Beginner's Luck

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I had a phone call the other night from Clark, one of my teaching buddies at Trinity, inviting me to a poker night at his place with the boys. Although I've never played poker before, you may recall that one of our guiding principles during this year away from home is "say no to nothing." When you do an exchange, you should take every opportunity offered to you; a night playing poker with the boys sounded like an opportunity, so I took it.

I'm not normally much of a one for card games (or gambling generally) and the last time I played poker was in high school so I really had no idea what I was doing. Besides, this was 5 card Texas Hold'em poker, which I'd never even seen before. After meeting everyone and settling down at the Giant Tiger $49.99 poker table, another teacher from HT, Jeff, helped me out by explaining the rules of the game. It took a few rounds of the table, but eventually it started to make sense. Kind of.

Playing poker successfully seems to rely a lot of good luck and on your ability to bullshit people well. I watched Mike P play for a while and figured out the bullshitting part. After that it was just a matter of holding out for a bit of luck. As the evening wore on, people around the table gradually started to run out of both luck and bullshit and ended up out of the game, but through a series of complete flukes I was somehow still in it.

It only takes a couple of really good hands to turn things around in poker, and we ended up in a three-way battle between members of the HT Business Department - Ange, Mike and myself. Lord only knows how, but I somehow ended up with a big pile of chips in front of me, and after an epic battle and great comeback from Mike it ended in an all-in bet that didn't pay off for him. To my enormous surprise, I walked away from the game as the winner, and $100 richer. Talk about beginner's luck!

I just want to say thanks to Clark and the rest of the boys for a really fun night. See you at the next one, which apparently is hosted by the winner. ;-)

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