Fishtank part 10

Two-time WSOP winner Scott Fischman has joined the team and is here to answer your questions


A lot of players will be making HUGE mistakes and lowering their standards of play due to the maniac

I play live games every week at my local casino and last week I got to the final table. I was fifth to act, with the blinds at 1000/2000 and I moved all-in. Two players folded, the next asked how much it was to call, and decided to call. The other two players folded. My cards were behind the line, but the dealer took them and mucked them, despite me trying my best to stop him.

The ruling was that the hand was mucked because I didn’t protect my cards, but I’m not happy for two reasons: first, my cards were clearly behind the line; second, I had moved all-in and the dealer should have known I was active in the hand, especially as another player had asked for a count of my chips. The casino in question has accepted some liability as it’s offered me a meal for four people but I’ve turned this down. Do you know what should happen in this situation? Is it a dealer error that I have to accept or should the hand have been considered void?

Denise O’Connell

SF: This really boils down to house rules but the variation I am most familiar with, and is also the most common, goes as follows:
1) The line on the table has nothing to do with the protection of your cards. It’s there for betting purposes only. So whether your cards are in front of, or behind the line, makes no difference whatsoever.
2) Your hand is dead because it’s your responsibility to protect the cards. It is not up to the dealer to interpret the status of your hand according to their position on the table or the fact that another player asked you to count your chips.


Can you give me some advice on playing an aggressive/drunk maniac on a cash table? I was playing £1/£2 no-limit at my local casino and there was a player at the other side of the table who was obviously drunk and playing very erratically, but also making people risk their entire stacks on a hand. He didn’t mind reloading either, which made him even more difficult to play against. I caught a piece of a flop (mid-pair) and, unsurprisingly, he moved all-in again. I decided to call and he flipped a set. Should I have waited until I’d got the stone cold nuts to get involved with him? Or should I have moved to another table?

Mike Trent

SF: Well, it would be pretty rare for me to want a table change when there is a player like this on my table, and it would also be pretty rare for me to want to ‘wait for the nuts’ to play against him. The best advice I can give you to handle this type of situation would be the following: clean up on your opponents that are reacting solely to the maniac. Punish the players that ARE calling the maniac’s every bet. Be the brick wall that your opponents face when they are ‘reacting’ to the maniac’s actions. This is the best way to make money in a game like this. A lot of players will be making HUGE mistakes and lowering their own standards of play due to the maniac. If you can stay patient and wait for these mistakes, you will get rich.

Scott Fischman has won two WSOP bracelets, placed in dozens of major tournaments and become an extremely proficient cash and online player at So why not email him and tap into his expert knowedge? Include as much revelant info as possible in your question. Email:

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