Thursday, November 17, 2011

Losing to a Royal Flush (Ouch!)

I guess this story took place during this past summer.  I was at BSC and one of my pals, Dennis, was dealing.  I had been doing ok, was down a bit but had started to make a comeback.

So I look at my cards and see Ace/Jack of hearts.  I was in late position, and someone else raised, so I just called.  The flop is AA10, 2 clubs.  Someone else bet the flop, I raised, still had two opponents to see the turn.  Trip Ace's is nice but I did have to be concerned about either a straight or a flush. Turn is 8 diamonds, it’s checked to me, so I bet and both call. River is Jack of clubs.  I liked that card.  Now I had a full house, and the fact that there were now three clubs on the board (making a flush possible) didn’t concern me.  First action was on a young kid from Australia.  This time instead of checking, he bet. I thought, “oh, nice, he made his flush, heh heh.”  Next guy actually calls.  Oh wow, how lucky can I be?

So of course I raise.  Aussie re-raises!  Hmm…..He had come to the table very recently and so I didn’t have a good read on him.  I assumed he was just oblivious to the Full House possibility—or even Quads—and was going to give me more of his money.  Next guy called two more bets!  Wow, I was gonna be paid handsomely for my boat!

I re-raised.  It wasn’t until the Aussie raised back at me that I looked at the board more closely.  Let’s see, Ace, Ten, Jack, all clubs.  If he was playing K-Q clubs, he hit a Royal Flush.  But what were the odds of that?  I should have remembered Olivia. Third guy once again calls two more bets.  All I could do is call.  With three players in the betting round, the limit is five bets.  My call is the fifth bet.

If I had had an option of re-raising again, I would have stopped and studied the board, and convinced myself that the Royal was at least a possibility and probably just called anyway.  At least that’s what I tell myself now.  But I think the Royal was so unlikely it wasn’t really a bad play to put five bets in against the long-shot of his having the Royal.  Right? 

Anyway, I could do nothing but call.  Even if I was sure he had the Royal, the pot was too big to lay down for another measly four bucks.  I called and Aussie loudly proclaims, “I have the absolute nuts!” and does indeed show King & Queen of clubs.  The other guy had a low flush, I can’t believe he kept calling our raises, he had to figure one of us had a better flush and one of us had a boat.  But that’s his problem.  My problem was that my Aces full of Jacks was beaten by a friggin’ Royal Flush!  I lost a very big pot, and this was the worst bad beat I’d ever had.  Aces full losing to a Royal Flush!!!! Aussie made me feel even worse by saying that he couldn’t believe I put in five bets.  Thanks, mate. 

And then…..Aussie couldn’t stop talking about his Royal while I was rather unhappy, to say the least.  I guess I can’t say I blame him.  It’s not every day you get a Royal Flush.  Not every day you get paid off by two guys five-betting against you on the river when you have a Royal Flush!  But he did manage to find something to complain about.  He wanted some kind of bonus from the house for the Royal.  He was told by Dennis that no such bonus existed at the BSC.  And that made me think that if they exact same hand had happened at some of the locals casinos, we might have even qualified for a “bad beat” jackpot, although frequently the losing hand must be some kind of quads, not just Aces full.

Of course, I had to get something out of this, so I made sure I told pretty much all of my dealer buddies (and a lot of players) my tale of woe for the rest of the trip.  Brent made me feel a little better when he said, “Well, at least it wasn’t heads up, so you only lost five bets on the river.  You could have lost a lot more.”  So I wasn’t wrong to raise a few times against a possible Royal? Thanks for that confirmation.

Once person I had to tell was George.  He no longer had the honor of dealing the worst bad beat of my life.  But for some reason, for the rest of my visit, he never dealt at a table I was at.  But on my last night in town, I caught him just coming off break, waiting to take his next down.  I told him the story.  He was genuinely upset for me.  And he said that there was no doubt Dennis felt awful about it…because of the bad beat jackpot possibility if it had happened somewhere else. 

It’s possible that someday I’ll have a worse bad beat, either in terms of money lost or odds against it being longer, but for sure I’ll never take a bad beat against a better hand.


  1. Good news - I have never been beaten by a Royal Flush.

    Bad news - I have never had a Royal flush in all my years playing live poker.

    1. It was very painful, I assure you.

      Never had a Royal either. I've had three straight flushes, total. The highest was Queen high. If you noticed the woman running the tournament last nite, she was the one who dealt it to me and it was my first one. You always remember your first.

  2. I've had a handful of royals, mostly online. The first couple were within a few months of each other, and then I went over a year before hitting one again. I have hit one in the bar league I play in, and I think there's been 3 or 4 of them, and only a couple of other straight flushes in the 4 years or so I've played in it.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Herb. I'm impressed that you haved so many (relatively). I would probably freak out if I ever hit one. But I'd like to see that theory tested!