sessions I played. I was on my way to play my fourth cash session when I got a text about the 25-50 cent game that I have to play every Tuesday at 8 pm on which I completely forgot about it. So I arrived a bit late for my online game but it went on for quite a while that night I and won $180 dollars in it. In the mean time I did $8,000 in the Omaha side games I was playing during it. Overall it wasn’t a bad week and managed to get one good night on the piss too!

Cash Game Ruling
I wrote a blog back in Melbourne and I said in the next blog I would talk about a cash game ruling but I never did so I’ll go into it now. It involves dealing it twice. In America they always deal it twice in the Omaha games if there is no money left and the players were all in, and of course the players involved agreed.

So if there’s a flop out there and both players move all in we would see the turn and river both twice. This just reduces the swings in Omaha as there’s a lot of gambling with small edges and gives people a greater chance of getting something back (people will ask to run it three or four times too).

It’s coming into more places in Europe now. They were allowing in the Vic in London when I was there and they are pretty stubborn with changing rules so you’re deffo going to see more of running it twice if you haven’t yet.

So I was playing a 25-50 pot-limit Omaha game at the casino in Melbourne at the late hours of the night when this big pot arose between two of the looser players at the table.

I’m not 100 percent sure of their hands but I think the board was like J-10-6-3 with two of a suit out there. One player had K-Q-Q-x(seat 1) with a flush draw and the other had A-J-9-7(seat 9) with a flush draw and middle pin straight draw. They both seemed to get quite a lot of money on the turn with a relatively small pot on the flop.

The pot was at 16k and the player in seat 9 asked the other player in seat 1; are we running it once or twice? But the dealer didn’t give seat one a chance to answer and the dealer dealt the 9 making seat one the nuts.

Seat 1 put his index finger up about a second after the dealer had dealt the river signaling just once. Seat nine asked for a ruling then but I thought he was probably drawing dead as it’s an agreement between the two players and if the dealer deals away what can you do?

Some of the other experienced cash game players didn’t really seem to know what the ruling was. The first floorman came and he said he didn’t want to make the ruling so we had to wait a while for the second one to arrive to rule that since seat 9 had asked the question of running it once or twice there was still action pending on the hand, that the river card needs to go back into the deck and be re-shuffled and the question of running it twice needs to be answered by seat 1 who was then very steamed up.

He was actually only running it once most of the night so you could see why he would be very upset. This pot was bigger than most of the other pots he had played though when he was all in previously. I think if that card wasn’t a favourable one for him it’s very possible he may of lifted his middle finger with his index finger declaring twice!!

The river came a blank and his kings stand up anyways. The dealer couldn’t work that out though!! He was dealing very well when he arrived, but as we found out, he was a blackjack dealer and didn’t have an absolute breeze about poker. It’s absolutely mad how that still happens in some places; where you get really inexperienced dealers dealing some of the biggest games in the room with little clue about some of the poker games they are dealing. The player who won the pot was a big casino punter aswell who left the game immediately and said he’d never come back to the casino again!!

I think if this ruling came up in other casinos/countries we wouldn’t see the same ruling being made consistently on it. I think I would have ruled the river card should stay as whenever we dealt it twice in that casino the dealer always had to confirm with the floorman (which I thought was rather stupid as it would waste time and I didn’t know why he had to be told).

But in this case he had never given the go ahead as the dealer didn’t know what was going on and just dealt away, so it should have just stayed in my opinion. If a floorman hasn’t come across this yet they should get ready as it might arise if we have a dealer like this who’s not following the game forcing the floor to make a tricky ruling that they wouldn’t have come up in the past very often.

Weekend Football
Wow at Man City last weekend. Ridiculous ending to the season. The Champions League final and the Heineken Cup are on this Saturday which will make it some Saturday for sport. I’ve got a punt on Bayern on the football. You can still get them 4/5 with to win the match in 90 mins. Well worth a bet, especially if you’re going to be watching it.

I’m at my cash game at 8pm every Tuesday on Its 25-50 cent and if you bust me in a hand you get a $109 voucher into the 200k GTD Sunday Blast on the 3rd of June. Best of Luck now……

Eoghan O’Dea was a member of the 2011 November Nine. He came sixth in the main event winning $1.7 milllion. He plays poker online and writes at

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of


over 9 years ago

In some of my rooms there is a double rake when you run it twice ... so the dealers are VERY aware of any deals that are being made and some even inquire about it before they deal another card. This can piss off a few as if your opponent hasn't thought about running it twice, then the dealer shouldn't be suggesting it. Card rooms track some dealers by rake ... and then they get the best shifts to work.

Since poker is not a high profit for a casino, the dealers are all over the map as far as understanding the game ... which is unfortunate but also understandable from a business perspective. However the casino needs to realize, depending on where they are, that a poker player probably has a side kick (wife or other) that is in the casino playing the high profit games while the 'cheap' poker is going on.

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