Full-houses (boats) don’t come your way very often

Jun 28, 2011 3:00 AM

Batten down the hatches. Here’s a story about two powerful boats…

Full-houses (boats) don’t come your way very often. You are fortunate to make more than one during a long session of poker; so treasure and nourish it for all it’s worth.

The evening was still young when our $3-$6 low-limit hold’em table broke up. I was a little ahead, but it was too early to go home. The few of us remaining were transferred to other $3-$6 tables that were still in action. I waited for the button to pass me, using the opportunity to observe and evaluate my "new" opponents.

Then, after folding several hands in succession, in a middle position, I was dealt a fantastic hand: K (diamond)-K (spade). The odds of being dealt either pocket-Aces or pocket-Kings is about 110-1.

It was a fairly loose table; so, knowing I could expect a few callers, I decided to raise. In addition to building the pot, I wanted to force out opponents with Ace-rag and improve the chances of my pocket-kings holding up. Four opponents called me, including a pretty lady in the "cut-off" position.

The flop was almost unbelievable:

The odds of flopping a set of kings are about 7½-1 against. Of course, I decided to slow-play my set of kings. At this point, I was certain it was easily the best hand in the game and a big favorite to win at the showdown. Now my goal was to build as big a pot as I could.

It would be wise to wait until the bets doubled on the turn and river before raising. The pretty lady made the bet; two others and I called. I put her on A-Q or Q-J.

The turn was a blank. I thought I could get away with a check-raise. As you would have expected, the pretty lady continued her aggressiveness, and made the big bet. Three players called to me. My turn. I check-raised, and was called by the pretty lady, the "button" and "big-blind." The pot was huge; no one wanted to fold. The dealer turned up the river card. It was out of this world! No, it wasn’t the fourth king, but just as good, I thought: a second queen, giving me a boat. My kings-full-of-queens could only be beaten by quad queens – highly unlikely, I thought. I still put the pretty lady on A-Q or Q-J. After the big-blind checked to me, I bet out. The pretty lady raised!

Now it was just the two of us so there was no limit on the number of raises. We both had lots of chips. Without any hesitation, I re-raised … and then she raised me back again!

I contemplated what she might be raising me with. It was possible she held pocket queens. While it was a huge longshot, it was possible. I had visions of the time another pretty lady caught an inside straight flush on the river to beat my nut flush.

I decided to just call her – just in case she held the only card that could beat my kings-full-of queens full-boat.

As it turned out, the poker gods were smiling on me. She showed down the A-Q, giving her queens-full-of kings. Both of us had caught boats on the river; mine was the better and I scooped a HUGE pot…

(For comments or questions, George "The Engineer" can be reached at [email protected])