Ask the experts, May 2002

You're the head judge at a sanctioned tournament. You witness the following:

The score is 118*-119. Pone keeps an A-4-7-9 flush, tossing A-K. The cut is a J, but dealer doesn't immediately peg two points. Pone assumes that dealer has forgotten to claim His Heels, so she leads the covered 4, figuring that if it's paired, she can then play her 7 for a winning 15-2. But after her card hits the table, dealer pegs two points for the J (which he's legally allowed to do if he hasn't yet played a card), then pulls out a 4, pairing her lead and winning the game. Pone calls for a judge, protesting that if dealer had been in the stinkhole at the time she made her lead, she'd have selected the less pairable A, not the 4.

You notice that dealer is not holding an A. You also know him well enough to suspect that he deliberately delayed pegging His Heels in order to confuse his opponent. Was his behavior ethical? How would you rule in this case?

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