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AN ULTIMATE BET.COM HAND

As a consequence of amateur players dominating the top prizes at poker’s most prestigious tournaments, the professional play poker world had been turned upside down. It had been absolutely amazing.

Robert Varkonyi had won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 2002, amateur player Alan Goehring had won the $25,000 buy in World Poker Tour Championship in 2003, and Chris Moneymaker he had invested $30 in an online poker tournament and parlayed that up to $2.5 million having won the 2003 WSOP.

The buzz on the street was ‘anybody could win’ and ‘If Moneymaker could do it, then why not I? I’ll buy in for a hundred dollars and give it a shot. That had been attracting a record number of players into online poker rooms.

And some of these players had been creating their own legends. Two players known to have made over $ 1 million playing online poker were Kingofding and TICKER (Erik Lindgren).

While Frank had been playing in Aruba in UltimateBet.com’s World Poker Tour event, he had made some bad plays along the way, and found himself knocked out of the tournament on the second day.

Erik Lindgren, who had proved his mastery of online players once more, and ended up winning the $500,000 first place prize, had previously won $1 million playing online poker. (Incidentally, in 2004, UltimateBet.com (UB) had the single biggest event ever held in Aruba, with a $ 1 million first prize.)

Frank had decided to play an actual online tournament while hanging out on the balcony of his hotel room overlooking the beach with a Rum Punch in his hand, with the thought of relaxing.

UB had 500 players at the Sunday $200 buy in no-limit hold’em tournament. The first place prize was of $24,000, while the total purse had been $100,000. Frank thought he could really win something for his $200 investment, when he saw the prize pool posted.

The following hand had come up between ‘Frank’ and Krazykunuk’ (James Worth) who was an excellent tournament when 55 players had remained. The blinds were $500-$1,000, everybody had folded to James on the button, and James had opened for $3,000 of his $15,000 total.

Frank had the Queen of hearts and nine of hearts in the big blind and a total of $18,000.Frank had been thinking that perhaps James was attempting to steal the blind with a weak hand, but he had known that Frank was in the big blind, and normally players had a real hand when they raised Frank’s blind.

Therefore Frank considered quitting as the best option, or moving all-in as his second best option, with calling the bet as the worst. What would have been the point of calling and somehow getting oneself in trouble?

Frank would have gone broke with some flops if James were raising with, say, a Queen and a ten.In which case, folding would have been a great option; on the other hand, moving all-in would probably have won the money.

However, somehow Frank’s thinking had got double-crossed, and he had decided to call the bet. Frank had decided that the chances of his having the best hand were high when the flop had come nine of diamonds, seven of clubs and the six of spades.

Frank had been thinking if he checked and James also checked, and then a loosing card higher than the eight came off, then Frank would be forced to play his hand, although he had probably allowed James hit that higher card for free.

And so, Frank should bet out something, which would prevent James from calling with, say, a King and a Jack, but not enough to scare him away if he had a pair. Ideally, Frank would have loved to bet out small, and have James move in on him with nothing, or with a pair that he could have beaten.

Thus, Frank had bet out $3,500, in hopes of a raise from James. As a matter of fact, James had raised all-in, and Frank quickly called him. James had shown him a ten and eight, which had made a straight on the flop.

In the next two cards, a two and a Jack had come off and James had won the $30,500 pot, Frank had been left with $3,000. Frank thought he had been a dummy because he knew calling pre flop had been the worst option!

He had let Lames hit his hand, and then Frank had paid him off. Moving all-in would have worked, as there was no way James would have called with a ten and eight.

Anyway, how bad could it have been? Frank had been in Aruba; he had a beautiful view of the beach, several of his friends were close by, and he had a Rum Punch in his omaha poker hand.




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