So I raise it to $12, and the guy two seats to my left pushes all-in for around $100. He's stuck bad and steaming, so I put him on a range of hands that's roughly as wide as the Grand Canyon. It folds around to me, and I make the semi-reluctant call. I figure he could be trying to steal with any two face cards, or pocket pairs down to fives, so most of the hands I thought he could have, I was at least a coin flip against. And I had more cash if I lost, so no big deal. Flop comes down Ace-high with two clubs, and neither of us turn up our hands. Turn and river are both clubs, and I look over at my best buddy, knowing my pair of Aces are no good, and ask, "you gotta club?" He shakes, his head, I table my top pair, top kicker, and he stands up, throwing his cards toward the muck.
Here's where it all went pear-shaped. As he was mucking his cards, one hit the muck face down. The other card caught a little air and turned up in the center of the table. The seven of clubs for a rivered four-flush. The table lets out a collective groan that he was stupid enough to throw away the winning hand, and when he realizes what he's done, he immediately begins the protest. Mike, the dealer, doesn't touch anything, leaving the down card touching the muck and the other card up and tells the guy, too bad, you killed your hand. The guy goes off, protesting that he meant to turn his hand face up because he knew he had the winner. I'm not saying much, wanting to see how this plays out, but the rest of the table is not nearly as reticent about telling the guy he's full of shit.
After a second, I look over at Mike, who's not budging from his position that it's my pot, and ask for the floor. David the floor man comes over, looks at the situation, and thinks. I'm just about to offer to split it with him just to get the guy to shut up, when he sits down, looks at me and says "if I don't win this pot, I can't go home to LA." At this point I realize that he's a total angle-shooting cockus, and respond by saying "Wow, then you shouldn't have thrown away your hand." David comes over to me and tells me that it's my pot, my call, but would I consider splitting it with the guy because he made a mistake. I respond that if he wasn't being such a dick, I'd gladly split it with him, but since he was, ship it. He storms off, I toke the hell out of the dealer, and stack my chips. I'm still stuck for the night, but that wasn't fated to last very long.
Now I knew it was my pot, and was actually kinda glad when his card caught air and flipped, that the other one had already hit the muck. I would have split it with him if he'd been nice about it, regretful of his mistake, or anything like that, but he wanted to be a dick, so it cost him. Frankly, I wouldn't have minded the split, because if you're going to push into an unknown player with Jack-7 off suit, then I'm not worried about getting the money back, it's kind of a given. But when he started lying about his action, I knew he was just stuck and trying anything, even dishonesty, to get some cash.
It's interesting how much I value honesty at the table. I'll look you straight in the face during a hand and tell you that the sky is green and grass is purple if I think it will win me a pot, but I couldn't even fathom acting like this guy to try and steal a pot that I surrendered. And almost all the players I've ever played with are the same way, remorseless liars and terribly honorable all at the same time. Fascinating.