Sunday, November 13, 2005

Know when to fold'em.

Texas Hold'em is hard. The game has entirely too many human variables--i.e. is he bluffing, does she have a set, and the thought most frequenting my mind, I am hungry. Also, I have a complete inability to calculate hand permutations; math is for losers with future prospects. Friday night I went against my better judgment and attempted to play in game with a few friends. Nine people were involved and forty-five dollars was at stake. My goal was to not finish in last place, like my mom always said about competition: you will probably always be a loser, but at least you can strive to not be a total bitch.

The game consisted of two women, six guys and one homosexual. I started off slow, my strategy was to bide my time until I managed pocket aces, apparently that wasn't a reasonable idea. A half hour passed and nary an ace had come my way. Inspiration, in the form of pocket kings, struck. It was now or never, my time was literally in hand.

I started off strong; I raised five-hundred chips and saw the flop. The highest card showing was a ten, three suits were represented and a straight draw was a fanciful feat. I raised another five-hundred chips, only three people remained and I had a two thousand chips left. The next card was a five, which matched the other five on the board; I figured no one was chasing a trio of fives and decided to raise the bet one-thousand chips. My two opponents, who happened to be married, were still very much game. Fear boiled in my gut, sweat drenched my unibrow; however, I was pot committed, reason no longer played a part in the hand. The next card was a deuce, it was lonesome on the table, so I knew my Kings were high pair and straight or flush was impossible. Three fives would beat me, two pairs could always happened, so I decided to raise five-hundred more chips and let logic be damned. The married duo called my bet and we all showed our hands. The wife had a five, the husband wouldn't show, I had two kings and nothing else to show; my prayer to Che Kung had went unheard.

Even with fewer than five hundred chips, I managed to stay in play for over an hour; I rebuilt my chip stack, lost it once again and eventually ended up sixth. I accomplished all of this without looking one person in the face. Reading people is difficult and I had trouble enough deducing when to bet. Next time I am going to stare into the eyes, gaze into the portals of their souls; who knows, I might just manage fifth place.

Oh, and least you feel too sorry for me, I was only out five dollars and was able to eat an entire pizza, she who perpetuated three fives has cheese and pepperoni connections galore. All in all, it was a good night’s work, though it ended up causing a long morning on the porcelain throne.

Go To Hell