The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXCIII: It Pays to be Lucky
By Ray Adams
All bridge buffs favor skill, but hope for luck. But many times, it seems – at least to Poor Frank – that most of that luck falls on Lucky Archie’s side of the table.
In the auction, 2♣ was strong, artificial and forcing. North’s first pass showed that he either had a king or did not have a king, a king being one control. East must have wanted to throw up when Poor Frank forced him to bid, but Lucky Archie chose not to penalize his opponent even though readers can see that the carnage would have been bloody and horrible. Instead, the Lucky One took a shot at the vulnerable game in his long suit.
Poor Frank led the ace of spades and continued with the king, ruffed by declarer. Lucky Archie led the nine of clubs, playing dummy’s ten when Poor Frank ducked. This allowed declarer to take the winning heart finesse, the king of hearts being the only card of value that East held. Next came the queen of trumps, won by Poor Frank’s ace. Archie ruffed the spade continuation and played his last trump, finding luck when the suit divided 3-3. However, this meant that no one at the table had any more trumps.
Lucky Archie was now out of options. So he banged down his ace and king of diamonds, smiling quite broadly when Poor Frank’s queen dropped. He now led a small diamond to dummy’s jack, repeated the heart finesse and claimed. It was an extremely lucky game for Archie and allowed him to finish ahead of Poor Frank in first place that evening.
Later, when Poor Frank discussed that evening’s hands with Janet, he asked her, “Do you have any idea what he said to me when the hand was over?”
“Sorry, darling, you’ll have to enlighten me. I left my crystal ball at home tonight.”
“He said, ‘You shouldn’t have thrown your queen of diamonds under my king, Frank. Otherwise I would have been down three or four.’”
“Well, darling,” Janet said, “maybe it doesn’t pay to be lucky after all, if a condition of being lucky means one has to be possessed with inferior intelligence.”
“There is that,” Poor Frank laughed.