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Low pair often
better than high

Oct 20, 2003 11:01 PM

Carol, there sure were a lot of e-mail’s and comments about last weeks column, when I told you that I would rather be holding two 9’s than two queens, in a no limit hold’em poker tournament, when playing against one other player when all of the money was in the pot before the flop.

Remember, I asked you what pair that you would wish to hold when playing all-in ”” in a Texas Hold’em, no limit poker tournament against one other player who was holding AA or KK or AK.

You had the choice of any pair that was not aces or kings.

Of course, dear if the other poker player has two As or two Ks, you have your money in a pot that you should not be playing in.

But you have some outs or chances to win. And because all the money has already been bet you will get to see a flop, a turn, and a river card, and as lucky as you are, you may draw out on him.

I had you select the pair you wanted to play with and when you choose two Qs I told you no, that two 9s gave you the best chance of winning when playing against two As and it would follow that two 8s would be the best when playing against two Ks.

Here is why and the answer is very simple: If you catch a Q in any of the five cards that will be on the board when the hand has been completed, you would of course beat As and/or Ks with your three of a kind, except that the Q will give the other player the third leg of a straight and you would lose even if you hit the Q.

If a J and 10 were a part of the five common cards, you must improve to win the pot and you have the same chance to catch a 9 as you do to catch a Q.

The difference is that the 9 will not make a straight for the other player if you are lucky enough to catch it.

So this is one time that you would rather have two 9s than two Qs.

Remember you must catch one of them to defeat two As or two Ks and you have exactly the same outs to catch one of the two 9s as you do to catch one of the two remaining Qs.

I agree that this is a small difference but it is true difference and I have seen this very thing happen many times when a player gets the thrill of victory, when on the flop, he would catch a Q only to suffer the agony of defeat when the other player draws the other two cards that will make him a straight.

It is a little like getting hosted on your on petard.

"Oklahoma Johnny" poker tip of the week

You cannot control the cards that you will get when you are playing poker, but you can control what you do with the cards after you get them!

Remember, until next time to stay lucky!


TUNICA, Mississippi ”” Carol, we are here at the Grand hosting "The Seniors" XII World Championship of Poker.

Honey we have hosted "The Seniors" events all over the world but never have we had the wonderful attendance of the players and the cooperations of the casino like we have here at the Grand.

The opening event was a media tournament and a tribuite to one of "The Seniors" Hall of Fame memebers:"Cowboy" Wolford, who was honored with a touching tribute.

You know honey, how I like to eat southern cooking? Well I have everything that mother cooked; I know that you do not like "grits" but I think if I can just get you to taste some and get you to cook them for me you may change your mind.

We are here on the Mississippe River and I still am going catfishing and then we will have hush puppies and all the fixings.

The Tournament is going really good and they have already invited "The Seniors" to return for their Grand American Poker Classic and we are going to accept their inviatiation and return in January to again meet and be with the new friends that we have made and revisit all of our old friends

In the Charity tag team event, we had a $25 charity rebuy and would you beliew that we reaised $1,500 for "The Seniors" Charities; $1,000 of these funds will be returned to a local Tunica charity — The St. Judes Children Hospital here in Tunica.

Here are some other early tournament results.

In the $150 buy-in, No Limit Hold ”˜em event, Ronald Owens took first place and the $5,460 prize. Rounding out the final table winners were Marion Busch, Bobby Ezell, Dayne Baverman, Gerald Rosenburg, Kerry Brown, Ward Faulkner, Charles O’Neal, and David Segal.

In the Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, $200 buy-in event, David Alan Levine won the top spot, with runner-ups including Stewart Carpenter, Raymond Beck, Bruce Grossman, Charles O’Neal, Maurice Gottlieb, Clarence Trammell, Paul Tidwell, Robert Nappe and Jim Spain.

In the Limit Hold ”˜em, $200 buy-in event, there were 64 entries plus 40 rebuys vying for $16,800 in prizes. The winner was John Tolbert who took home $5,630 for his efforts. The runners-up include Benjamin Durham Jr., Mike Haney, Basil V. Sirna, Howard Parris, Sandy Rich, Terry Dopson, Daniel Pelland and James Gallegher.