The ultimate hand: Part 2 of a very limited series

February 12, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 12, 2018

The second of the three royal flushes that I’ve ever gotten was the least lucrative.

I think this happened sometime in the middle of 2016, though I could be off by a season or two…and by a year or so. I am certain that this hand was dealt in the same venue where I had a nasty late-game crack-up a few Junes back. (It’s possible that bad beat was the very same evening, and perhaps the very same tournament, as what I’m about to relate. But again, I can’t say for sure.)

We were at a table of probably six or seven people, with maybe three or four calling pre-flop. I think. It was early in the contest, and blinds were low — 300–600, I think.

I have a weakness for suited connectors, and I’m also overly fond of jack-10 whether or not they’re suited. I started this particular hand with jack-10, although I couldn’t tell you whether one or both of them were clubs.

Regardless, I’m absolutely positive that at least one of my hole cards was a club. And the flop was very friendly to clubs.

Was it the flop that gave me an ace-high straight (Broadway), or was it the turn? Was it the turn that gave me the royal flush, or was it the river? I’m not sure.

But there was little to no betting as the community cards came out, and it became clear that either no one else had a club or whatever club was out there was so low that the holder was unwilling to risk any chips.

As I recall, I made a very small bet on the river, and everyone folded to me. I turned up my hand and whined something to the effect of, “I just got a royal flush, and I didn’t make any money off of it!”

This was true in the sense that this is a no-cash poker league but untrue in the sense that I got blinds from maybe two or three other people. But I’d had a poor start to the tournament, and I was extremely frustrated that the ultimate hand did me no good in terms of fortifying my chip stack.

But what can you say? I did the best I could with what I had; it’s just that in those circumstances, the ultimate hand was simply no help at all to me.

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