The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXXIX: Severed by a Seven
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again at the local duplicate club just the other night. The winner would be determined by the outcome of the following board:
After doubling Lucky Archie’s weak two bid and hearing his left-hand-opponent jump to game, Poor Frank decided that he would either have a good shot at making five hearts or else only go down one or two to get a good result. At any rate, he knew an average result would not be good enough and that he needed a near top to win that evening’s laurels.
West led the nine of clubs, low from dummy, and time stopped as Lucky Archie fumbled with his cards. As he tried to hold onto them, the seven of clubs fell onto the table. Poor Frank won the queen and drew trumps. He then played the ace of clubs, hoping to drop the doubleton king and run dummy’s long suit. It was not to be, and although he struggled mightily, Poor Frank eventually lost one club, one spade, and three diamonds for down three and minus 500. This was a complete zero and not only knocked Poor Frank out of contention for the number one position, but dropped him all the way down to fourth place.
As soon as the hand was over, Lucky Archie turned to his partner and said, “I’m sorry, partner, about my play at trick one. I meant to play the king of clubs on your lead, but the damn seven jumped out of my hand and fell on the table. Well, a played card is a played card. What could I do?”
Poor Frank could not believe what he was hearing. If Lucky Archie had done as he wanted, Poor Frank would have been able to run the clubs and would have finished with eleven tricks, making the doubled contract and eclipsing his rival for the honors that evening.
“You’ve got to hold onto your cards a little tighter, Archie,” Poor Frank said.
“Thanks for your concern, Frank. I’ll try to next time.
Readers may find it of interest that this hand was actually played by Bob Wood of Naples, Florida, in the 2016 Orlando Nationals. Bob said he had never met Lucky Archie before and hopes he never does again.