Robert does me dirty: In which a terrible man beats me terribly at free poker

June 13, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
June 13, 2017

Time for more tales of free poker!

Last night, shortly after the late tournament consolidated from two tables to one, blinds were 10,000–20,000; as it happened, 20,000 was all that the fellow in the big blind had. I was sitting in first position with suited ace-10, both hearts. Naturally, I called. So did Robert, the player on my left. A third player did as well.

The flop, it seemed, could hardly have been better for me. The first card out was an ace; then came a four, followed by a second ace. That gave me three of a kind. I checked.

Not so Robert, who went all in for 65,000. The other live player folded; I counted Robert’s chips, sorted through mine and announced that I would call.

In making my decision, I’d considered what Robert was playing. It occurred to me that he might have the fourth and final ace. A hand of ace-four would have given Robert a full house, a.k.a. a boat — three of a kind (aces, two on the board, one in the hole) over a pair (fours, one on the board, one in the hole). But if that were the case, I’d have a shot at catching up if, say, a 10 came out, or if another pair appeared on the board.

In fact, Robert had pocket fours, meaning that he’d flopped a house — fours full of aces. Since I only had trips, I was behind. But yes, I still had a chance to catch up.

The turn was an eight. That didn’t directly help me, but it sort of did indirectly: If the river was also an eight, I’d have a better boat than Robert.

So now I had seven outs: The fourth ace, any of the three remaining eights, or any of the three remaining 10s.

I forget what the river was, but I can tell what it wasn’t: Neither an ace nor an eight nor a 10. Robert knocked out the player in the big blind and collected the vast majority of my chips.

“Oh man,” I declaimed loudly, among other demonstrative expressions of disappointment. When Robert asked if he was owed a pile of chips that had been sitting in front of Rich, the all-in player whom he’d just knocked out, I tried to deny him.

The other players discussed the hand. “That’s a perfect hand,” one said admiringly, meaning that there was no way for me to detect that Robert was ahead of me based on the available information.

Two hands later, I was all in for less than the big blind. Robert was in the big blind; a player named Betsy also called. There was no betting as the board came out five, six, seven, eight and 10 (although not in that precise sequence, I believe).

I hadn’t yet looked at my cards. “Jack-nine would be good to have,” I muttered. I flipped over my pockets to find — jack-nine! I raised my hands in excitement over a rare seven-card straight, which I was almost certain kept me in the tournament.

Someone said that I’d known what my pocket cards were, but Betsy confirmed to the table that I hadn’t looked until I’d exposed my hand.

However, the hand wasn’t over yet, as Robert reminded me before he turned over… the king and five of clubs. Crestfallen, I looked back to the board, only to confirm that, indeed, it contained three clubs. This gave Robert a flush, a better hand than mine.

I put my head on the table. Robert had outfoxed me again.

Of course, the hand still wasn’t over, as Betsy reminded us this time. I was beaten for certain, but I watched curiously as she turned over her hand. Had she the ace of clubs and another club, which would have given her a better flush than Robert’s king-high?

Nope; she was just teasing us. Betsy turned over the ace of clubs and an unsuited royal card. Robert scooped up the pot while I stood and moaned aloud in frustration and despair.

A few minutes later, after I finished paying my tab, I turned away from the bar and back to the poker tournament. An all-in hand was in progress, and the result was… Robert knocking out two players at once. In a matter of minutes, he’d eliminated half of the final table. “Who will stop the rampage of Robert?” I cried as the defeated players rose to depart.

Reader, that was when I went home, and the tournament results haven’t been emailed as best I can determine. So that’s the story of how a mean nasty fellow named Robert did me dirty at the free poker table.

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