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Worst Bad Beat I Ever Saw

Two guys, I have no idea what their names were so let’s call ‘em Ching and Gerry. Ching was a young Asian kid with shades, spiky hair and leaked aggression out of every pore. He’d been playing off and on at our room and had a lot of guys intimidated. Gerry was a thirty-something regular in the room. He played a decent game, lost more than he won but won enough to keep coming back. The game was no-limit hold ‘em with $5 - $5 blinds and a $1500 max buy-in.

Ching was sitting on Gerry’s right but that didn’t seem to matter much ‘cause Gerry had no idea how to handle him. He was getting under Gerry’s skin, seriously. He was making pre-emptive raises of almost every hand that got checked around to him. Re-raising Gerry every chance he had and would push the hell out of almost every hand he played. He was pressuring everyone – but Gerry seemed to think he was targeting him – and he let him know it. First, it was the whining like, “How come you’re in every pot I’m in?” – without realizing that he was in almost every pot. Then it moved to “I haven’t seen one free big blind since you sat your sorry ass in that chair.” Then on to “You are just one lucky turkey, and I’m going to take every one of those freakin’ chips.” The kid just kept smiling and raising.

Gerry was down close to a dime when “the hand” happened. He had just reloaded and had about $1,200 in front of him. Ching had him covered, way covered. They were in the blinds and, predictably Ching made it $40 to go when it got folded around. Gerry just looked at him, snarled something incomprehensible and called. The flop was a mostly ragged J♦, 9♥, 4♥. Ching pushed out a stack of redbirds. Gerry called. The turn was the 5♥. Ching led for $250. Gerry squirmed, screwed up his face and called.

The river was the 2♥. Ching shoved. Gerry went into the tank – but not silently. He muttered about the “little creep,” which he had taken to calling the kid when he couldn’t get a rise out of him with less earthy insults; he looked over at him but got nothing back but a grin and his own face reflected in the lizard shades; he muttered some more, cussed him out some more and then actually apologized to the table for taking so long. Then he tried the oh-so-tired gambit of running off hands the kid could have… “Did you really hit a flush on the end? Did you really bet all the way with a freakin’ draw? An overpair? A big jack? Air? AIR?”

Finally, someone called ‘time’ and Gerry hunkered down for one last think. With maybe ten seconds left he looked up, pushed all his chips out and said, “I am so fucking sick of getting pushed around by you. I call.”

“Nice call, I missed,” said Ching – the first words out of his mouth since he sat down. Gerry turned up Q♠, J♠. The dealer started to push the pot to Gerry and asked him to move his chips closer so she could get a count. Gerry, clearly feeling triumphant, like all those warnings to felt the kid have been fulfilled, looked at her and said pointing at Ching’s cards, “I want to see that hand.”

Now in the normal world of poker the dealer will do the dealer’s “thing” here. She will ask Ching to drop his cards, take them, tap them twice on the felt to declare the hand dead and turn them over. But Ching still had them in his hand. He looked at Gerry, said, “No problem, man,” and turned over T♣, 8♥, stared at them and blurted out “Holy shit, I hit the flush.”

The table froze. Gerry looked like someone just shot him as she pushed the twenty-four hundred rutabagas to “The Kid.”

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