Beating Bad Chances
  World Series of Poker
  World Poker Tour
  European Poker Tour
  Reading OtherPlayer’s Mail
  From the Other Side of the Table
  Poker Hollywood Style
  Cheese head Poker
  A Golf Story
  An Hand
  Champion of the Year Award
  Frank’s Top Moments in Poker
  The Next Poker Wave



The final table of the 2000 World Series of Poker produced the following hand. Seven players remained at the final stud when George McKeever started betting for $70,000. The blinds were being played for $10,000-$20,000, which meant George started betting for an average amount (3.5 times the big blind) Huck Seed had $520,000 left and he starting thinking, finally he chose to match the $70,000.

Noel Furlong increased to $1 million from a small blind, when George opted to call with the rest of his chips, which amounted to $300,000 more. Huck quit. The was a show of hands. George had the Ace of clubs and the Queen of clubs while Noel had the King of diamonds and the King of spades, and Huck told Frank he had quit his nine of spades and nine of hearts.

The Jack of hearts, eight of diamonds and eight of spades turned up at the flop, the turn produced the six of clubs and the final card was the two of diamonds. Noel’s Kings won, while the final board displayed a Jack of hearts, an eight of hearts, an eight of spades, a six of clubs and the two of diamonds, so George was eliminated.

Now that the final six players remained, the play for that day concluded. The final six players were Erik Seidel, Huck Seed, Noel Furlong, Alan Goehring, Chris Bigler and Padraig Parkinson. George’s opening bet of $70,000with an Ace of clubs and Queen of clubs appealed to Frank, however he didn’t care much about Noel increasing the bet. Why didn’t he quit the hand?

Furlong couldn’t have bluffed at that point. At least not since six players remained and all his chips were on line. Do not forget the final six players get rest, as they have to return to play the next day for large amounts of money. At the very most George could have wished that Noel had a poker pairs of Queens. Which meant that he would have been only a 13-to-10 underdog.

If Noel had an Ace and King, a pair of Aces, a pair of Kings or a pair of Queens, in that case George is a big underdog. He might have been a 5-to-2 underdog, and perhaps worse. Noel was in a situation where he would clearly increase the bets. He ended up revealing the strength of his hand by increasing the bets that much.

Frank felt Noel played well at this point. Actually all of Noel’s plays in the past two days appealed to him. Watching a World Champion in top form was remarkable. Noel Furlong deserved to be congratulated, as he was 2000’s World Champion of Poker! How do we view Huck Seed, the great young player? When Huck Seed only called with a pair of nines in the hole, Frank thought it demonstrated plenty of restraint and flair.

Given Huck Seed’s situation, not many players in the world would have only called with the pair of nines. The way Huck moved his chips was notable. He would have ended up in the sixth position had he moved all-in with the pair of nines. Noel would have called, leading George to quit with his Ace of clubs and Queen of clubs.

It so happened, that Frank was broadcasting the hand live on the Internet. Huck heard him when he announced that he was glad George had an Ace of clubs and Queen of clubs. Else chances were Huck would have been busted with his pair of nines as against the kings in the small poker blind. He told frank's, that he was thinking very negatively.

If it had turned out Noel didn’t have the Kings then he would have beaten George post flop. Huck was correct; Frank liked his positive stance. As a matter of fact, Frank considered a positive stance made him feel all the more lucky, which in turn brought him more luck. On the next day Frank had bet $4,000 that Huck would win.

He reckoned Huck was the best player. If Huck could end up with $ million in chips, he would win the event. (Huck managed to get up to $800,000 in chips, but the last hand that he played for his chips is the subject of the second hand in this chapter.)


What could one say about John ‘Bono Bonetti in 2000 at the U.S. Poker Championships? He ended in three first positions, one second position and a fifth position, counting a first position in the big $4,000 buy-in stud and a second position in the $7,500 buy-in ‘Major’ no-limit hold’em tournament at the U.S Open in Atlantic City.

John even played with Daniel Negreanu all-in in the Major, and Daniel drew to a flush. Incidentally, John was 71 years old! Somebody needed to inform the marketing department of the Poker Players Association: Some new, older players should be engaged down in Florida. The PPA should promote John Bonetti to people older than 57, because that’s how old he was at the time he won his first poker event.

