Wake Up

word type: poker slang

  1. To discover a huge hand after significant action has taken place already.


There are two possibilities for the phrase's origin. The first is that a strong hand grabs your attention; it "wakes you up." The second is that someone who plays tight will only be interested in very strong hole cards - after "sleeping" through an orbit or two, the strong hand "wakes them up" and gets them to play.


I had been playing really tight, so of course the first time in ages that I raise with a good hand, the guy on the button wakes up with Aces.


While the term "wake up" is meant to be neutral, it often comes with a negative connotation. Players frequently refer to someone as "waking up" with a hand if the opponent has been playing many bad hands or has been playing extremely tight. Used negatively, the term is meant to reflect disgust.

Waking Up With A Monster

It was 2007, the tournament was the EPT Championship in Monte Carlo, the player was Poker Terms' contributor Shane "Shaniac" Schleger.

The action went: 1) Online player makes a standard open raise in early position, 2) Solid British player goes allin, 3) The Tightest Woman (poker player) on the Planet now goes allin herself in the small blind. There are only two possible hands she can have: Kings or Aces. 4) Shaniac, in the big blind, looks down at his hole cards, and he wakes up with AA.

The original raiser folds, the British player shows QQ, the Tightest Poker Player in the World shows KK. A queen turns and Shaniac loses the dreamiest wake-up hand of all time.