The other night I was playing Texas Hold 'em with some friends of mine. We usually play tournament style where there’s a 5 or 10 dollar buy-in and dependant upon the size of the pot first place either takes the whole pot, or if there’s enough money second place gets their buy-in back and first place takes the rest.
The game progressed and I got a bit short-stacked when I was dealt Ace King off-suit, which is generally considered to be a cursed hand amongst ourselves as it usually gets beat by some ‘lesser’ hand. The flop was something like 6-7-7, so I bet a good deal of my chips and all but one player folded. The turn seemed inconsequential, so I decided I’d go all-in. I was out of position and the other guy bet enough to put me all-in anyway, so I called very quickly. We turned over our cards and I showed my Ace King and he showed Ace Queen. I thought I had him beat. Out comes the river - a queen and out I go.
I didn’t really feel like leaving at that point so I volunteered to stick around and be the dealer until the game was over, which took about 30-40 minutes. A while after the game was over, the guy who won (who was also the guy who took me out of it) comes over to me and said “Look, I got you out on a bad beat and you stuck around and dealt, here’s your buy-in back.” I said that I couldn’t take it back, he won it fair and square.
The way I looked at it, I couldn’t win money from someone with a clear conscience if I was also willing to take my losings back from someone, because that’s like saying you’re willing to take other people’s money but not willing to lose your own. Aside from which, I had taken him out in a previous game with a similarly bad beat. He had a full house and I had a slightly better one, and that was a 10 dollar buy-in game.
So that’s my question to you: What would you have done in that situation? Take your buy-in back or not?