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In a recent column, I wrote about a “Hand to Rememmmmber.” Recall: Starting with K-J offsuit, I flopped two-pair; then got kings-full-of-jacks on the turn. The nuts! Lots of betting and raising. At the showdown, I won a huge pot – with one opponent betting and raising with his A-K… Yes, that was a poker hand I’ll never forget!

Would you believe, the other night, playing $3-$6 limit at a local casino, I was dealt another unusual hand. This one was so different I’d like to give it a special name to distinguish it from others. In this case, I had a loser until the river when the dealer delivered – would you believe – a fourth 4 on the board for quad 4s! Wow!

How It Came About

In a late position, I started with A-9 offsuit. Several opponents and I called the big blind – only to be raised by the small blind. We all called the raise to see the flop. Hoping to pair my hole cards, instead the dealer placed three 4s on the board.

Now I hoped for another ace or a 9 to give me a full-boat.

When I first sat down at this table, it was a loose-passive game, much to my liking. I could play my drawing hands “in the cheap” and be well rewarded at showdown if/when I connected. But, as often happens, two aggressive players joined our table; now there was considerable raising preflop and post-flop.

With three 4s on the flop, pairs in the hole make full-houses; so betting and raising was predictable. After the small blind bet out, the big blind – a loose-aggressive player – raised. A middle-position player promptly reraised. With five opponents staying in, the pot was growing!

The implied pot odds were huge. So I too called the double-raise, hoping to pair one of my hole cards. Alas, it didn’t happen. On the turn, the dealer put down a king. Not quite the ace I had hoped for. Another round of betting and raising. This was the biggest pot of the night since I joined the game two hours earlier! No one folded.

I prayed to the poker gods for an ace on the river; better yet, how about the fourth 4? With four outs (three aces and one 4), my card odds were about 9-to-1 against. Looking at the heaps of chips in the pot, I knew that the implied pot odds were higher than that. I called to see the river even when the betting was capped with three raises.

Hallelujah! The poker gods decided to favor me… The river was the fourth 4! I could hardly believe my eyes. Yes, quad 4s on the board! My ace-in-the-hole gave me the nuts – unbeatable. I could only be tied by another ace. Unbelievably, the big blind bet out and was raised by the middle-position aggressor.

What could they have in the hole? I had put them on pairs; now I wondered anew. No matter, I held the nuts and would bet for value. When the betting reached me, I reraised and was called by these two aggressive players. I showed my A-9 in the hole. Both opponents had middle pairs. Perhaps they didn’t realize that the board had counterfeited their pairs-in-the-hole.

What would you call such a hand? It’s certainly more than just another “hand to rememmmmber.” A copy of my Hold’em Algorithm to the best suggestion.

Comments? George “The Engineer” Epstein can be contacted at [email protected]

About the Author

George Epstein

A retired engineer, George Epstein is the author of “The Greatest Book of Poker for Winners!” and “Hold’em or Fold’em? – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.” He teaches poker courses and conducts a unique Poker Lab at the Claude Pepper Senior Center under the auspices of the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks and at West Los Angeles College.

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