The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXXVII: Lucky Frank
By Ray Adams
It was the last board of the evening and Lucky Archie was his left-hand opponent. This goes a long way to explaining the wild bidding that propelled Poor Frank into an unlikely contract.
Poor Frank managed to reach 6♦ in spite of the fact that there were only 20 high card points between his and partner’s hand. Lucky Archie led the king of hearts and Poor Frank had to be disappointed with dummy.
Poor Frank stole a quick glance at his left-hand opponent. Lucky Archie had a very irritating smirk on his face. Poor Frank knew from past experience that this could only mean that he thought he would best his rival. So what was Archie holding that would cause him to think this way? It could be the ace of clubs, but more likely it was the king of diamonds. Yes, that had to be it. Lucky Archie thought he would get in with the king and immediately cash a heart to set Poor Frank.
Poor Frank decided to act on his assumption, but first to take out some insurance. At trick two, he led a spade and inserted dummy’s jack when Archie followed with the deuce. This held and Poor Frank now cashed dummy’s ace. He then led the queen of diamonds. East played the four and Poor Frank paused, pretending to be looking at an invisible crystal ball. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the agitation on the face of his rival. Suddenly Poor Frank threw the ace of diamonds on the table.
“Good guess, Frank,” Archie said in what was little more than a croak as he reluctantly parted with the king of diamonds.
Poor Frank smiled to himself and cashed the king of spades, throwing dummy’s losing heart. He then conceded a club and claimed this unlikely slam. Making this contract gained Poor Frank enough matchpoints so that he easily won that evening’s laurels.
Several kibitzers had been watching the play quite intently. When Poor Frank claimed, one of them pretended to barf and said, “If you keep this up, they’ll be calling you Lucky Frank and your opponent will be known as Poor Archie.”
Poor Frank committed this pronouncement to memory and rehearsed how he would later tell this delicious story to Janet.