Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Royal Flush

The Royal Flush. The Holy Grail of Poker. Us poker players look at a Royal Flush like golfers do to a hole in one, or crib players to the magic 29 hand (something after a lifetime of playing crib I have never had). You get those suited face cards in a hand and 2 more come on the flop. You wonder will this be the time I get that magic hand that we all dream about. Actually my dream is that it happens at the final table of a major tournament. Sadly to say I have never had a Royal Flush playing Texas Holdem. Never live and never online. The one Royal Flush I have had was in 1976 playing 7 card stud (the popular game back then) in Reno, Nevada. I was 21 years old barely legal to get in a casino and on my honeymoon. My wife (still my wife today) was only 20 and couldn't gamble. We had travelled through California and decided to take a a side trip to Reno. She knew I really wanted to play in a casino. Anyways I went down to the casino in the hotel we were staying and found the poker room. I got seated and looked around . Wow I was the youngest by at least 15 years and really nervous. I played a few hands and was down some money when the old guy next to me whispered in my ear that I should be careful these guys would take me for all my money.I said thanks, told him I was nervous and I really didn't doubt that for a minute. I had played poker in home games since I was a kid but I was totally out of my element here.

The exact details of how the hand played out I have forgotten but the RF was in diamonds and I ended up winning between 100 and 200 dollars on the pot and the respect of the players at my table who all congratulated me. Yea like I really knew what I was doing. Ha Ha. Anyways I remember playing a few more hands and then heading back up to the room and showing my wife the winnings. We were so excited we decided to stay another day and I of course gave all my winnings and more back.
It also of course gave me the poker bug which to this day I still have.

Last night I was playing in a live tournament with someone who has had 2 Royal Flushes. That's unusual but he had them in the same night playing in a live game. Now the odds of doing that have to be out of this world. With the online game being so popular the people who have had a royal flush (including my son) is growing. Personally I wouldn't be that excited about getting one online as I am one of those people who thinks the online game seems to deal a much higher proportion of good hands. I wait for the day when that magical hand appears in live tournament or cash game.

My tournament last night was dull. I was totally card dead and only stayed alive as long as I did by stealing a couple blinds. Best hand of the night for me was AQ suited and I totally whiffed on the flop. I think I went out in 20th out of 46 in the tournament. That was okay though as they had the hockey game on and the Canucks pulled off an overtime win and a sweep of the Blues and they now get a rest until the other series are over.

I just realized that they ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. They still get incredible numbers of people who qualify for that race. I qualified a couple times when I was younger but never made the trip to run Boston. A lot of my running friends have ran the race but I had young kids and I couldn't justify the expense (for one race) and to me back then just qualifying was self satisfying. Now that I am older I kind of wish I had done the race. I still run but not the distances needed to get to the level I would need to qualify today.

The WPT World Championship is still going on at the Bellagio. They are down to 62 players and big names in the top 10 are Nenad Medic in 4th and Phil Ivey in 7th. In 11th spot is my favourite Jennifer Harmon.


  1. I've never had a Royal Flush online, but have had one live and seen two others.

    I arrived Saturday morning for a poker tournament and I was playing $1/2 NL until game time. Two others besides me were all in by the river. (One had a full house, the other didn't show.) In all the excitment, I don't remember the exact size of the pot, but it was between $600 and 700. Then they stopped the game. I asked what was up, and found out they had a promotion going on whereby the casin0 (Sam's Town at Tunica) gave you $200 if you hit a Royal and they were reviewing the tapes. Yes, it was exciting!

  2. Now thats a great time to hit the Royal when you get a high hand jackpot payout. Congrats Memphis. Do you remember the suit it was in??


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