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“The Worst Beat (pt. 2)” by Alan25main

January 22, 2019

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Last week, we shared the beginning of Alan25main’s story about Willy’s first foray into live poker. Read the conclusion to find out what happens at the table as Willy aims to win big.

“Willy played very cautiously. After 45 minutes of play, he’d seen two flops, folding when they didn’t fit his hand, made four small blinds, and was now making his fifth big blind. The deal gave him two nines, a heart and a club. Two early players called the bet. Willy decided to check his option and hope for a set on the flop.

The flop was Q-J-10, all clubs. Willy had a four card straight flush. He bet the $2. Both players called.

The turn was the spade 8, giving him a straight. He bet the $4. The first player called; the second made it $8.

Willy pondered. He had a straight, and the most likely hand for the raiser was one of the cased 9s. But, it could be K – 9 or even A – K for the top straight. The easiest way to find out was

“I’ll make it $12.” He did have the clubs as a backup if he got re-raised.

The first player, trapped in the middle, folded with a grimace.

The second made it $16. The dealer announced “Heads up.”

“What does that mean?” asked Willy.

“It means you two can now raise each other until one of you has had enough to just call or one of you is all in. The three raise limit no longer applies when only two players are left. What’s your pleasure, sir, call raise, or fold?”

Willy didn’t have to think long. The amount in the pot easily justified a call with any club in his hand. Further, the miracle 8 or K of clubs made him virtually unbeatable. For that matter, even catching an off suit King would almost certainly split the pot with the other guy’s straight.

“Call,” Willy announced.

The dealer burned and turned the river. It was the King of Clubs. With the Queen, Jack, and Ten of Clubs already on the board along with the 8 of spades, he’d caught the miracle straight flush. “Bet the $4,” he said.

“Eight,” said the other guy.

“Twelve,” said Willy. The other guy looked closely at Willy.  “Sixteen,” he announced.

“Dealer, did you really mean it when you said we could raise forever?” The dealer nodded. Willy looked at the second player. “It seems silly to bet these chips $4 at a time. I’ve got”–he counted quickly–“$144 left. How about we each throw in $100 and show the cards?”

“How about we just toss in the whole $144?”

Instead of answering, Willy picked up his tray with all the chips in it and put it into the pot. A King-high straight flush had to be good for something.

The second player looked Willy straight in the eyes. “You’ve got the nine of clubs, don’t you?” Second guy’s eyes looked bright and a little too cheerful for Willy’s comfort.

“Are you going to call?” asked Willy, a bit put off.

“Oh, certainly,” said Second player, “I have the Ace.” He showed the Club Ace and the Diamond King.

“FLOOR MAN, ROYAL FLUSH, TABLE 16. Royal flush with one card in hand,” shouted the dealer.

Willy suddenly realized his King high straight flush had just been beaten–and that it was higher, far higher, than four 7s. “And a King High straight flush LOST,” Willy shouted. He had sudden visions of himself carrying away a mountain of chips for the $5000 bad beat jackpot.

In seconds, players from all over the area came to marvel at the cards now showing on table 16. The Floor Manager looked at the cards, the chips in the pot and the dealer.  

“Whose cards are these?” he asked the dealer. The second player waved his hand. “Collect your chips and come with me, sir. We need to get some information and then you get a bonus of $250 for a Royal using one card from your hand. If you’d been able to use both, there’d be another zero on that. Whose hand lost?”

“Mine,” said Willy, “the King high straight flush. Doesn’t this qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot? I could use five grand.”

The Floor Man’s eyes grew larger and his face blanked. “JOHNNY,” he shouted, “bring me the sign with the rules for the Bad Beat jackpot. Bring it right here.” He pointed at the floor next to Willy’s seat.

Johnny elbowed his way through the crowd to place the sign exactly where the Floor Man had pointed.

“Johnny,” asked the Floor, “did you call attention to the sign like I told you to?”

“Yes, sir, I certainly did.”

The Floor turned to Willy. “Sir, would you read rule number three aloud, please?”

Uncomprehendingly, Willy complied. “To be a valid Bad Beat, the losing player must use two cards from his hand. Oh, my god. Does that mean it doesn’t count as a bad beat? No jackpot for me?”

“I’m afraid that’s exactly what it means, sir.,” the floor manager spoke softly. “Come with us, sir. I’ll see what we can do for you.”

The dealer got racks from behind the table for the second player to rack his chips. The second player toked the dealer four red fives, thought about it and added another four.

The Floor Man led the way back to the cashier’s booth. Gloria was still there. She and the Floor conversed in low tones for a moment. She checked something in her computer, and nodded her head. She took a chip rack and put $40 in whites and $160 in reds into it. The Floor Man summoned Willy with a wave and a nod.

“Sir,” he said to Willy, “we understand you bought in for $200. We apologize for any possible misunderstanding of the jackpot’s rules. Here is your original $200. You may use it here to play with, cash it in, or carry it away to another part of the card room, whatever pleases you. Take it with our compliments.”

“Wow, thanks.” Willy was shocked. “I’ll be back, you can count on that.” In short order, Gloria had cashed in his chips and he was on his way out.

“Hey, Willy, how’d you make out?”

Willy turned to look. It was Smitty, also heading for the door, but without his earlier confident swagger.

“It’s a long story, but I broke exactly even. How about you?”

“I wish. Those damned swabbies got the Sergeant Major and me for just under $500 each,” Smitty said. Then, his smile returned. “It’s a good thing we beat up the Air Force this morning. We’re still ahead for the day.”

“Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Maybe. Learn to play Pinochle. We’ll go easy on you the first few times.”

Willy was still laughing as he exited.”