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EERIE HAND

In the $5000 buy in limit Hold’em tournament at the World Series of Poker in 1992 Frank happened to come across the eeriest hand of my life. What he means when he says eerie is that it was such so lucky it could never have been explained. If Frank had to closely scrutinize the hand it would seems that he played a very bad game.

The only thing that he could come up with to justify it is that he had played till 7.00 a.m.on the previous night in a no-limit Hold’em event, which he won. The game commenced at noon and he got this hand at 11.00 p.m. on Saturday. That year only four players remained in the game: Late Jack Keller who had been a great World Champion, ‘Miami’ John Cernuto, The world’s greatest unknown poker player called Don Williams (that was his pet name) and Frank.

The game was a $3000-$9000 limit, at which the chip counts were important. Jack had chips worth $38,000, Miami had $8,000, Don was playing with $18,000 while Frank was playing with $250,000. The poker winner would win $144,000 the second position would win $72,000, the third position would receive $36,000 while the winner of the fourth position would receive approximately $22,000.

Miam John bet $9000 since he had the Queen of clubs and the Jack of spades. Frank called with $4,500 in the small blind ($1,500), he had a five of diamonds and a three of spades. Once again Jack increased the bet by $3,000, which amounted to $9,000 as he had the Jack of diamonds and the Jack of clubs.

Miami decided to bet all his money, which was $2,000 (he’d used up a sum of $8,000), while Frank called the $3,000 increase. This way Miami stood a chance of winning $8,000 from each of us, which would be a total of $24,000. This meant that there was $2,400 in the kitty and a side pot that contained $2,000.

The three of diamonds, three of clubs and the six of hearts were overturned at the flop. Frank bet $3000 and Jack increased the bet to $6,000 after which Frank called. The next card to be flipped was the seven of hearts, which meant the three of diamonds, three of clubs, six of hearts and the seven of hearts was in the community. Frank checked at this point, Jack bet $6,000, this led to Frank check raising, rounding up to a sum of $12,000.

Jack increased the kitty even further to $18,000, and Frank too increased and went all-in with $5,000, which amounted to a total of $23,000, that’s when Jack called too and went all in with $5,000. All that Jack needed was the remaining Jack in the pack, which he didn’t get. The last seven stud card to be flipped was the ten of spades, whereby the community now displayed the three of diamonds, three of clubs, six of hearts, seven of hearts and the ten of spades.

Frank won the kitty with his trio of threes while doing away with two players in the bargain. At this point Don Williams, who was studying the mêlée, got excited because he was now in the second position, which meant he would win $72,000 instead of $22,000, which is what he would have won if he’d remained in the fourth position.

Let’s analyze the situation. Frank When Miami increased the bet Frank should not have called with his five of diamonds and three of clubs. That was the worst mistake. Why did Frank go with Miami when he only had a five of diamonds and a three of spades? Since he only had $8,000 he was already in a bad position. Instead he could have waited till he got a better hand

The truth is Frank in the hopes that Jack would call in with his big blind, while getting together with Jack and getting rid of John Frank made an error in his judgment, however he was exhausted which led him to call when he had a hand that he would almost bother to bet on. Frank got a huge reward due to this appalling call. It is called ‘spooky’ by the skilled poker players.

What did the other players accomplish in this hand? Miami John did well when he increased his bet to $6,000 when he had the Queen of clubs and the Jack of spades, also his last bet of calling $2,000 all in was sensible. It made sense when Jack Keller got the Jack of diamonds and Jack of clubs and he increased his bet to $9,000 before the flop. Even when he increased the bet to $6,000 after the flop it was good strategy, the flop appeared to be fantastic (three, three and six) to go with his hand.

When Frank checked on the fourth street exposing a board of three, three, six and seven Jack bet a solid $6,000, on the other hand, it wasn’t such a good idea when he increased the bet to $18,000. If Frank had been in his place, he would not have gone over $12,000 at the most. After which he would have called in the last bet with $6,000, that way he could have saved his final $5,000 if it turned out that the Jack of diamonds and the Jack of clubs wasn’t that good.

Possibly Jack had lost his hand when Frank check raised the bet to $12,000 post the final card, particularly since two more bets were laid after the flop. Frank could have had a pair of threes,Queens, Kings or Aces; any of these was enough to beat Jack. One couldn’t say what could have been achieved had the $5,000 been saved. Quite possibly Jack could have proceeded to win the event or even climb up to the second position, particularly since Don had only $18,000 remaining in the form of chips.

As it has been often said in Poker, a chip and a chair is all one needs to win an event. Maybe some people have the capacity to quit with Jack Keller’s hand on the river (fourth street). A person could prevent himself from calling Frank’s increased bet of $6,000 on the river, plus another $6,000 at the end, which amounted to $12,000 in all. You could save $17,000 ($12,000 and $5,000), which could be used to play more hands.

However, it must be extremely tough to quit with a pair of Jacks, which would be founded only on scrutiny of the other online poker player (in this case, Frank). It would be very hard to quit with this hand although you might think you have perception of the other player. Fran won the World Series Of Poker bracelet for the fifth time at the end of this game.

There were three grounds due to which this victory was extraordinary, the first was that he succeeded in defending his title, he’d won the WSOP $5,000 buy in limit Hold’em tournament in 1991 within two days. Secondly, he’d won two consecutive WSOP tournaments. Thirdly, this was the third time he won the WSOP in the same year (1992). Though the victory couldn’t be in consequence of the eerie hand (considering he had the most chips), still it was unforgettable given in light of the 5-3 off suit.

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