Poker is Life

Self Awareness and Self Improvement through the game of Texas Hold'em

  1. 2009-03-05 05:21:27

    Knucklehead Flush

    They call it the Nut. Tonight it was the Knucklehead. Weekly $20-buy-in tournament, 10 players, 4100 in chips, 10/20 blinds.

    First hand: I'm last to act before the button. I'm dealt . Not bad. Checks around, I make it 60 to go, my standard 3x the big blind. I get 4 callers. Not unusual in this game. Flop comes . I've already hit my flush. The NUT flush. (Or Knucklehead flush as we're about to see.) Checks around to Pat (the "Puerto Rican") who bets 150. I smooth call. There are one or two other callers.

    The turn card is the . Checks to Pat who bets 400. I pretend like I'm laboring over the decision, then smooth call again. Everyone else folds.

    Here's the river: Out comes a card which unfortunately pairs the board. Let's call it the (I actually don't recall the suit).

    Okay, I'm thinkin' obviously there's a chance of a full house here, the only hand that can beat me. But crap, what are the chances? (Try 100%.) Pat bets 1,000. I think a bit, listen to my racing heartbeat, and raise him another 2,000. He goes all in.

    I am a little disappointed that I did not give it more thought before I called him; but honestly, no amount of thinking in the world would have gotten me to fold my hand. So of course I called and watched him turn up his pocket 4's for a boat.

    Shortest tournament of my life.

    No sympathy please. I am a very, very lucky man in so many other aspects of my life. And I still love the game.

    Posted by Phil at 2009-03-05 05:21:27

Comments on “Knucklehead Flush”

    • avatar for Jason M
    • Chances of flopping a flush with suited cards are something like 1 in 200. I think that means chances of 2 players flopping a flush are worse than one in 40,000. Probably more like 50,000 and that is assuming you both went to the flop with the same suited cards, which is unlikely in itself. :)

      One of the possible hands that might pay you off, which I failed to mention was the three-of-a-kind. If that was the pair he was bluffing with and he hit trips, he might pay you off on your river raise (and he might even re-raise all in, which is why you have to call if you do the raise, I think).

      You are sure right about poker being subject to a change in circumstances on a moment's notice. Ugh. BTW, I don't think you really made a mistake. Maybe you took the short end of a tough judgment call, but there is no good way to play that hand. You are screwed no matter what.

    • anonymous
    • Good thinking, Jason. I'll keep that in mind if you and I end up in a similar situation tonight. ... Yeah, I guess I was counting on him maybe slow-playing a flopped flush himself. I knew the full house was a possibility, and in retrospect that should have been enough for me to say, "Yeah. There's enough money in there. I'm not SURE he doesn't have it, so why risk going all in?" I could have just called his 1,000 raise, lost the hand and stayed in the game. But, typical human that I am, my mind was fixed on me winning with my nut and extracting as much money as possible out of the guy. Classic mistake. Poker, like many games, is subject to a change in circumstances on a moment's notice; and one must always be aware of those changes and ready to evolve. ... Poker IS life!

    • avatar for Jason M
    • This is an interesting hand. Of course it's a cooler, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's a real bitch that it was the first hand...

      I would have raised on the turn for a couple reasons. First, if the guy is betting with a pair and a flush draw, he'll pay you off. If he has utter crap and is trying to steal, he will probably give up on the river, so there's not value much lost if he just folds there. I also have a more aggressive style, so a raise is not unusual. I don't think this was a mistake.

      The only questionable play is the raise on the river. The only thing that pays you off is a flush or the unlikely to make a straight. Everything else just folds. Or the winning hand goes all in and you're out. Once you raised and he re-raised, you are pot committed and absolutely can not fold. So just don't raise, I guess? Like I said, it's a cooler anyway, so it's hard to "play it right".

    • anonymous
    • Your flush was like your little darling, to sweet let go. Well your infatuation was your downfall. Last tourney I played this is exactly what I avoided. If the be got toooooo big I'd fold. It was too big of a risk to risk EVERYTHING for my sweet hand. Live to play another hand I say. Ron

    • avatar for Ethan
    • Ouch. But how can you lay down the nut flush?