Texas Poker Room Refuses to Pay Out $100K Bad Beat Jackpot Over Technicality

The rules are the rules, but some aren’t satisfied with a San Antonio poker club’s decision to nullify a $100,000 bad beat jackpot on Thursday due to one player exposing his cards before all action was complete.

Cedrric Trevino (@Poker_Traveler), a Texas poker pro, shared a screenshot of a post from the co-owner of San Antonio Poker Palace. In that post, which includes an overhead video of the hand, it is explained why the six-figure bad beat jackpot payout was declined.

One player had a straight flush and was up against quads in a low-stakes no-limit hold’em cash game, which would normally trigger the bad beat. But most card rooms that have a bad beat jackpot, including this one, have specific rules in place to ensure the contest is fair. One such common rule is that if any player in the hand exposes their cards prior to the completion of the hand, it could result in the casino refusing to pay the progressive jackpot.

That was the case at San Antonio Poker Palace, and the surveillance video appears to show the player with the straight flush expose his cards before his opponent put his remaining few chips in the pot.

Poker Club Owner Explains Decision

Per the card room co-owner’s Facebook post that has since been deleted: “Hand was exposed before all action was complete. Player with the losing hand did not say call verbally or with motion. Player saw he had a losing hand after he was shown the exposed cards and then pushes his chips in.”

“We want to stress the importance of abiding by the house rules while maintaining the integrity of the game and promotion,” the post continued.

Trevino, who wrote in a tweet that he agreed the video showed the player with the straight flush prematurely expose his cards, shared the video of the hand on Twitter.

At San Antonio Poker Palace, per the club’s website, the bad beat jackpot requires aces full of kings or better to lose. The player with the losing hand is paid $50,000, the player with the winning hand receives $25,000, and then all other players at the table split the remaining $25,000 in the pot.

“Any player exposing their cards before action is complete will disqualify the entire table from the bad beat jackpot,” Rule #6 reads.

Record-Setting $1.2M Bad Beat Jackpot at Rivers Casino

That Settles it Then, Right?

The video of the hand in question appears to show the player with the straight flush expose his cards prior to the conclusion of the hand. By rule, the Texas poker room perhaps had the legal the right to nullify the bad beat jackpot payout. But many on social media argued, for various reasons, that the house still should have paid it out. Others, however, agreed with the decision.

“There’s nothing in the video which, without the audio present, indicates the player with quads made the call. With the player exposing his hand prematurely, all the ingredients are there for the casino to NOT pay out. Unfortunate, but honestly the right call tbf,” @Dagwoodz tweeted.

“I question why anybody after being shown they had the losing hand would at that point decide to jam it. Feels colludey,” @holdemandcrypto argued.

“The losing hand is never folding river for $10 more, you can even see he makes forward motion as the player in SB tables his hand, almost in unison. In what world is this player ever folding? He’s only inches away from crossing the line as other player tables his hand, in motion,” @garrettwillmot1 wrote.

“I’d f*****g riot,” @joeyrodsx3 claims.

“I would not expect them to pay it out because all casinos, etc that have one do anything in their power not to, dirty but expected and not illegal or whatever,” @loosepassive responded.

“People dream up elaborate poker cheating conspiracies but this is how they really get you. This casino cheated these players out of $100k. Don’t offer a jackpot like this if you’re gonna weasel out of it when someone actually gets four of a kind vs. a straight flush. Shameful,” former poker pro and Jeopardy! champ Alex Jacob posted.

Twitter user @IndependentNatM suggested the players who lost out on the bad beat payout should sue the poker room. Some argued that since the player with quads would have called the all in bet no matter what, San Antonio Poker Palace should pay out the jackpot.

It’s a sticky situation for both the casino and the players involved. But one thing is clear, like every other controversial issue, poker Twitter’s opinions on how the card room should have handled it are all over the place.

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