Chad Holbrook and the Spades Game

Down 20 points and his opponents are about to hit the 500 mark.

He's got a decent hand this round, but he has to play his cards right or it could be game over. 

What, you thought this was about baseball? Chad Holbrook's out here playing spades. 

Let me explain...

Holbrook's situation looks like this. He and his partner are sitting on 440 points, but the other team has 460 and just bid five. His team has bid seven and he's got to get them in order to win. Bags are not an issue, it's time to go for broke if he wants to stay at the table. 

Let's take a look at his hand:

Seven of Diamonds: The Catchers

At first glance, this card doesn't seem like one that will win a trick. Not quite sure what he's got here, especially after losing Logan Koch. Of course, after seeing John Jones play for two weeks, maybe this card is more valuable than he initially thought. If he handles the game properly, the catchers might just make some magic happen.

Ace of Hearts: Alex Destino

At first glance, this is a surefire card. A big-time heavy hitter that can dominate the table. However, he's got to be careful. Someone threw out a low spade on this card last hand (.251 average, 41 strikeouts in 2015) and things didn't quite work out the way he'd hoped. If this card does its job, the hand just might work out.

Jack of Diamonds: Brandon McIlwain

He'd rather have this card than not have it, that's for sure. Nothing to sneeze at, but there are bigger diamonds and too many spades out there for him to pin all his hopes on this card. It can probably snag a trick for him if he's patient and plays it at the appropriate time, but this card isn't winning the hand. 

Four of Hearts: Bullpen

The most important thing is to make sure this card doesn't lose him a trick. Figure out what its use is going to be and play it when necessary. He can't afford to get stuck at the end of the hand and realize he needs one more trick and nothing left but the hodgepodge of relief pitchers. Find the right guys and trot them out when necessary. They just might surprise him. 

Seven of Spades: D.C. Arendas

Nobody's going to be blown away when he plays this card, but it's capable and can get the job done. There are higher spades around the table, but this needs to be one of the more reliable cards in his hand and do what it's supposed to do. Otherwise, there's no way this thing works out well for him. 

10 of Diamonds: T.J. Hopkins

A lot like the seven of spades, but it has to be used properly in order to work. Right now, he's not sure when to play this card because of other options like Dom Thompson-Williams and Clark Scolamiero. This is a solid card that should be expected to pick up a trick at some point during the course of the hand.

Eight of Spades: Dom Thompson-Williams

At first glance, this card appears to be one that can really help the hand. It should be available at multiple points throughout the hand and can do some damage. Of course, there is the possibility that it will be overpowered by other spades at the table, but he should be able to find the right spot to play this one. 

Jack of Clubs: Braden Webb

A lot of clubs will be thrown on the first trick, so this card is a good choice for the secondary club. There are some weaknesses in this card that can be exposed, but there is also the potential for good things to happen when it's played. It can pick up the slack if his opening club doesn't win the initial trick. 

Four of Spades: Marcus Mooney

This card doesn't need to blow away the table, but it needs to come through late in the hand when tricks are at a premium. Nothing special is to be expected, but it must produce in the clutch for this hand to work out.

Nine of Diamonds: Jonah Bride

He certainly hopes this card is going to be a heavy hitter, but he probably shouldn't put the fate of the entire hand on this one. It might turn out to be one of the stars of the hand. If not, there are some other options. 

Seven of Hearts: Clark Scolamiero

He's seen this card do some good things in the past and now he needs it to show up again. There is potential here and that potential must rise up when called upon.

10 of Clubs: Clarke Schmidt

He has to play his lowest club to open the hand and this is a good one to throw out there. There's a chance it may get overpowered, but he likes his odds. 

Jack of Spades: Taylor Widener

This one could get played early and it could get played late. Whenever it hits the table, he needs it to bring home a trick. 

Good luck, Chad.