I flopped a set of kings, checked, and boy was that fortunate.

My goal Tuesday in the monthly Andy Slater ‘See You Later’ Tournament was incredibly modest. I just wanted to survive long enough to see my table break.

I had played the monthly event at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek on-and-off for, oh, the past three years, with dismal results. This month looked like it would be no different, as I looked around my table and saw a minimum of four good players, and possibly all nine were better than me. (I look at these things honestly, to assess from whom I could gather chips.)

Early in the night I was dealt K-K and the blinds were at 150-300, I think. I bet out 900, and two players called. I had been folding a lot, and to make any money I was going to have to rely on them using their aggression, and turn it against them. I raise big, they know I have it.

The flop came A-K for sure and a 6, two diamonds, I think, and I was thrilled. I checked what was pretty close to the nuts, expecting one of the other players to fire. They didn’t.

A third diamond hit the turn but that didn’t really bother me because the table had not been doing much flush-chasing, and when it had those with four to a flush raised the pot.

C’mon guys, bet! Nothing.

Another small card completed the table, with, I think, four cards to a small straight out there.

We all checked, and I reached for the pot only to hear the player to my left grumble about a missed opportunity. He turned over pocket aces, and, too, had checked his better set all the way down.

Other players at the table were flummoxed and naturally I was happy I never bet. We both commented that had the board paired, yes all the money would have ended up in the middle. And, yes, poker is quite the strange game, we all agreed.

Sometimes players talk about fortunate hands where they collect boatloads of chips. This one, actually, is just a case of not losing chips. And it paid off. I am proud to say I finally made a table break – and more.

I went on to $175 min-cash, in 20th, in the field of 222, finally ousted with 8-8 vs. A-A as my stack dwindled around midnight. That was hours after host Andy Slater had left the room to devour his usual steak and lobster, which salves him after quick eliminations.

Twitter: @Nick Sortal

Email: NickSortal@BellSouth.net