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House of Cards
by Ashley Adams

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Perfect Poker Storm

I've just experienced the most extraordinary combination of hands at the poker table. I'm not sure what lesson this experience will impart. But I'm sure it will amuse you.

It started innocently enough. I was at Foxwoods, as I often am, playing $20 - $40 stud. I had been playing for a few hours and was stuck about $500. I recently moved to a new table and was still figuring out my opponents. An aggressive and experienced player-the type that flicks in his bet expertly-sat down opposite me.

I was dealt three suited cards, headed by the exposed ace. I raised the bring-in and got two callers, including the new guy. I got another suited card on fourth, bet, and again had two callers. On fifth street I received an unsuited card and checked. My aggressive opponent bet, the third player folded, and I called with my flush draw.

On sixth street I hit my flush. I was high and checked. My opponent bet. He did not have an exposed pair or three suited cards. He could not have been ahead. But there he was, flicking in $80. I, surely in the lead, raised to $120. Again, he instantly stacked up $80, raising me. I raised to $200. He leaned forward and looked again at my board. He shook his head, paused, looked again, and then called. On the river, he said, "I misread your board. But I have to call." And so he did. I faced my flush. He showed down his trips-having been rolled up. I won an enormous pot. But that was nothing.

Two hands later, I started with a three flush once again. This time I had the ace and king of spades in the hole and the ten of spades as my door card. The bring-in was to my left. Three players called the bring-in including my aggressive friend. I thought about calling along, but my spades were fully live, as were my ace and king, so I completed the bet. Three players called me, including my opponent from the recently concluded contest.

I hit a blank on fourth street, was high on board, and bet. My aggressive opponent raised. The other players folded. I called. On fifth street I hit the queen of spades. I was still leading but checked. My opponent bet and I called. For those of you not following the action, I had four to a flush, four to an inside straight, and four to an inside straight flush. My opponent had two suited cards exposed, no pair showing, and seemed to have either two pair or four to a flush.

On sixth street, I hit the jack of spades-giving me a royal-with the ace and king in the hole, and the ten, queen, and jack of spades exposed. My opponent hit a third suited card. I checked. He bet, and I raised-a check raise. He raised me, flicking out exactly $80 in chips. I boorishly goaded him, I must admit, saying "don't misread my board again," as I re-raised him to $160. He stacked up another $80 and raised me. I repeated, somewhat more loudly, "don't misread my board," shoving out another $80. He finally called.

On the river I got a pretty and irrelevant nine of spades. I bet and he called. With probably too much glee I exposed the first royal flush I had ever received in a casino and raked in a $900 pot that had been inflated by the wonderful confluence of events that I consider the perfect poker storm.

Again, I'm not sure that anyone will learn anything useful to their poker game from this encounter. But sometimes, it's just fun to share.

Ashley Adams is the author of Winning 7-Card Stud and Winning No Limit Low Limit Hold'em. He hosts the radio show House of Cards, broadcast Mondays at 5 - 6 p.m. in Boston, MA, on 1510 AM, and on the Internet at Contact Ashley at

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