Thursday, November 05, 2009

Deuce-four's little brother

The above are the lastest $5 chips issued by the Palms. I think the Palms may now have more different $5 chips in circulation than any other casino in town, although the Rio and Hard Rock must be in contention, too. I had never seen Farrah Fawcett on a poker chip before. I don't know whether she had any special connection with the Palms.

I played at the Palms tonight. It was one of those rare sessions in which my entire profit came from one hand. Literally. After four hours of play, I had been up $50 and down $50 a few times, but no real forward progress. I think I was up $20 from my $300 buy-in, and just thinking that maybe I should get up and go somewhere else or even just go home, when the key hand occurred.

The tightest player at the table raised to $8 from second position. I was on the button with 2-3 offsuit. It was folded to me. I called, because I thought (1) I could put him on a very narrow range of hands, and thus easily determine where I stood with just about any flop, and (2) he might stack off with aces or kings if I hit something sneaky. Nobody else called.

The flop was A-5-9 rainbow. He bet $10. I wasn't yet sure if the smallish bet meant that he had kings or queens and was testing the water to see if I had an ace, or if he had A-A or A-K, loved his hand, and wanted to be sure not to chase me off.

I called. Now, normally I don't go chasing gutshot straight draws. But this was a small bet with big implied odds if he had A-A or A-K. He had demonstrated a tendency to go all the way with that sort of hand, so if I could catch a miracle, I could get paid big-time.

The dealer (Lori), bless her heart, rewarded me with a 4 on the turn, giving me the nuts. My opponent bet $17. I thought a while, then raised to $40. This time I was the one not wanting to scare off my customer. But the most important consideration was what I wanted him to think. A raise just a little more than the minimum would, I believed, suggest to him that I had a weak ace, that I wasn't sure whether he had a better ace, and I was probing to find out, and to make him lay down queens or kings. I hoped that he would see fit to give me a blaringly loud answer.

He sure did. With no hesitation at all, he arranged all his chips into one big stack and shoved it forward. It was all I could do not to imitate one of Phil Hellmuth's frenetic insta-shove-calls. (If you've never seen him do this, take two minutes to raise the level of hilarity in your life by watching this funny clip from "High Stakes Poker.") Poor guy had A-A and had flopped top set. He never saw it coming.

I texted my friend Cardgrrl about this, and the evil pleasure it gave me to win such a large amount in such a sneaky manner. She replied, "You are a bad man!"

But she's one to talk! While I was playing live, she was online. When I got home a short time later (I left at the end of that orbit--"hit and run" at its finest), she sent me this screenshot from one of her sit-and-go tournaments:

I understand that she called all-in on the flop. Of course, she couldn't lose, with the deuce-four, but she claims to still be an unbeliever, so I'm not sure what possessed her here.

The 2-3 was so slick in that hand tonight that I briefly wondered if I have been misled, and it, rather than the 2-4 is actually the most powerful hand in poker. But then I remembered that that question has already been definitely answered by the two monsters clashing against each other directly. See here for the results.

I'm willing, however, to entertain the possibility that the 2-3 has some serious potential to it. I may not be able to center an entire religion on it, but it could be, y'know, like one of the saints or demigods in the Holy Order of the Deuce-Four.


Anonymous said...

Grump, You never stated what the river card was, an important part of the story, and equally important how much was in the pot that you won. Please add this info to your story.

Rakewell said...

I don't remember what the river card was, other than that it didn't pair the board. Pot ended up being about $340.

Zot95 said...

I thought AA was deuce-four's little brother. While deuce-trey looks tempting, it's fool's gold. The problem is a lot times when you play twenty three and have built up a big pot, you're dominated by the aforementioned deuce-four. Believe me, I know. Better to have two live cards, like an ace and an ace.

Grange95 said...

If schadenfreude is feeling joy in the misery of others, perhaps "schadendeuce" describes taking delight in the misery of those who have AA or KK "cracked" by a monster deuce.

yestbay said...

If 2-4 and 2-3 are so powerful, what about 2-5? Do we have the makings of The Order of the Wheel Cards here?

Rakewell said...

My very favorite dealer in the whole city (formerly at Hilton, now at Venetian) swears that 2-5 is the most powerful hand in poker. Ironically, she is the one who dealt me the very first 2-4 that I won with, the one that got written up in Card Player magazine and started the whole thing. Last I knew, she still reads here at least sporadically, but still has not become convinced that 2-4 > 2-5.

Anonymous said...

Grump - check out James Akenhead's 'November Nine' bust out interview on


I sorry to report that he is no longer a believer.

Long time reader first time poster etc etc and so on. Keep up the good work.