Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Four Queens (And They Weren't Mine and I Don't Mean the Hotel)

A few months back I was having a rough night at the 2/4 game (BSC of course).  George was dealing and this one middle aged woman was having a good final night in town.  She was raising way too much pre-flop, but she kept making hands and taking down pots with mediocre to awful starting hands.  At one point she announced that she had to leave to catch a red-eye back home and began stacking up her chips.  No one was going to miss her at the table, I assure you.
George starting dealing as this woman was about to be “Under the Gun” (player immediately to the left of the Big Blind).  She waived off George saying she was out.  George, however, pointed out that she could play this hand for free, and she was still finishing racking her chips.  So he sort of talked her into playing one last hand.  This turned out to be a very fateful hand.
I picked up my cards and saw a pair of 8’s.  The lady playing one last hand had raised, but there were enough callers and potential callers (it had been at least 6 to 7 players to see the flop, even on a raised pot, almost every hand) for me to play a medium pair for two bets.  I knew I could score a big pot if my set hit.  If I miss my set, I fold to the fist bet on the flop.
However, someone raised behind me and the “Red-Eye” woman raised back.  Now it was two more bets to me but no one had folded and the pot was really going to be huge if I hit my set.  I called two more bets and the guy behind me capped it (four raises/five bets is the cap at BSC).  So now I was in for ten bucks and was praying I’d hit my set.
Which I did.  In addition to the 8 on the board, there was a straight draw and a flush draw (but not a straight flush draw) too. I believe the highest card was a 10.  But I made my set.  The woman bet out, and I raised.  The other pre-flop raiser raised too.  Lady raised back.  I figured I had the best hand but I didn’t raise again….I didn’t have to.  The other two got the action capped again at 10 bucks.
The turn card was a Queen and completed a possible flush for someone.  I didn’t like that at all.  So when the woman bet out yet again, I merely called, thinking I might be behind a flush.  The other pre-flop raiser called too, no raising this round.  There were other callers, this was a now a huge pot for a 2/4 game.
The river was another Queen.  The woman bet out.  With my full house I was no longer worried about a flush.  I raised.  The pre-flop raiser just called but the woman raised back.  I raised.  The other guy called and the woman re-raised.  I raised back.  She capped it (other guy kept calling).
Now I was sure at least one person had a flush that I could beat.  It crossed my mind that the woman had raised pre-flop with pocket Queens but I remembered her raising so many times with very poor raising hands I really had dismissed the possibility that she had something really great.  Yes I knew she could have had a better full house than mine, and if it had just been heads up, I would not have kept betting.  But I really felt that with the hands she had been showing (and winning with) my boat was probably good. 
Well, she flipped her cards and she didn’t have a boat.  She had indeed raised pre-flop with pocket Queens and thus took down the pot with quads.  I showed my boat if only to get sympathy.  I forgot the cardinal rule of maniacs…..even maniacs who constantly raise with crap sometimes get good cards. 
I’d lost $44 on that one pot (all but the turn round had been capped) and estimated that the pot she took down was $180…huge for a 2/4 game.  I meekly said, “nice hand” and this bitch didn’t even say thanks.  Worse, when she was done racking her chips (this took a while, dammit) she said to me, “Nice playing with you….thanks for the donation.”  She didn’t have to rub it in.  Nothing worse than a sore winner.
At least I got a lot of mileage out of this tale, repeating it to anyone who would listen for the rest of the trip (and the next one, and the next one…..).  And of course I gave George grief over it.  Naturally, he pointed out that I was already beaten on the turn, the fourth Queen on the river was just gravy.  So I said to him, “That’s true, but you could have just as easily put my fourth 8 on the river instead of her fourth Queen!”  He agreed that this was theoretically possible.  Then I reminded him that the whole hand was the result of his begging this woman to play “one more hand.”  He said he merely suggested it to her, but I maintain that he actually ordered her to play the hand!
Well, it was a bad beat, but at least I have a story I can tease George about every time he deals to me.  I subsequently told him not to ever deal me a pocket pair again just to keep me out of trouble.  Once I told him if he dealt me pocket Aces I’d immediately fold.  “That would be the safe play,” he admitted. 
If you insist on playing poker, it helps to keep a sense of humor.

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