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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

What’s Your Favorite Hand?

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Probably the hand poker players love to see is A-A, regardless of what they will tell you about how often they lose with it. But it may not be every poker player's favorite hand. In fact, many poker players have favorite hands for many reasons other than it being a good chance that it's the best hand.

Zeem, a poker blogger and player, has a strange favorite hand, {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs}, but his reasons for that make sense for any poker player: He's won a lot of money with it.

"I won a big pot with this at the Bellagio on a night I was taking a shot at a bigger game," he said. "That was a game with several calling stations and one maniac. I would sell my belongings and move to Vegas to play with those folks. I continued to run good with that hand for a while."

StB, another blogger and poker player, has a favorite hand for the same reason - he's running good with it - but eventually that wears off.

"I go through favorite hands as much as I change my underwear," he said. "So this year, my favorite hand is K-Q suited."

The hand is hitting flops for him, and he bluffs well with it now as a result

Sometimes hands that win a tournament remain a poker player's favorite.

The blogger Instant Tragedy loves pocket 2s, also called ducks, because he won a bar tournament for $500 with them against a player he calls "The Jackass."

Tragedy flopped quads with the pair of deuces in his hand and goaded the guy into going all in against them. The victory was even sweeter because the other player truly was a jackass, calling Tragedy a "motherfucker" every time he talked to him.

"I was screaming 'Ducks, Ducks, Duckkkkkkkkkssss!' and that simple tournament where I would have thrown away pocket ducks has made me their champion," he said.

Later on Tragedy became so well known as a ducks player that he got a guy to toss them on a A-K-2 board when his opponent had top two pair.

"You never know when I'll play pocket ducks or the Hammer," Tragedy said, "but I know one thing. When I do, just hand your chips over and say thanks to the Earl of Ducks."

Results usually determine a player's favorite hand. My favorite hand is J-J for just that reason. I seem to always play them well. I get away from them when I have to, but it's my favorite hand mostly because I haven't had to very often. They've been good to me.

But results aren't the only reason a player picks a favorite hand.

The blogger Drizz prefers 9-9 because he's a hockey fan.
"I grew up wearing jerseys with the number 9 or 99 from my favorite hockey player," Drizz said.

TripJax, another blogger, likes T-J suited because it's the initials of his screen name.

But both those hands play well against powerful hands that others have trouble throwing away, like Aces, and that's the other reason both players like their hands.

"It often hits open-ended straight draws and flush draws," TripJax said of J-10. "It often plays well when low cards fall, and it can also play well with high cards. Finally, you can't get a Royal Flush without T-J."

Some poker players don't believe in superstition. Jordan of the poker blog High On Poker doesn't have a favorite hand.

"If anything, I love middle-to-low suited connectors and one-gappers," he said. "They are fun hands to play and usually present situations where there are lots of options on how to play."

For that reason, some players have no problem with switching between favorite hands. StB has gone through periods where K-J and A-Q were hot as well.

"As a poker player, you simply cannot get carried away with two cards because it is your favorite hand," he said.

Sage advice, and Jordan, after a personal experience, echoes it.

"In a home game, I won a monster hand against A-A with J-2 suited. That game started calling J-2 the 'Jordan' as a result. So I felt obliged to play it. The problem with J-2 is that it is a terrible hand, and I lost a lot of money by feeling committed to J-2 on a J-high board.

"That's typical of 'favorite' hands. Usually, it's pure superstition, and worse, it generally involves crappy cards. Add those two things together and you have a recipe for disaster."

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