Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Danger of Queens

Back on November 20, I wrote that happiness is not a set of queens. Doyle Brunson, in Super System, wrote that he never plays AQ offsuit, because it's the kind of hand that can get you in a lot of trouble. I mentioned this at the 25¢ no-limit poker game at Trestin's last night.

Naturally, I get dealt QQ in the small blind a few hands later. Jon's to my left, in for a quarter. Phil's in for a quarter. Kevin and Trestin fold. I raise to $1, Jon folds. Phil calls.

The flop is A x K. Two overcards to my pair -- this is not good at all. However, I'd decided before I sat down last night to play loose aggressive, so I go in for another $1. Phil calls.

Fourth street is J. At this point, I think to myself, Phil has a pair of Aces or Kings, probably with a high kicker, or maybe the J gave him two pair. Just as likely, he might be bluffing (he does that a lot more than he probably should). Regardless, the only way I'm winning this pot is to force him out. I go all in for $2.70.

Phil thinks about it for a good two minutes. With my play, I know he's thinking I've got a high pocket pair to give me a set, or else I've got a blackjack. With the river still to come... he calls. We turn the cards over.

Phil has AQ, giving him a pair of Aces with a Queen kicker. I've got a pair of Queens with an Ace kicker. The only card that'll help me is the last Queen. A ten will split the pot.

The river's a King. Phil wins, AAKKQ to my KKQQA.

Happiness is not pocket queens, either.

(Oh, and I came out ahead 50¢ yesterday evening at the $0.50/$1 table online. I tend to do a lot better at a full table, but the one I was at was fluctuating between six and ten people for the whole 90 minutes I was there.)

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