Monday, February 26, 2007


The craze for Texas Hold'em from a few years back passed me by largely untouched. I haven't played poker since high school, when my friends would gather at Pete's place and play for nickels and pennies. Lacking any measure of skill, 7 Card Draw was often our game of choice. I never bothered to learn percentages and strategies. I'd have to do the math to figure out if 3 of a kind beats a flush (pretty sure, but ironically I wouldn't bet on it).

Given all that, I was somewhat apprehensive when Dave invited me over on Saturday to play poker with some Coasties (including one of my swabs from my 3/c year). It was low stakes, $10 for the first game, $5 for the second. I got taken in the first game. I made a really horrible bluff, failing to raise when anyone who really had a good hand would have done so, ruining the deception. So my old classmate Pete took my money.

The second game was different. I wish I could say I suddenly learned to play, but I simply had the cards. In the course of 4 hands, I had 3 of a kind twice. I blew it in the end, and ended up being the last one to bow out to the winner. Fortunately, 1st place got $20, but 2nd place got his $5 back. So I lost $10 in the afternoon, but it could have been worse. Dave put it well: it cost about as much as a movie, it was easily as much fun, I got to see some old friends, AND their was a nice spread of beer, chips, and homemade cookies.

I'm not sure this will make me the kind of guy who plays poker much. But I think I get the appeal of the regular poker games so many people play. It always seemed like an easy way to lose money. But it was fun, and if you apply yourself it engages the mind, which is always a good thing.

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