Sunday, October 24, 2010

My First Live Royal Flush

When I began to take poker more seriously I played mostly online. The 20-30 sit’n’gos I averaged each week dwarfed the one single live tournament I played during the same time period. Therefore, it was no surprise when I caught my first ever Royal Flush online. It was rather anti-climactic; my opponent was all-in preflop, so I didn’t even get to bet it. I guess I wasn’t surprised when I also caught my second Royal Flush online as well. Or even my third (strangely, they were all in diamonds). After awhile I began to find more opportunities to play live and I spent a lot less time in the virtual poker room, waiting for the day the Poker Gods would bless me with my first live Royal Flush.

I kept playing and loving the game while waiting and waiting for the ultimate poker hand to come my way in a live game. Because I have always been borderline obsessive about statistics and record keeping, I know the exact date: the 2nd of March, 2008 and the suit was clubs. We were playing our regular friendly .25/.5 No Limit Hold’em game. I was sitting in the big blind and everyone except the small blind folded. There was no action until the river when I hit the gutshot Royal Flush bingo card, turning my 10 high into the stone cold nuts. My opponent checked and I bet the minimum 50 cents. His cards were in the muck almost before I got my bet out. I turned over the rarest of poker hands, one that I had waited almost 400 live games to catch, and raked in the absolute minimum profit.

The appearance of a Royal Flush is among the most anti-climatic experiences a poker player can have. Probability dictates that the deck will usually be crushed and the hand will receive little action. Your best hope is that some high hand or bad beat jackpot comes into play. So, as lucky as you have to be to catch a Royal Flush, you have to be even luckier to actually get paid for it.

C’est la vie…deal.