Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Poker Dreams

I rarely remember my dreams, but I woke up this morning dreaming, I think, of playing a hand in the Probability & Statistics Seminar at SMOFCon. I don't know if I'm getting the details right, so I may be making it even more dramatic in retelling.

I was dealt two queens: QH QS. I decide to slow-play the queens and limp in, as do several others. Nobody raised.

The flop comes QC JH 10H, which is good -- I have three of a kind -- but also bad because anyone holding something like K 9 now has a straight (and with this crowd, they'd certainly call a limp-in with that hand) and anyone with two hearts is working on a flush. I curse myself for not pushing harder initially, but decide to test the waters with a medium raise, followed by two more raises, and I uncountably call rather than taking the better part of valor and giving up.

The turn is KH, which IMO is terrible, despite it giving me a straight-flush draw: a pair of hearts has made his flush, while anyone with an ace or 10 has a straight. Unfortunately, I feel pot-committed now and decide to represent that _I_ have that flush or maybe a better straight or even the AH QH to make a royal flush. Both of the other two players go all-in, and somehow I decide to cover them both. Stupid, stupid, stupid, just like when I covered Steve Cooper on the final table in Austin.

We face our cards. As I feared, one player has 8S 9H -- a king-high straight (he'd flopped a queen-high straight, which was why he stayed in), and four cards of a flush, but the other has AH 2H -- the nut flush. I'm screwed! I can't beat the flush even if another heart comes up because the second player has a better heart flush. At least the player with the straight can't have a straight flush because I have the QH he'd need to fill it. I'm reminded of Norman Chad's World Series of Poker commentary about how many times a pair of queens loses.

There's only one card in the deck that can save me: the "case queen" of diamonds that would give me four of a kind. The odds on this aren't good. [Edit: But see comments below about the potential full house.]

Out comes the final card, and it's a Queen! But wait a minute: it's the Queen of Hearts. The player with the straight starts to celebrate because he's unaccountably caught the straight flush, but the celebration is cut short as he and everyone else realizes that there are now two queens of hearts on the table.

We check the deck, and find the queen of diamonds, but counting the deck we find that there are 53 cards in it, while one of the other tables turns out to have a 51-card deck. Somehow, the QH from one of the red-backed decks found its way into one of the other table's decks.

And then I woke up. I have no memory of resolving the debacle. With all of the chips in the middle, it would be nearly impossible to undo the hand. I expect we would have tried to chop the pot three ways, if everyone was willing, but it would certainly have been a mess had it happened in real life.
Tags: poker, smofcon

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