Last night I played poker for the first time since high school. And thus also for the first time without being drunk. I learned a lot about five-card draw from our poker-savvy neighbors, Tim and Jan.
From the other player at the table besides me, Laurel, I learned that it isn’t a good idea to take almost all of your wife’s chips on the last hand of the game. Unless you enjoy being strangled when the chips are redeemed.
I’m considering becoming a poker pro. At nine p.m. I put in $5. At ten fifteen I got back $8.65. That’s almost a 75% return on investment. In a bit over an hour. At this rate I should be a gazillionaire within a few weeks after I start playing poker professionally.
First, though, I humbly recognize that I need to do a little fine-tuning on my game. For example, my crutch last night was a print-out that Tim kindly provided me of winning poker hands in rank order.
Whenever I had what seemed like a good hand, I’d lean over and check where, say, three of a kind stood in the grand poker order of things. I have a feeling that I won’t be able to get away from that when I turn pro. At the least, it might lessen my mojo with the other players.
Leaving aside such minor barriers between me and poker playing stardom as my current shaky knowledge of what constitutes a winning hand, it’s evident to me that the cosmos is on my side.
I was up only a few chips until Jan announced, “It’s after ten. This will be the last hand.” I looked at my five cards. An ace of clubs and king of spades seemed worth keeping. I discarded the other three cards.
Picking up the replacements, I almost screamed “Wow!” Then I remembered something about a poker face. Three deuces. The Poker God is great!
Tim and Jan quickly folded, leaving me mano a womano with Laurel. I suckered her in with a quarter (blue chip), then threw in the big guns (two black chips, one dollar!) when I could tell that she had taken the bait.
With a smile she threw down her cards. Two pair. I smiled bigger and showed her my three of a kind. Laurel reached for the chips. Tim and I simultaneously grabbed her hand.
“Three of a kind beats two pair,” we told her. Laurel couldn’t believe it. She figured that four good cards should beat three good cards.
What a neophyte. I felt so superior. I’d learned that three of a kind beat two pair a whole thirty minutes previous, during one of my frequent perusals of the cheat sheet.
Vegas, here I come. As soon as I strengthen my neck muscles. From my experience, that’s important if you intend to play winning poker.