Friday, October 27, 2006
Over the past year, I have developed a great affinity for poker - especially Texas Hold 'Em. There is something about sitting around the table with a bunch of guys with beverages and pride and some money on the line. I got watching a series of High Stakes Poker on the Game Show Network in January, and I have really come to appreciate the game. I really enjoy the strategy involved in knowing percentages and knowing the other players, but that it is a game that also involves risk. For example, I was playing tonight, and on one of the later hands of the evening, my competition attempted to take me out by bidding in increments (I was by far the chip leader at that point). He finally went all in after the turn (the fourth card), and I called. He had top pair (kings), while I had a flush draw (diamonds) and a straight draw (if I got a ten). I calculated the odds and decided to risk it...and got a ten on the river to put him out. I also won the game on a king on the river (when faced with an ace-high hand), so I earned the title of "river rat." Although I do not necessarily like playing off the river, it does take skill to do so, and I came up on the right end tonight twice. River-riding notwithstanding, I feel like I am actually getting to be a better poker player (not that I am good, but that I am getting better), and that also helps me enjoy the game. But we will see what I say after I get beat good a few times.