An interesting tale came out of Tucson not too long ago. A 37-year-old man thought he won a nice size jackpot in a no-limit Hold’em game. Instead, he came away in third place.
Casino del Sol
Casino del Sol, like the other casinos in Arizona, is operated by Native Americans. The late Sen. John McCain believed Native Americans should generate money on their tribal lands. It is a way for them to receive a small reparation for centuries of oppression. The 21 casinos in Arizona provide the tribes that operate them with thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The money provides services for their people, such as housing, medical services, mental health services, and educational services.
R.J. Bergman had been a poker player for years, but not professionally. He plays recreationally in Tucson, usually with his friends at one of their houses twice a month. He also plays at local casinos a few times a year and goes to Las Vegas occasionally. However, Casino del Sol is Bergman’s favorite spot in the Tucson area. Bergman and his wife have a 7-year-old son. He works as a program director for a local YMCA. It’s a job he loves because it allows him to give back to the community
Bergman had been playing for about an hour on the $1 to $2 no-limit hand. In no-limit poker, the buy-in is the minimum amount a person has to put into the pot to begin playing. Most novices think a $1 bet on a $1 no-limit hand gets them into the game. However, the amount gamers must put in is usually much higher than that. In this case, Bergman bought in for $200. He hadn’t lost his shirt, but he wasn’t really winning much either. He had about $165 in chips at the time of the crazy hand.
In the small blind, Bergman found he had a pair of nines. The player, whose turn it was, raised the bet to $8. The player in the hijack position called with $75. A person in this position can show strength by beating the button position to a raise or a call. The button player also called with $280, and Bergman called as well.
When Bergman turned over his other three cards, he found he had a quad of 9s. This is a difficult hand to beat, so he felt pretty good about it. At that time, Bergman thought about a bad beat jackpot worth $18,000. In addition, because Bergman looked to have the best hand in, he wanted to win as much as he could. So, he decided to sit on his hand and checked. The original raiser also continued, with a $15 bet.
The player in the hijack position continued, as did the button player. Bergman did as well. The button position called with $50 and Bergman’s river card was a ten of diamonds. He felt confident enough to continue to play and shoved in his last $105. If someone had a full house or a flush, Bergman could receive the bad beat jackpot for his hand. However, it was not to be. The player on the button called quads and Bergman called quads as well. He thought that meant he and the button player would split the bad beats jackpot.
However, the hijack player had a straight flush. The quad tens player took home $9,000, and the player with the flush took home $4,500. Because Bergman’s quads were lower than the button player, he took home $665. Bergman’s hand was extremely rare. What’s crazy is if he had shown his hand, he’d have won at least half the bad beat jackpot.
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