Perfect handThis article was posted on July 18, 2007
If you play poker online a lot, sooner or later you will stumble onto the "perfect hand" No, it's not a straight flush or a royal flush I'm talking about, heck, it ain't even quads. The prefect hand can be an otherwise regular potentially winning hand.
To illustrate what a perfect hand is, what makes it perfect, and why it's called "perfect", I'll give you a small example: I was in a STT on PKR poker, and there were four of us left, around a 10-person table. I had the Ah and some other card in my pocket (don't really remember it) and the flop came three hearts. Someone went all in and another guy called him. I thought about the decision for a second, but the four-card flushed looked extremely inviting (especially that I had the Ah with me) I knew already, that if another heart came onto the board, I'd have the "perfect hand". Or at least I'd have a shot at getting it.
You see, for a hand to be perfect, one of the other guys has to have a hand almost as good as yours, which he believes is the best. Sure enough, the turn came a 4h, and my "perfect hand" situation was set up. There were four hearts on the board, and the Ah was in my pocket. I bet and I watched the other guy raise me. As soon as I saw that I knew, the perfect hand was on. I knew he too had flush, and I knew there was no way in hell his flush would beat mine. But he didn't know that. As a matter of fact, he knew he had me beat. At that point, I just went all in, because I knew there was no way he wouldn't call anything I could possible throw at him. Heck I would've bet my shirt, pants and the chair I was sitting on, if it'd been possible. Sure enough, he called me all the way.
At showdown, I saw he had the Kh. There was only one card that could've beaten him in the game, and I had that card. A perfect example of a "perfect hand".
Of course, being on the winning side always feels excellent. I got lucky with my starting hand there. But I wonder, what I would have done, had I been in his shoes right there. Probably the same thing he did. It would've been crazy to fold the Kh, and no strategy in the world would've advised anyone to fold the Kh in that situation. What he did was simply the right thing to do. He had a K-high flush, and he knew there was one card in the whole deck that could beat him. What were the odds of that card being in my pocket?
He knew I had a flush too, but he had no idea it was an A-high. It could've been anything except the 4 cards from the table and the K he was holding, so that would've still left 11-4 = 7 (11= the hearts from 2 to Q, because he had the K and the A would've beat him) cards I could've had and lost to him. Basically, the odds of me winning that hand were 1-7 against. He made the correct decision. No matter how you turn things around, he made the right choice.
I'm not trying to prove what a great poker player I beat there. There's a point I'm trying to make: This is why they call such hands "perfect". There is just no defense against them. No matter how you look at it, no matter how you act on overwhelming EV+, nothing's going to save you when the "perfect hand" is out of the box.
Again, had I been in his situation I would've made the same call. Let's look at it form his perspective: this guy goes all in, so he has a flush. 7 cards say I beat him, one card says he beats me. Do I call him? You're damn right I do.
There you have it. I think any further explanation on why a perfect hand is "perfect" is unnecessary.
Of course, there are milder versions of the perfect hand too. If my opponent there had held the 2h or 3h in that flush, his call might've been different. The only defense you have against the "perfect hand" is stiff board-reading skills, and a prayer to avoid the above-described situation.