You guessed it – today was a day of Texas Hold ‘Em!
The Players: Anthony, Anthony’s brothers, Anthony’s sister, Anthony’s sister’s boyfriend, and our mutual friend from science research camp (as you may recall, this was the camp in which I met Anthony and Lexi; it was a little over a year ago)
The Game: Godawful. Barely any strategy. If you’ve played a good game of Texas Hold ‘Em, this was pretty much not it. There was a lot of crazy betting, the game swung back and forth and was more chaotic than exciting, and no one really knew how to play except me and Anthony (and our friend, of course, who was the other dealer from camp!). If Kieran had been there, things might have been different – I always work hard to remove Kieran’s chips from his possession.
Notable Hands: Not a whole lot. I did have a nice full house over a two pair one time, but nothing as great as Kieran’s full house defeat. Hold up, research camp story! So it was three weeks or so into camp, and we were very familiar by then with the fantastic and electrifying game of Texas Hold ‘Em. However, the excitement of the game sometimes caused us to make rash decisions. And this was the case when Kieran bet his entire pile of chips on a full house, 3 8’s and 2 Jacks, not realizing I had the 8’s to finish the four-of-a-kind. He lost everything and slunk off to his room, defeated, to play more Assassin’s Creed while I chuckled and ate my mushroom-infected broccoli from that damned Chinese place (IF THE ORDER IS CHICKEN & BROCCOLI, WHY ARE THERE MUSHROOMS IN IT?) and told the research camp crew about my adventures in the faraway nation of Taiwanland building schools and fighting the deadly mushroom infestation of ’04. Those were the second best of times, my friend… the second best of times indeed. (The best times were last spring, because I was a Senior with no sport at a school with my best friend, my close circle of near-best friends, and Rose my wonderful girlfriend. Am I off-topic enough yet? Seriously, though, Rose is wonderful. One time, she got me a bowtie for my birthday. I jumped for joy – George jumped for joy. Say that five times fast. Or don’t… I don’t really care.) Moving on!
The Struggle for Redemption: I managed to build myself back up after falling into heavy debt and eventually found myself near the top of the leaderboard for this evening’s poker game. However, I didn’t count on a new poker variant being introduced – for some reason, in this game, the dealer found it humorous to deal cards numbering between 2 and 4, non-inclusive, to each player. I mean… 2 cards, I understand that. 4 cards is not even something people do. But 3 cards? THREE CARDS? I don’t even know anyone who would think that was a good idea. I mean… it’s simply preposterous. But yes… that’s Super Hold ‘Em, the game with a three-card hand. (Remind me sometime and I’ll teach you all how to play Double Board Hold ‘Em, which is the truly fantastic member of the Hold ‘Em variants.)
The Eventual Collapse: This only happened because I had to leave and go back to my relatives’ house. I firmly believe that if I had stayed, not only would I have won all the chips, but I would have bankrupted the entire East Coast of the United States of America, and eventually the globe. What I am trying to say – if you are missing my subtle, elusive point – is that I am damn good at Super Hold ‘Em. Three cards does not catch me off-guard… it is in my nature to be dealt a third card. The third card is not a rarity… it is an extension of my body, another limb, a weapon of mass destruction that will be the card I need to eliminate my enemies from the game with a sly grin and a flick of the wrist as my cards fall face-up on the table.
To those of you who say, “It’s just poker,” you are ridiculous. Hold ‘Em is more than a game for me. A deck of cards, to me, holds memories of the greatest period of transition in my high school life, holds a thousand inside jokes, and holds the greatest possibility anything can – a game. Friendship. Loyalty. Smiles and laughter. Victory and defeat, gain and loss. And, above all… hope. Hope for a more jacked tomorrow; hope for the girl you cannot possibly hope to woo; hope for the light on the darkest day; hope for someone to harmonize with you in Green Day singalongs; hope for the strength to crush the end of the ropes course; hope for the courage to be loud, to refuse to lower your gaze, and to never, ever, believe for an instant that what you are is inferior to what anyone else is.
The next card could be a 2… but what if it’s an ace?
As always, thanks for reading.
P.S. Seriously, learn to play Double Board. It’ll change your life.