March 22, 2005

Tabled Discussions...

In an effort to combine the things I'm leaving the house for (aside from free movies and work), I'm warming up my creative writing by re-enacting a few hands of poker (free through that I've played over the past couple weeks. Lame? Yes, but hey, it's my blog, and I'll try to make it exciting. In a... film noir kinda way. I'll change the names to protect the innocent (and how badly I play poker).


Seven players at the table, each with around $5000 in chips, game's only 7 minutes old. Greg'd been getting crappy cards all night, but sat in third position (three places left of the big blind) with a pair of Eights (Clubs and Diamonds).

Snowmen, thank God. Not faces but at least they match, he thinks as he calls the $50 blind.

Three other players call, and the big blind checks. Dealer burns a card and deals the flop (first three cards of the five to be shown on the board). The flop comes Four of Hearts, King of Spades, Eight of Hearts.

The players check to Greg, who bets $300, thinking he's sitting pretty with a set of Eights. Player to his left, an overly made-up middle-aged woman, doubles his bet. Everyone folds back to Greg, known that a couple hearts hurt him, as do pocket Kings. He calls the bet, praying that another heart doesn't show up.

The turn card (or fourth card) is the Nine of Hearts.

Greg checks, hoping that his disappointment doesn't show. He's got a strong hand, but a flush beats his set, as would pocket Kings. Not easing his inner turmoil is that $1500 bet his opponent makes.

Shit. She's got her flush.

Then again, she's played aggressively all night. She called an all in with a Queen-Eight and picked up a miracle straight to win the hand, so maybe she didn't hit it, after all.

Greg wasn't known to play very loosely, but he called the big bet, leaving himself with just over 3000 chips. No more hearts, dealer.

The river (or last) card comes up. Nine of Spades.

It takes a minute to realize what he has. He looks for straight chances and narrows his eyes at the three hearts on the board, but it's not until he's worried about her having a set of Nines before it hits him.

I've got a full house!!

His set of eights and the miracle pair of nines gives Greg the hand that beats any flush. He doesn't think another second before he snatches up his chips and counts them on the table.

"All in."

"Really?" asks the woman, incredulity sneaking into her voice.

"Yep. 3275." He keeps his eyes locked on his chips, hoping she can't see how eager he is for her to call.

Then doubt starts to creep in. There are hands that beat him after all. Pocket Kings give her a better full house. Dammit, so does King-9, 9-8, or 9-4. And pocket Nines give her Four of a Kind -- maybe this wasn't the right move.

He somehow manages to keep his face mostly expressionless as the last-second worries wash over his mind, but he can't tell that she's trying desperately to read him from one seat away. She's sitting on what she's thought was the best hand from the very flop, and now she's got a chance to knock this kid out.

She finally calls, tossing in the chips and flipping over her cards -- King of Hearts and Queen of Hearts. She smugly grins as she nods once, telling Greg to show what she thinks is his final hand.

But Greg doesn't see it -- his eyes are too fixed on the flush to notice anything other that nice large stack of chips that are now his. He flips over his cards. "Full boat, Eights over Nines."

The eyes glitter as a goofy grin spreads across his face, not even looking at his opponent, but instead, his hands shaking, reaches out to take the huge pot. She ends up losing her all-in after the next hand, and Greg breathes a sigh of relief, glad to be free of the heated glare he was afraid would haunt him through the rest of the game.

That's it -- that'll probably be the only hand I'll actually talk about winning, as it seems the ones I lose on are much more spectacular, but you get the gist. If it's in your area and you have a free night, I strongly suggest heading to a free tournament. They're a lot of fun, and you get stories like this. If you want more info, email me,