Pocket Aces
By Jess E. Trail, Doghouse Boxing (June 9, 2008) Photo © German Villasenor  
In Texas Hold ’Em, pocket aces is a big favorite over any other hand, heads-up.

Kelly Pavlik was holding pocket aces last night against big underdog Gary Lockett. He was holding aces because he was in shape. He was holding them because he had not taken Lockett lightly, and it showed. He had watched tape of Lockett, seemingly ignoring the big odds in his favor. And last night, it was aces against 7-2 off-suite. Everything that should have happened did happen.

Lockett came in last night ready to rumble. He looked like a fighter with an attitude and came out throwing compact, powerful punches. It had all the looks of a somewhat competitive scrap early on. The problem that also surfaced by round two was that Lockett had never had to get past punishment like Pavlik was dishing out. Behind the jab, the right hand was always coming. Behind the right hand, the hook looped around Lockett’s high guard.

As Lockett began a series of acknowledgments that he was in over his head, backing up and taking a knee three times before it ended, he was recognizing that, in fact, sometimes the analysts are right. He hadn’t been in with anyone near Pavlik’s class. And, at least at this point in his career, he didn’t belong in the same ring as Kelly Pavlik.

The ultimate cruelty of all was the Pavlik walked into the ring with his pocket aces intact. He trained. He studied. He was in shape and ready. And Lockett realized by the end of round one, that all he could do was bluff and hope for a miracle flop.

As it was, he folded and left the table.

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