A Bad Beat
The rise and fall of a poker hand:
So I'm sitting at a $2/$4 limit table in Vegas. I'm on the button (dealer) and I am dealt the Ace and Queen of diamonds. That's a pretty good starting hand. Four people around to me call the big blind ($4), and I raise it up to $8. The little blind ($2) folds, the big blind calls and 2 of the remaining players call. For those who know the game and are paying attention, there is now $42 in the pot. The flop comes Queen of hearts, 9 of diamonds, 3 of diamonds.
That's a pretty fantastic flop for me. I have top pair, a great kicker, and the nut flush draw (since I have the Ace of diamonds, if another diamond falls on the board, my flush will be the highest possible flush). The big blind checks, a player bets $4, the next player calls, and I raise to $8. The big blind folds, the remaining 2 players call the bet. The pot is now at $66. The turn card is the 6 of diamonds. I hit my flush. Since there are no pairs on the board, I have the nuts, the very best possible hand. First player bets $8. I'm guessing she has hit a flush as well, but guess what, mine is better than hers. The next player folds, so now we are heads up. I raise the bet to $16. She re-raises to $24! I thought about re-raising to the limit, but decided that might scare her away. I'm guessing now that she is probably holding the King and Jack of diamonds. A good flush, but not the best flush. If I re-raise, she will know I have the Ace for sure. Best to keep her wondering. There is now $114 in the pot. Here comes the river. The card is the 5 of Diamonds. Bet, raise, re-raise, re-raise to the limit - $32. We've added a total of $64 to the pot which now stands at $178. $80 of it is mine. But that's o.k. I'm going to win this hand.
Now again, I have to say, those of you who know poker and have been paying attention to my tale know from the title of this piece what happened next. You have already guessed what my opponent - stupid bitch that she was - was holding. Yes indeed, we both turn over our cards, and there in front of my face are the 2 and 4 of diamonds. She has pulled out a straight flush on the river, in a hand she never should have been playing.
Now those readers out there who aren't as familiar with the game are thinking, gosh, he's being hard on her. He's just sore from being beaten, and he's being a bad loser. No. I've had my share of bad beats. I understand that they are part of this game. Because as much as skill definitely does play a role in Hold 'Em poker, luck also plays a role. But this wasn't just a matter of me being unlucky. Even a moderately informed novice to the game knows that you DO NOT PLAY 2-4, even if it is suited. It is a terrible starting hand. You CERTAINLY don't play it from early position (which she was in), and you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT continue to play it if you are raised pre-flop! 99.999% of the time you are going to be beaten on this starting hand under these conditions. You are throwing away your money, if you play the way this woman played. This was a person who did not know how to play poker, siting down at a poker table in Vegas and treating it like it was Black Jack or Craps. Like playing poker is about random cards or random rolls of the dice. I wasn't so upset about losing to her as I was about the fact that I WASN'T losing my money to her, because she was simply going to give it all away. And sure enough, an hour and a half later she left the table with no chips. She played every hand pre-flop and continued to play most of them right to the end. Just putting chips into the pot, one bet after another, whether she had anything or not. Sure I won some of my own money back from her, but a lot of it went to other players at the table.
Damn it, it still pisses me off thinking about it. I have no patience for morons like that.