Poker: Causing a little aggravation

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The Independent Culture
THIS hand of Seven Card Stud caused much aggravation. Stan, a long-time professional, bet pounds 30 on two spades showing. I had a queen-nine face up, paired with a queen and an ace in the hole, and about pounds 150 in front of me.

I knew Stan was trying to buy the pot, but hesitated between calling and raising. I didn't want to commit all my money on a pair of queens. But if I caught an ace, I felt aces-up would do the job. As there were five other players sitting after me, I just called. The man to my left, Crazy Bill, immediately called and raised the pot, something like pounds 120, showing 10-7 hearts.

Stan: (? ?) Js 8s

Dave: (Ad Qh) Qd 9c

Bill: (? ?) 10h 7h

I was ready to fold, but to my surprise two other players called the raise, followed by Stan. With the pot offering better than 5-1 for my money, I had no hesitation in sticking in the rest of my chips. Bill, Stan and a third player were also involved in a substantial side-pot, created by extra raises.

I hit aces up immediately, Bill caught another heart, which was bad news. But with all the money in, there was no more betting anyway. Stan squeezed his last card, which made his spade flush, but before he could announce it, Bill turned over a full house, 10s on 7s. I looked at my last card and found the case queen, to make a higher full house.

Stan was furious. Improving to a full house from a pair of queens is incredible. How could I have called his bet, let alone the raise, he wanted to know. The reason I called the pounds 30 bet was that I didn't want him running all over me. If the two of us were heads-up, and he had hit a spade on fifth street, I would have folded.

But in the previous hand, three queens had won and I felt, probably illogically, that the queens might still be bunched together. Bill's raise on two pairs, looking like a heart flush, was legitimate, in the sense he was best hand at that point. But against so many drawing hands, it did not figure to win. We couldn't discuss the matter further, because Stan stalked off. I took the money but wasn't too proud of my play.