Mark Blumenthal

Idiot’s Finesses – 3

Most of my partners, though incredulous at first that these could actually work, began to believe that sometimes  these plays  could actually catch somebody. One of them, Ed Shapiro,  continued to scoff until we defended  this hand:





West East
Qx J10x
AKxxx 10x
KJx Q10xx
xxx xxxx


 Ed had insisted that idiot’s finesses couldn’t work.  Playing with Ed and  defending against two spades I led the king of hearts.  and upon receiving the ten from Ed,  continued with the ace and another which he ruffed with  the spade ten and returned a diamond.

Declarer won this and led a spade to the king under which Ed   dropped the spade jack. Declarer continued with a small spade from dummy. Ed played  small. When Ed played small declarer started thinking. At this point Ed started laughing. When everyone turned to look at him, he stopped, but upon declarer’s continued thought he  he broke up again. He explained he had thought about something funny that had happened the previous day. Finally, declarer, muttering something about it being a complete guess, put in the nine. I won the queen and cashed two diamonds to defeat two spades a trick. As we left the table I could hear declarer’s  frenzied partner explaining that Ed with QJ10x  of spades would not have played them in that order.


Chris HasneyMay 28th, 2009 at 8:30 am

Tell Ed to avoid poker, lol

Ed ShapiroMay 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I think this occurred in the neighborhood of 40 years ago and, as a matter of fact, I haven’t played much poker for meaningful stakes since then.

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