The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXXIV: Poor Frank’s Archie-ism
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank found a way to turn the tables on Lucky Archie just the other night at the local duplicate club. Or did he?
Poor Frank was playing with a relative novice that evening, but one who showed quite a bit of promise. Things had been going well when the above hand came up on the last round of the evening.
Poor Frank never trusted his rival’s bidding, so when Lucky Archie as East opened with a forcing two club bid, Poor Frank never hesitated in overcalling two spades. North found a raise to the three level and now Lucky Archie revealed a big hand with hearts. The auction finally ended at five hearts doubled.
Poor Frank chose to lead his ace of diamonds, hoping for a ruff. When he saw the dummy, his plan was to underlead his ace of spades to partner’s presumed king and have partner give him the diamond ruff. But after the opening lead, he juggled his cards a bit and the two of clubs came crashing down on the table. North played the king and got a surprised look on his face when this held. But he figured this must mean partner wanted a diamond back and he led one. Poor Frank ruffed and tried to cash a spade, but the Lucky One ruffed, drew trump and claimed.
Poor Frank was filled with mixed emotions. Sure, he had set his rival, but he had done it in a way that was typical of Lucky Archie. He had not selected the right card, it had merely fallen out of his hand, the way countless other lucky cards had fallen out of Archie’s hand over the years. And when he saw his partner’s hand, he realized he was cold for six spades. Indeed, plus 200 on this board was a very poor result and allowed Lucky Archie to win that evening’s laurels.
Later, when the game concluded and Poor Frank went over that evening’s hands with Janet, he told her how his partner should have jumped to four spades at his first turn and now he would never have sold out to Lucky Archie at the five level.
“Of course you wouldn’t have, darling,” Janet said, “but the Great Shuffler must be making you pay for some terrible karmic mistake. After all, you should know you can never win when you do the exact same thing Archie would have done.”
“You’re right, of course,” Frank said, “and if I would have had any idea at all that I was going to do something like that, I would definitely have bid five spades. Well, I can only hope that I have paid my penance and the Great Shuffler has forgiven me.”
Janet laughed that throaty laugh that Poor Frank loved so much.