The game was pot limit hold’em which cost just € 100 to play. One player was holding a pair of pocket kings to start and put in a small raise which was called by two others.
When the flop came down Ks-8h-9h he decided to bet out and was again called by his two opponents.
Well the turn card, the fourth common card which all the players could use, was the Kd giving him what he figured was an unbeatable four kings.
So what’s a boy to do? Check, that’s what, to give the opponents a free card to improve their hands and get into trouble.
Well the river card, the fifth and final card on the board was the 10h – at which point a betting war broke out and two of the players got all their chips into the pot which now stood at € 2,000.
When the first player turned over 6h-7h showing a straight flush the holder of the four kings was overjoyed at being beaten.
The reason was that the card room had a “bad beat” jackpot which builds up over the weeks and is paid out to the players who get monster hands, such as four of a kind, beaten by even more monster hands, like straight flushes.
And as this jackpot stood at € 18,000 the holder of the four kings figured he was in line for 40 per cent of it. And €7,200 suited him a whole lot better than the € 2,000 in the pot.
His joy was sort-lived though as the other player in the pot turned over Jh-Qh for an even higher straight flush.
This meant that his hand had come third and the other two shared the jackpot. Like the losing Weakest Link contestants he went home with nothing.
There was yet another twist to this bad beat story.
An hour or so later two players at another table locked horns both of them holding four of a kind. This also qualified them to share the bad beat jackpot but as it had just been won it had been returned to its starting level of €100.
As the poker sages say as they nod wisely, success in poker is all a question of good timing.