This hand is an example of a common situation which often occurs in tournament play. A small pair is up against two overcards which is effectively even money on both hands. The hand is between Marty Wilson and Somkhuan Harwood. Based in Wolverhampton, he says he got his nickname ‘Mad Marty’ because of the way he is – one day he is cash rich and the next day he’s got nothing. Somkhuan has been playing for seven years but considers that she is still learning with every game she plays. Her advice to beginners is to get a good teacher. She feels that she has been lucky in this respect, learning a lot from her husband Malcolm, Somkhuan’s ambition in poker is to beat her husband head-to-head in a decent competition (she thinks he would ‘go bananas’) .
Marty hasA-K and, as he is short of chips, goes all-in for £500.
Somkhuan calls with 3-3.
The board comes 10-10-10-6-4.
Somkhuan wins with a full house. For all practical purposes it was even money on both players for the hand, but Somkhuan’s hand held up and Mad Marty has to count himself unlucky.
This is an example of where a player fills a hand by the ‘backdoor’. The hand is between Debbie Berlin and Malcolm Harwood.
Here the flop brings JH, 7H, 6H.
Debbie bets £500 with AH, 10S . This is a semi-bluff as Debbie has a four-flush and one over card. If another player has a jack (making two jacks) or better they are slight favourites over Debbie’s hand.
This turns out to be the case as Malcolm holds 7-7 making trip sevens. Malcolm only calls. Note that this is not another example of slow playing a hand, for although Malcolm is taking the risk of letting Debbie complete her draw, he has to fear that she has made a flush already.
The other players in this pot all pass.
Fourth street brings a 8D, which does not help Malcolm but means that Debbie is now drawing for both a flush and a straight.
Both players check, probably each fearful of what the other holds.
Fifth street brings a 9D, making a straight for Debbie. This straight was completed by the backdoor, as it was made using both of the last two cards and Debbie was originally drawing to the flush.
Debbie bets £1000 and Malcolm wisely passes his trips.