I played my first short deck no limit hold’em tournament on Saturday. It was a hoot but can really mess with your brain. The main difference from regular hold’em besides the deck of 36 cards (i.e., 2, 3, 4, and 5s removed) is that trips beat straights and flushes beat full houses. These changes are to accommodate the relative frequency of these types of hands in short deck poker.
My tournament started off well when I hit quad Qs and won a nice pot. Later I watched my pocket aces flop an ace and river an aces up boat to win a nice pot. On the very next hand I got pocket aces again and flopped an ace. This time I got good action again as it turns out that I was ahead in a set over set situation. Then the case ace came on the river to give my opponent a boat while I had quads once again. Easy game!
That was pretty much it for good hands for me. I had a chance to win a massive pot when the chip leaders massive preflop bet signified aces but I decided not to chase with T9 clubs even though the odds suggest this is close to a 50-50 proposition. If I had played I would have flopped an unfoldable straight and flush draw and rivered a massive pot.
I managed to scratch and claw my way to the final table and held on long enough to earn the $150 bubble claw back prize to make a small profit. I will probably play short deck again in the future, but probably not before my upcoming trip to Las Vegas.