Instead, players tend to show affection toward small holdings like suited two-gappers, tiny pairs and sometimes even worse holdings.
Maybe it doesn't give you "poker cred" to say your favorite starting hand is AA. It's just uncool.
In this strategy snapshot, we'll take a look at a truly classic hand, Doyle Brunson's beloved ten-deuce. But how did it really happen? Why do we call this starting hand the Texas Dolly? Let's turn the clock back to 1976 and Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas.
Players: Doyle Brunson and Jesse Alto
Tournament: 1976 World Series of Poker Main Event
Situation: Last day, 2 players left
When the heads-up battle started between Doyle Brunson and Jesse Alto, the latter had a slight chip lead. A while later, however, Brunson managed to win a quite sizable pot, and maybe he thought this was going to put Alto on tilt.
That might be the reason why Brunson even considered playing T♠ 2♠. Alto raised, and Brunson decided do give his speculative starting hand a shot.
The flop came A♥ J♠ T♥, giving Brunson bottom pair. This was far from a great flop, but at least he had something. So when Alto bet out, Brunson called.
It's hard to say whether he thought he actually had the best hand or if he wanted to take a chance, hit two pair/trips, and try to get everything into the middle. Maybe he sensed weakness and planned to bluff on the turn.
Anyway, Brunson called.
The turn was a good card for Doyle, 2♣. Now there were a few more hands he actually could beat.
Good enough, apparently, as Brunson went all-in, Alto called, and both players turned over their hands.
Doyle Brunson: T♠ 2♠
Jesse Alto: A♠ J♥
This was obviously not what Brunson was hoping for. He had been in terrible shape from the flop and if he was on a mission to trap, it had surely backfired.
But when the river was turned over, Brunson wrote poker history with a little help from four far-fetched outs. It came T♦, and Doyle Brunson took home the $220,000 first prize.
Studying this hand, it's evident that a player's favorite hand doesn't necessarily have to be the mathematical favorite in the long run. Poker has an element of chance, and sometimes lady fortune smiles at a seemingly weak starting hand.
When that happens, the hand might even be named after you.
The year after, in the same situation - WSOP Main Event heads-up - Doyle managed to win his second Main Event bracelet. Which hand did he hold that time? You'd never guess...