Friday, August 15, 2008

My Poker IQ...

My NLHE poker IQ is 134, according to

What can I say, I've always been a good test-taker. There's a reason I tutor the SAT. Although, I think I probably took too much time on it though (about an hour).

I was actually quite surprised by the results -- let's face it, I'm definitely not ready for online $1K NLHE. But, the test really does test more theoretical (mathy) stuff, which I've always been better at, instead of at the table stuff like heart and guts (which I've always been crappy at).

I honestly don't even consider myself a winner at $100 NL :)

But at least I've got a solid test score to fall back on when I apply to poker college!


Here's an interesting hand from a 10c/20c $20 NLHE cash game I played last weekend. It was the first time I played there although I'm playing there again tonight. Six-handed and I knew two of the guys. Rules were a little lax, since we didn't even have a dealer button.

In the hand in question, I limped with T8o or something like that on the button after another limper and four total saw the flop including the blinds. The flop came out JJ5 and it checked around. The turn was an 8, I thought my hand might be good, but the big blind bet out maybe 40c into a 80c pot. Knowing he could be betting a draw or an 8, I called behind, as did the small blind. The river was a second 8, and I thought there was a decent chance I had at least a chop with the big blind.

Anyway, small blind checks, big blind bets $1.50 into the $2 pot and I called quickly. During this time, others not in the hand are speculating about a possible flush draw because a third diamond hit the river. This surprised me, because I didn't remember a flush draw on the flop (but I also didn't have suited cards). Especially since the only two red cards on the flop were jacks. Pretty much simultaneously, everyone realized that both jacks on the flop had diamonds on them!

Well, suddenly, we didn't know what to do. Ok, I was 90% sure a fouled deck nullifies any action and all bets should be returned to players.1 But it was my first time at the game and I didn't want to be a stickler for the rules and/or piss anybody off. After all, the host (not in the hand) immediately suggested we play it out and both the small blind and big blind said that's what should happen. So we played it out.

Once action resumed, the SB made a smallish raise. The BB re-raised, and I insta-mucked. The SB pushed and the BB called relatively quickly. The hands?

Jacks full for the big blind and quad jacks for the small blind!

After that, the big blind took off and there was a bit of a cloud over the game. On the bright side, the big blind definitely wanted to continue playing the hand, so he knew the risks. And, of course, we counted down the cards (one of those retired casino decks) and found an extra jack of diamonds in place of the king of diamonds.

The moral -- always check a new deck of cards, especially those recycled decks!

I've heard other stories of similar strangeness (like another local host that told me he found one of the aces on the floor about half-way through the game!) but what are the odds of quads vs a full house even with the extra jack?

1. From Robert's Rules:

...If two cards of the same rank and suit are found, all action is void, and all chips in the pot are returned to the players who wagered them ...