Monday, August 10, 2009

649,740 to 1

I got invited to a post-work poker game tonight on short notice. At best we're going to be six-handed, but what the hey, the Shooter Wife gave her blessing and it's a billion degrees outside - no need to race home before dark. We wind up with just five players, but they're all good guys, and it's my third or fourth time playing in this game -- it's fairly comfortable and jerk-free. We'll play five handed, fifty cent / one dollar hold'em, for a few hours before I'll catch the late train home. Not the worst way to spend a Monday night rush hour.

I mix up my play and do fairly well, raising my $20 buy in to $30 or so. I get Ace-8 off suit from the small blind, and raise before the flop. The big blind re-raises, and I call; we're heads up. The flop comes out 10-4-Ace, all spades, and I pair my ace with a weak flush draw. I bet, and the big blind comes over the top of me with an all-in.

So I think it over and count it out. It's for $17, and I can cover it with $10 to spare. I don't feel great about betting into his possible flush, but I've seen this guy win with air before; he's a good player, and hard to put on a hand. I'm putting him on an overbet Ace with a low kicker, or maybe two pair with Ace-10, or maybe trio 10s and the flush out can save me. Maybe he's got the baby flush, but why bet pre-flop with that?

But even if he does have the flush... well, the bet is big but not crippling, and I'm feeling pot committed. I think it over for a minute or two as the rest of the table is out. I do the math, and I just can't see him having the flush, and the amount doesn't scare me. I like my hand, and my gut is greedy; I'd really like to to finally break this game for a big payoff, and you can't play the game afraid. If nothing else, I want to know.

"I call. Got the flush?"

"Oh yes." He flips King-Jack spades - not only a flopped flush, but four to the royal. Yikes.

"Wow. Nice hand. Am I drawing dead?" I need the board to pair and give me an ace to suck out, but honestly at this point, I'm not even looking for outs. I misread his flush and donkeyed it. I don't really need to see the last two cards. I'm trying to be gracious, but I'd like to go smack myself for the misread.

"Gotta deal it out."

I smile, but it's really not all that genuine. "What, you want the royal to rub it in?"

Dealer flips a four of clubs, pairing the board. I could beat his flush now with a four or ace on the river to give me the house, but since this hand isn't on television, I don't really have time to think about outs. Besides, the dealer is going at speed without drama. And the river is... the queen of spades. Yes, it's a royal flush.

Being the time that it is, cell phones are whipped out, pictures are taken, and life stops for a minute or two. Truth be told, I'm not even annoyed anymore.

"I've never, ever seen that."

"I got one last week, same suit." This from the guy who just won.

"Holy crap."

"I got one once on my video game. Never saw one live."

"Remember who dealt you that!"

"Well, if you are going to get beat..."

The game eventually goes on. I recover my lost chips, and eventually wind up making enough scratch to cover my subway ticket for the week.

But really, who is going to remember anything but the queen on the river?

2 comments:

Andrew said...

I've seen it a twice in online games, but never in person.
Were you more excited when the 4 came out or when the Q came out?

DMtShooter said...

Frankly, the queen. I gave up hope of winning when he turned the J-K; hoping for a boat or quads with the last two cards is just beyond my suck out dreams.

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