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A Particularly Bad Bad Beat

A Particularly "Bad" Bad Beat
by Chad Holloway of

Have you ever been playing at the poker table and witness a particularly gruesome bad beat? That is a rhetorical question because we all know the answer. If youíre lucky, the beat will have happened to someone else and not you. If youíre really lucky, you will have put the bad beat on your opponent. Iím lucky in the sense that Iíve put more bad beats on others than theyíve put on me; likewise, the worst bad beats Iíve ever seen have happened to other people.

Recently, I watched a friend of mine take a bad beat that I rank among the worst Iíve ever seen. It happened in a $1-$2 No Limit Holdíem game. My friend, Tom, was sitting on a stack of about $300 and was up against a player Iíd never played with before, named Mike. Mike was having an exceptionally good day, with about a $1,700 stack in front of him. He wasnít that great of a player, things just seemed to be going his way. In this particular hand, Mike had raised $15 preflop and the field folded except for Tom. As it turned out, Tom held a K-9 and Mike the 10d 7d.


The flop came out Kd 6h 3s and Tom checked. Mike fired out a $30 bet and Tom made the call. The turn card came the 8d, giving Mike a gut-shot straight-flush draw.

This time, Tom led out for $15 and was immediately reraised by Mike to $30. Tom didnít hesitate and raised yet again to $60. Mike kept up his aggression and made it $135 to go. The dealer then revealed the river card, the 5c! Tom dodged all Mikeís outs and his hand was going to take down a nice pot.

But wait! Tom hadnít yet made the call of Mikeís final raise. He was going to, there was no doubt about that, but he hadnít gotten his money nor verbally declared such before the dealer put down the final card. The floor was called over and it was determined that the card would be shuffled back into the deck and a new river card revealed. Tom made the call as the dealer shuffled back in the 5c.

I absolutely agreed with his call given Mikeís sporadic plays throughout the day (a hand like top pair was usually good against Mike). The new river card came down the 9s! This gave Tom top two pair and Mike the nut straight. Tom checked and Mike fired out another $85. Tom insta-called and was stunned when Mike revealed the nuts and took down the nearly $400 pot.

I was in disbelief and felt for Tom. Not only did he lose most of his stack to a mediocre player on a heater, he did so on a dealer error. Had the hand played out as it should have, Tom would have been $400 richer when the harmless 5c fell. In fact, in order for Tom to lose the dealer had to make an error thatíd change the river card and Mike would still have to catch a card thatíd improve his hand, a double burn.

All things considered, Tom took the beat about as well as can be expected. He vented and cussed a little bit, but abused neither the player nor the dealer. Although I felt bad for Tom, I sure was glad it happened to him and not to me.

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