Famous bluffs Jack Straus and the

The late Jack Straus, who won the 1982 World Series of Poker, was a man known for his creativity, flair, and imagination at the poker table, as well as his willingness to risk all he had if he liked the odds. Once, in a No-Limit Hold'em game, Straus was dealt a 7 and a 2 of different suits.

That starting hand is one of the worst in the deck—one the overwhelming majority of pjay-ers would throw away without a moment's hesitation. But not Straus; not this time. "I was on a rush," he said, "so I raised."

One player called The flop was 7-3-3, giving Straus two pair, albeit with a kicker that couldn't even beat the board. As Straus bet again, he realized he had made a mistake. His opponent, who didn't hesitate as he reached for his chips, raised Straus $5,000. Straus realized his opponent had a big pair in the hole, and the logical move would have been to give up the bluff and release his hand.

But Straus called, which must have caused his opponent to question whether he, indeed, had the best hand. The fourth card was a 2. It paired

Straus' other hole card, but it was worthless since there was already a communal pair of 3s on the board.

Straus fired out a bet: $18,000. As his opponent paused to consider whether Straus had a hand or was bluffing, Straus leaned forward, saying: "I'll tell you what, just gimme one of those $25 chips of yours and you can see either one of my cards—whichever one you choose."

After another long pause, Straus' opponent tossed over a single green chip and pointed to one of the two cards that were face down in front of Straus. Straus flipped over the 2. Now there was another long pause.

Finally Straus's opponent concluded that both cards were the same, and that Straus made a full house — 2s full of 3s — and threw the winning hand away.

"It was just a matter of psychology," Straus was reputed to have said later. But to most observers it wasn't psychology at all. It was magic, pure and simple.

0 0

Post a comment