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Aces Cracked

Get ready for some bad beat stories. But no whining. We promise.
Aces vs. Ten-Deuce
CTO "Maniac"

This is a hand I saw on my trip to Lucky Chances. And no, I wasn't the sicko with the 10-2. But this is the hand as it actually happened in the 2/2/2 spread-limit hold'em I was playing.

A loose-aggressive regular I'll call "Ms.S" had about $350. An off-duty Lucky Chances employee had about $250. I'll call him "Mr.X". Ms.S open-raises for $15, Mr.X re-raises to $60, Ms.S re-raises all-in. The dealer reminds her that the maximum bet in the spread-limit game is $200, she says "OK" and puts in $140 more for $200 total. Mr.X insta-shoves in and Ms.S snap-calls.

Mr.X flips up AA of course. No big surprise there. We're all expecting Ms.S to show KK or QQ or at least AK. Nope. She rolls 10-2 offsuit. WTF? "Two live cards," she says.

The flop is a king-high rainbow plus two middle cards. Turn is a 10, river a 2. Ms.S cracks the aces with runners for two pair. She drags the $500+ pot.

After the table had quieted down, she said "I just knew that I would win".

Aces vs. Ace-King
Webmistress "Troi"

I played this hand at Casino San Pablo, on a recent trip to Northern California. For some reason, Annie Duke mentioned this place in the intro to her book. And I've been told that Erick Lindgren and Bill Edler used to be prop players there. Way to go, E-Dog and Stunning One!

I sat down at their 1/2/2 $100 fixed buy-in NLH game after waiting for about 2 hours. They only had 2 NLH tables at that time and I refuse to play limit. (I'm a feel player, remember? And I feel bored doing the math in limit.) Many of the players were regulars, which isn't surprising since it's not really a touristy "destination casino".

I hadn't won a pot in the first half hour or so, and had limp-folded my first rack of $1's down to about $80. I got ace-king offsuit in middle position and raised it to $15. (The minimum bring-in being $4 at this table.) A fairly tight older gentleman in late position raised to $45. I had seen him fold to big raises preflop, I got no strength read from him, and I figured I could move him off his hand. I pushed for $65 more and he insta-called. Oops.

I was hoping he had AQ or a medium pair, but he showed me American Airlines. I sheepishly showed my AK, a 19:1 underdog. I brought my purse up to get ready to re-load.

Flop was Q92, turn was a jack, river a ten. I'd runnered Broadway. Oh well, every dog has her day. Once in a while you can overcome the odds. But I'll be sure to avoid doing that again. (If I can.)

Aces vs. K9
CEO "Rocket Boy"

This is from a home tournament I played in last weekend. We play for small stakes (like they say on that TV commercial) and also a bracelet to the yearly champion. It's all about the BRACELETS, baby!

It was down to 5 players, I had the aces under the gun (also in the cutoff position), and people were making all kinds of moves. So I just limped to trap anyone if they moved in preflop. If nobody raised preflop, I'd have to be a little careful. I figured that if I played big pairs differently than by-the-book, it would make me harder to read. (Yeah, right.)

Anyway, I got my wish: button limped, SB moved in, BB folded to me. I moved in, figuring the button would fold anyway. He did. SB looked hopeful with his K9. He's read Harrington I & II and sometimes plays like he's on the verge of being a "price sucker". It's true that you're rarely more than a 2:1 dog preflop, his "canine" might be getting the right odds after all. Not hardly. His hopefulness vaporized when I showed him the pocket rockets. I didn't get my nickname for nothing.

Flop had the king of hearts and two spades. I had the ace of spades, BB had the king of clubs. The king or nine of spades would give me the flush and he'd hit trips or 2 pair and need to fill up.

Turn was the 4 of spades, giving me the nut flush draw. "Spade!" I yelled. The BB helpfully said "King of spades no good. King of hearts!" SB could win if the board paired or with that one specific king. And there it was: the dealer peeled off the king of hearts.

I really did just laugh it off. I got my money in good, got outdrawn, and doubled up the SB. It only slowed me down a little. I went on to win that tournament after becoming the short stack on that hand.