The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVI: No More Mr. Finesse
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie had been having a very bad week. It seemed to him like none of his attempted finesses had worked the entire seven days. This hurt Archie to the core, since the finesse was without a doubt his favorite bridge play. So, before playing that evening, he had vowed to not finesse at all the entire evening.
On the third board of the night,Lucky Archie arrived in six spades. In the auction, four diamonds was a cuebid in support of spades showing shortness in diamonds. The six heart bid represented two aces and a useful void, obviously in diamonds. Poor Frank led the king of diamonds, ruffed in dummy. Lucky Archie immediately called for the nine of spades. East followed low, and the Lucky One almost did himself, but then he remembered his promise.
“Well,” he muttered, “I might as well lose this way as the other.” And he banged the ace of spades down on the table. His eyes got big when Poor Frank’s king fluttered down like a sick butterfly.
“I was right,” he said out loud. “No finesses tonight.”
He then led the queen of hearts. Poor Frank played low. Lucky Archie’s hands were shaking and he started to sweat. It was totally against his nature not to finesse! But he had made a holy oath, so he called for the ace of hearts. East’s king flopped on the table like a hooked fish pulled into a boat.
“No more Mr. Finesse,” Lucky Archie said. “Who needs finesses when you play like me?”
Poor Frank thought about excusing himself so he could go to the restroom and throw up, but simply sat there and grimaced as Lucky Archie came to hand with the king of clubs, drew the last outstanding trumps and claimed thirteen tricks for a super top board.
“What gets me,” Poor Frank said to Janet later, “is how he crows over his incredibly lucky plays. I tell you, it’s hard to take.”
“I understand, darling,” Janet said, “but think on this. As long as he confines himself to lucky plays, your health is not in jeopardy. You’re too used to all his terrible and lucky mistakes. But if he ever made a skillful play, it might shock you so much that you would have a severe heart attack.”
Poor Frank laughed. “Yes,” he said, “perhaps you’re right. At least this way I can stay alive to play more bridge and be with you.”