Imagine, 2 full houses!
June 12, 2018 3:00 AM
by Irene Edith
Making a full-house in poker is quite rare. Can you imagine a hand where two players each have a full-house? I saw an account of that in a recent gaming article describing such a hand in a hold’em Tournament Hand Matchup game. This one involved the last two surviving players, two top pros vying for the first-place money and the title.
It was heads-up in the 2018 PartyPoker Live Millions Grand Final Barcelona. Poker pro, Stephen Chidwick (with 28,025,000 in chips), on the Button had been dealt 7d-7c. Meanwhile, his lone remaining opponent, poker pro Jake Schindler (with 21,625,000 in chips), in the Big Blind, looked at Qh-3s in the hole. Preflop, Chidwick’s pocket 7’s was a 70 percent favorite to win.
With the blinds at 125,000 and 250,000, Chidwick raised to 525,000 with his pocket 7’s. Schindler called to see the flop with his Qh-3s (a Hi-Lo hand he likely would have folded at a full table). Here’s where the hand gets real interesting – as you will see.
The flop was Ad-Qd-Qc. Schindler had trip Queens! The odds of catching trips on the flop are over 70-to-1 against – a huge long shot! But, it can and does (rarely) happen. Just a matter of luck. With trip Queens, Schindler was now the big favorite – expected to take the pot about 80 percent of the time.
Hoping to knock-out Chidwick and gain the title along with the huge first-place prize, Schindler deceptively decided to slow-play his hand. In the Big Blind, he checked to Chidwick, who promptly bet out 250,000. Chidwick likely thought his pocket 7’s was still in the lead. Based on probability, that’s reasonable in a heads-up game. Assuming Schindler had not improved his hand, perhaps he would fold his cards to Chidwick’s bet. (Little did he know Schindler had flopped a whopping trip Queens.)
The turn was another “eye-popper”: the 7h. That gave Chidwick a full-house – 7’s-full-of-Q’s! His hand was now a huge 84 percent favorite to take the pot. On the Turn, acting first from his Big Blind position, Schindler again checked his trip Queens. Again, Chidwick opened the betting – 2,000,000, and Schindler just called. Perhaps he thought he was setting a trap for his opponent and hoping to encourage him to go all-in on the River.
Yes, it’s hard to believe, but the River was another “eye-opener” – the Ac!
Now, Schindler’s Queens-full-of-Aces swamped Chidwick’s sevens-full-of-Aces. Two full-houses in the same hand! Again, Schindler checked from the Big Blind – probably hoping Chidwick would again bet out, so he could then make a big raise, thereby enhancing his chance to win the tournament. However, with two-pair, A’s and Q’s, on the board, Chidwick wisely decided to just check his hand, saving himself countless chips.
Schindler won the big pot with his Queens-full vs. his opponent’s Sevens-full – two full-houses in one hand!
I asked myself if it was a bad beat as I envisaged Schindler scooping up this pot. On the Turn, he had held trip Queens against Chidwick’s full-house, 7’s full of Q’s. At that point, Schindler had just four outs – one Queen (for quads) and three Aces – making him a big underdog. He could expect to connect to the winning hand less than nine percent of the time. On that basis, we might consider this hand a Bad Beat for Chidwick.
It cost him lots of valuable chips, but, I don’t think I would label Chidwick’s loss as a Bad Beat. He was just unlucky. In fact, playing $4-$8 limit this evening, during my seven-hour session, I observed three hands (I was not involved) that had two full-houses. Good luck for the winners.