t this year's WSOP I got my indoctrination as a reporter on the floor for PokerNews.com,
witnessing thousands of hands and a multiple array of bad beats. Your heart always goes
out, watching one dream crushed after another.
Even with moments of exhilaration when a player draws out or wins a hand, everyone's
destiny in each tournament is the same... defeat, as there is only one winner. Your inner
constitution must be very strong in poker tournaments, recognizing bad beats simply come
with the territory.
All of us have our most memorable bad-beat stories, so I'll share what happened to me,
that I'll never forget:
It happened one night in South Lake Tahoe while I was driving a cab. It was so slow that
night, it was hard to find any passengers. I pulled over and opened my wallet and looked at
my case $100.
At the time, it seemed like a good idea, so I parked the cab and went into Harvey's poker
room to find a nice little $3/6 hold'em game. I wasn't in my seat 20 minutes when this
well-dressed cowboy walked up to the table with $7,000 in black chips and said: "Howdy,
you all mind if I play with you? I just lost $37,000 in the pit, and if I lose this little old $7,000
in your poker game... believe me,I'll be money ahead just by staying out of the pit. I've only
got two rules: One, if anybody raises, I always re-raise. I cap everything. Two, I like to
turn my hole cards over before every flop, just to give you all an even chance! I'm ready to
throw a party, so let's have some fun!" I couldn't believe my ears. This was a dream come
true for me... this rich guy simply wants to give his money away.In reflection, you could see
the dollar signs in every player's eyes, including mine, as we all laughed and said, "Have a
seat, sir." And so, the party began, as each player started to pick the happy high roller off.
It was amazing to watch, as on every hand he would show his opponent what he was
Easy to play. If you're beat, just fold, otherwise keep betting, raising, and capping! This must be heaven! I was card dead, and wanted to find one hand to do
battle with, and then it happened: I looked down and found pocket kings. I raised, he re-raised, and quickly we capped the betting pre-flop. He had turned
over an A-6 off suit to show me what he had. If an Ace flops I'll fold and pick another spot. I could hear the peripheral conversation how two players said they
threw away an ace with a bad kicker, and the dealer delivered my dream flop: K-2-2 -- I couldn't believe my good fortune. As we capped the betting, I almost
felt guilty. This was like stealing; I didn't care how rich he is! I've got K-K-K-2-2 on the flop, and his aces are dead with no possible straight flush. I can't lose,
so what better time to get my case $100 in the pot?
Well, I did lose that hand, and to this day, I understand in dealer school they ask, "How did that cab driver lose that hand? As dealers, it is your job to look for
all possibilities." If you guessed right, I was almost a 1000:1 favorite after the flop. Yes, the turn was a deuce, and the river came the fourth deuce! Now his
ace played as a higher kicker with 2-2-2-2 on the board! I felt like a bolt of lightning hit me, like that scene in the Cincinnati Kid where Steve McQueen was
As the whole table moaned in unison, in disbelief of this horrible bad beat, the happy cowboy said: "I told you not to raise me, son", raking in his one and only
pot. I went back to my cab dead broke, back at the end of the line, looking for the next $5.00 fare, like I was in the Twilight Zone! Out of curiosity, towards the
end of my shift, I stopped by the poker room to see how my newfound friend was doing. He only had a few hundred left out of his $7,000 buy-in, was pretty
drunk, but probably happy he stayed out of the pit. My bad beat story is funnier to me today, than it was 20 years
The Cab is Parked,