Bono ended up seventh at the Horseshoe’s World Poker Tournament in the year 2004, in Madison, although he failed to make in the final six, who were televised. Tough! Every time Frank saw John, he reminded them of Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit was 52 years old and he lived comfortably prior to rediscovered himself as a cunning leader with a warrior’s heart.

John was upright and sincere; he and Frank had been friends since 1994. Bono must be applauded for all his accomplishments. At the final table of the 1995 World Series of Poker, the following exciting hand happened when Huck Seed, Bono and Men ‘The Master Nguyen were playing. Every time it was Huck’s turn to play poker he bet instantly, while Bono was at the small blind and The Master was at the big blind.

This was the second time within one hour that Huck opened the bet for $100,000 and Bono increased it by $100,000 making it $200,000 to go. Huck quit both times while Bono showed an unsuited two and three both times! Then Huck bet $100,000 again and Bono made it $200,000, that’s when Men moved all-in. Men only managed to increase the bet by another $180,000 making it a total of $380,000, John had no choice but to call him.

Everyone was surprised to see John had an Ace of diamonds and a Queen of spades while Men had a nine of hearts and eight of hearts. The board didn’t help any of the their hands, this way Men got eliminated at fifth position. What just happened? Huck was working on a steal, which made sense.

John chose to increased by $100,000, the same as before, perhaps so he could cover up for having a two and three hand once more. If he did this, maybe Huck could be trapped into moving all-in before the flop. Frank felt that Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen had just made an error in reading that hand. Men didn’t think John could call the additional $180,000, as his hand would be a weak one (like his unsuited two and three).

Had John been on a steal, he might still have had Men in a bad situation. Men deserved to be commended for absolute courage. It took courage to play the way he did. Although Frank didn’t care for Men’s move, as he didn’t have a good enough hand to win that eerie poker playing hand. Had it been Men had more chips then his play would have held more strength. Bono could have been compelled to quit if Men had yet another $100,000.

And yet why would one gamble all his chips with a nine and eight hand in the World Championship at that time? He could have waited for a more favorable hand and time. John had to call Men’s $180,000 increased bet, unless he could have read Men more strongly. And yet, there is no doubt that Huck, John and Men are currently three of the best poker tournament players in the world.


At last, it had been a while on the second day of the event, when Frank learned how to play well at a big game. The only setback was that he had learned one day too late or he wouldn’t have ended in the sixty-fourth position that year. In any case he had improved his chances when he increased his $9,425 in chips into approximately $48,000 on the second day.

Frank fancied the World Series of Poker and hoped it would be held every month! This particular hand happened roughly one-hour post dinner break; it was around 10:00 p.m. of the second day. Frank’s opening bet was for $6,000 while he had an Ace of clubs and King of clubs. The blind was being played at $1000-$2000 and the antes were at $300 each.

The player at the small blind called Frank with a pair of sevens. The flop turned out an unsuited Queen, five and two. The player at the small bet asked Frank how much money he had and he showed him the $30,000 he had in front of him. Then the small blind bet $6,000. Frank abhorred the flop, as it could have been possible that the small blind had a King and Queen or a suited Queen and Jack or something of the sort.

When Frank looked at his opponent he read weakness, promptly he made up his mind to increase the bet and call for $10,000 to determine whether the opponent had a good hand. The opponent soon made a call. Damn! Frank only had around $14,000 left and he knew the opponent would call that as well. Both players looked over the next two cards, and the opponent with the pair of sevens won the kitty.

Did Frank play this hand terribly? If he really had the impression that his opponent had a weak hand, he should have jacked up the bet with all his chips on the flop and the mere $10,000 that he did. Calling with $10,000 had been too simple. Then again the opponent would have called the $24,000, yet he could have had a better chance of winning the kitty.

Sure, if he hadn’t read any weakness, he could have quit his hand and gone on to stay alive with at least $30,000. Frank wasn’t pleased with his quick action on that hand. He felt he should have allowed himself some more time to read and scrutiny. Perhaps he should have worked out the fact that his opponent had a pair of sevens and then worked out what the opponent would do with his increased bet. (Frank was known to read and determine much more accurately.)

This particular WSOP had differed as far as Frank was concerned. Not once did he have over $50,000 in chips during the two days he had played. What was the probability that a player would play a four-day long event for as long as he did and not once having more than $50,000? As per Frank’s calculations, it would be more than 20 to 1.

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