"Well, you always lose with Aces, so why even play them?" My non-poker savvy wife has asked me. I usually laugh knowing, despite all my bubble exits getting my money in preflop with Aces, there is no hand I'd rather hold for those situations.

After last week, maybe I should revise my thinking. I played a second chance nightly late last week at the Beau. The plan was win over a 1k, hopefully 9, and then buy-in to the turbo mega on Saturday morning. Then play in the main event after taking it down. Good plan.

Started out okay. With barely over two tables left and a healthy, hearty, wholesome, and hale chip stack I was well on my way. In fact, there was only one bigger stack at my table and we might have been the two biggest stacks in the tournament. So, channeling Coyt Horkins, I thought, he's the guy who's going to double me up. I wanted Aces and lo and behold they showed up. I salivated but still I had a kernel of fear as it had been an odd tournament.

I listenend to Barry Greenstein say, or perhaps his son attribute this thought to Barry Greenstein: pros don't want big hands deep in tournaments. Use to think that was foolish. Supposedly Main Event chipleader Darvin Moon has just waited for Aces and Kings, sets and more and just kept doubling his stack. Why wouldn't I want Aces and take a rush of good fortune over having to earn it with post flop play and careful bet sizing?

Well, I got my fill of them on Friday night. After going through a long dry spell barely seeing them (live not online) for a couple of months, it felt like I got them every level. For me, they come in bunches. I won't see them forever and then like Friday night I can't get away from them...

First time, I limped with them in early position. I expected an overly aggressive player to my left to raise as I saw him load up his powder. Oddly, he limped. The BB checked and we went three to the flop.

9Q9. Big blind did something weird and checked but I felt like he hit the flop pretty good. He was an average player so that might have meant just hitting a queen. So, I lead into the pot. Aggressive guy on my left called, BB called.

Turn was a rag. BB checked again. I checked, I believe you can sometimes get more information from checks than bets but I know I'm in the minority thinking that. Just feels that way after playing a ton of multi-way live cash game pots. Aggressive player bets out a callable bet. Big Blind min-raises. I fold.

They get it in. Aggressive player had AQ. Big Blind 9-something. Why aggressive player didn't raise it preflop and let me double up through him heads up still perplexes me. Especially after watching him not limp more times. He wasn't getting away from top-top and I'm not afraid of him having a nine.

Still good fold, I guess. Did get me to question how to play poker though.

Second time, I see aces, I 3x and took the blinds. Fun.

Third time, I 3x and get a caller. I lead out on a ragged flop and I can see the dude mull over a shove. At this point I had been pretty aggressive so players were looking to play back. I willed him to put his stack in but he finally folded. I flash the aces and relieved he said, he almost made a play with two overcards. DAMN!

Fourth time, I mix it up with another guy I've been bullying a bit. This hand had a bit of history. After several three bets to steal pots preflop he's ready to play back. I limp He bets and pop him back with AJ suited. He calls, not happy about it. The flop is AJK. He leads out and I raise him. He calls. On the turn he checks and I bet out. He stews and again, another guy considers a shove on me. Again, I'm trying to will his stack in. He folds.

So, I look down at Aces in one of the blinds. He just fired a raise. I pop him back and he frustration shoves and I insta-call. He's got K-J of clubs. Flops a royal flush draw. It's over by the turn. I chide him that I wished he shoved on the previous hand and then he couldn't have doubled through me. He said he pocket nines as though they could have been good. Jeezh.

Which brings us to the end of the story, me and the big stack eying each other, I bet (3x). A guy on the button (tired of my raises calls). The other big stack comes over the top for 60% of my stack. I shove (no thinking here). Fold. Call. I show my aces. Big stack shows his qq.

"That was the hand I was afraid of... well, that or kings." Really... you had queens and the two hands you were worried about were kings or aces--shocker.

After the flop I wish I held kings as it comes KQx. I glance at first place money knowing it won't be mine tonight and then I head to the rail.

Odds for getting aces are over 200 to 1. Getting them five times... I dont know. Getting them cracked three times I don't know either. Has to be some sort of anomaly. Much rather the anomaly be me getting them and winning with them. Course it wasn't as painful as this:



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