Keenan’s buddy Xavier is not a poker player.  Truth be told, neither is Keenan anymore.  When X would hang out with the degenerates he’d not get confused by the lingo so much as fed-up.  His favorite thing to randomly blurt out became some variation of the phrase “DonkeyFishNutzShippit!” Soon after, I started a Guitar Hero career with that name.

While chasing a $300K+ Bad Beat Jackpot at the Showboat in AC, I was playing $1/$2 NL and tweeted:

Limp-raised QQ pf, got button to put the 4th raise in, I knew I was ahead/c-f at worst, shoved $224 more ($210 in middle if I just call)

It was brought to my attention that the above statement is far removed from the Queen’s English and can be somewhat difficult to decipher.  Allow me to break it down, to the best of my ability, similar to how I would explain it to my non-gambling grandmother at the upcoming family reunion.

Texas Hold ’em… the pot is started with two blind bets before we get cards.  In this game, the first player put in $1 and the second $2.  I was dealt two Queens.  This is a strong, but vulnerable hand.

Of the ten players at the table, I was forced to act second on my hand.  I chose to just call the $2 bet (aka “limp in”).  My plan is for an aggressive player acting after me to raise.  When the raised bet returns to me, I’ll have the chance to re-raise, possibly take down an inflated, but relatively small pot before we see any more cards.

Part of my plan that I had not originally considered, but welcomed… the aggressive player decided to put in the third raise.  We only had two cards, each.  There’s still three to come on the flop, and another on the the turn and a final on the river.

He had made it $11 on his first raise, I bumped the bet up to $39, He raised another $65.  $39 x 2 = $78, $3 for the blinds is $81… $65 x 2 = $130.  If I would just call his $65 bet, there would be just over $210 in the middle of the pot.

Best case scenario:  he has JJ or TT (or an even smaller pair).  I am a 4-1 favorite to win the pot.
Highly unlikely:  He ALSO has two queens, we’re gonna split up the money almost 100% of the time.  (One of us could make a flush with four other cards.  I’ve seen it happen, always much more fun from the onlooker position).

Worst case scenario:  He has AA or KK.  I played with the guy for more than a few hours the day before.  He opened the pot for $7 before the flop and I re-raised.  He then made the bet $300 total.  This tells me that his “+$65” and “make it $300” hands are very different, the latter being only AA (but probably KK, too).

Most likely scenario:  He has AK.  All those who have played Texas Hold ’em know that by some cruel twist of math, no pair is only a very slight underdog against the third highest pair, queens.

I figure he would’ve made it $300(ish) with a hand that beats me.  I’m either a 4:1 favorite or we’re flipping a coin.  Coin-flips make and break tournament players.  Cash game players?  The coin-flips seem to just end up pissing someone off.

Reminds me of the time I made @Keon_S cry with his 99 after he hero-called my pre-flop four-bet shove with KQo… but that’s another story.

I opt to shove all-in for $224 more.  At this point, I want him to fold and just let me have the $210 in the middle if he’s holding AK.  Only way I want a call is if I’m a 4:1 favorite and he’s holding a pair smaller than my own.  If you break down the math, he’s an idiot to throw his (AK) hand away. 

He should only fold if:
a) He thinks I have AA or KK.  This is not likely because he holds a key card for each hand.
b) He is fine to lose $76 with this hand, but scared to lose $224 more.  Scared money don’t make money!
c) He is bad at math.

Bad at math?  Yes.  AK is going to beat QQ (or a smaller pair) almost 50% of the time.  He only has to pay $224 for a chance to win $210+$224.  He’s getting almost 2:1 on an even-money proposition.

This is where I get angry.  He’s stuck between being scared money AND bad at math.  He finally makes the call after what could have been no less than 90 seconds (an eternity when you’ve got nine other players AND a dealer waiting on you alone).

After it took him that long to make a decision, I already knew he had AK and I fated myself into losing the hand by saying aloud, “Please don’t reward this idi-“

As the “-ot” rolls off my tongue, the door card on the flop is an Ace, of course.

Going to the river I have only two outs, they do not materialize, I rebuy.  C’est la vie.  Or, as they say in the outskirts of MD – Say lah via.

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