This Devastating Bad Beat Left My Opponent Reeling
Usually, I’m the one telling the bad beat stories:
“Oh, man. This major tuna drew out on my pocket Aces with pocket sixes on the river!”
Other similar exclamations have graced my lips on more than one occasion. Keeping that in mind, I love to tell the following story as it flips the usual script I’m facing.
This has become one of my all-time favorite poker hands. It isn’t special because of the moderate amount of money involved, but because I haven’t seen anything like it before or since.
So, I give you my own hand history in as best order as I can remember it…
Big blind special starts the bad beat
It was later in the evening and I sat down at a $1/2 No-Limit Hold’em online table to pass a bit of time and perhaps pick up a few bucks.
I bought in for the maximum of $200 and let a couple of rounds pass me by to bring my stack down to about $190 or so. I was dealt into the next big blind with:
Of course, this was a very weak holding and I clicked the “Check/Fold” button to automatically let go of the hand to any raise.
Instead, 4 players limped in and I just checked it down preflop. So, 5-way action to the flop, which brings me the nut straight of:
Instead of making the smart play and betting out to hope to catch someone with an Ace, I decided to slowplay the hand. I checked and, unfortunately for me, everyone checked it around. There were a lot of cards that would severely diminish my hand, and one of them hit on the turn:
The board pairs Aces
While this wasn’t completely crippling, it put a bit of fear into me. Many questionable online players will call with Ace-rag preflop and may very well have slowplayed their two pair on the flop.
Even if one of them had tried to trap on the flop with A-K, I knew that my luck would bring a pair on the board to give them a full house.
There were also now 2 diamonds on the board giving those limpers a flush draw. Knowing that I had to protect my hand at this point with several possible draws, I bet out about $15 into a $10 pot. Only one player from early position immediately to my left called me.
The river also pairs the 5
“Oh, great,” I’m thinking. “I should’ve bet it on the flop.” The river did indeed pair on the end and brought the:
When I saw the board pair I immediately gave up on my hand in my head. I knew that if he stuck around with a 5 (which isn’t entirely unlikely from low-stakes online players) or any Ace I was in big trouble. I was so worried about the full house that I didn’t even realize the draws that I still had.
The Hand Strength indicator stopped me in my tracks
As I was about to check the hand down, I noticed the Hand Strength area of the screen said “Straight Flush – A2345“.
Sure enough, I looked up at the board and realized that I hit the absolute nuts. It looked like this:
Of course, I had the 2-4 of diamonds. I bet out a small amount of $20 – half of the pot. I did want to make some money on the end and I wasn’t sure if he had a strong enough hand to bet more with.
To my great pleasure, he reraised me to $50. Of course, I just went all in at that point. He had me covered and called me immediately. He turned over:
For four Aces! Wow! Of course, he immediately left the table after that brutal beat.
Reviewing the mistakes from my opponent
Before I even realized that I had won a pot close to $400 I first marveled at how badly he played the hand. Let’s review the mistakes that he made here:
Not raising preflop
This is the worst mistake of the hand. There is no way that I would call any sort of raise with such a weak hand from the big blind. He could have completely avoided this bad beat of a lifetime by simply not getting greedy with his pocket Aces.
Not betting out on the flop
He now has a set of Aces, but he shouldn’t overlook the 3 and the 5. Since both blinds had stayed in, they might already have the straight (which I did) or could be drawing to one using just one card. Why give anyone a free draw to beat you?
Not raising me on the turn
This was actually one of the better plays that he made in the hand. He has such a huge hand that he wants to give a free card to give someone a straight, flush, or full house, but he could have actually disguised his hand a bit with a nice raise here. He had me beat at this point and probably could have gotten me to commit all my money.
What this should teach you is that you always raise your Aces! This hand couldn’t be a better testament to that. While I won’t draw out on him 999 times out of 1,000 with four Aces, maybe he could’ve gotten someone else to commit their money while I immediately fold preflop.
At the same time, I may have made a mistake by not betting out on the flop with 2 diamonds showing. I had him beat on the flop, but it took an extremely lucky draw to recover from the 4 Aces I let him have for free on the turn.
Bad beat stories can be fun when you’re on the other end
It definitely is fun to put on the bad beats for a change and while we usually remember the awful ones that we were on the short end of we should remember that we occasionally induce our own fishy goodness upon others.
The most painful part of the story? NO BAD BEAT JACKPOT!
A lifelong poker player who moved online in 2004, Josh founded Beat The Fish in 2005 to help online poker players make more-informed decisions on where to play and how to win once they got there. He hopes to counter the rampant dishonesty in online gaming media with objective reviews and relevant features. Tech nostalgic. Fondly remembers the soup avatar at Doyle’s Room.