Tonight was poker night and despite there only being one winner everybody went home happy. I play Texas hold ’em against a few old mates once every month or so and and it’s always entertaining and fun, even when I don’t win. We play for £10 each, much less than a round of drinks these days, but generating a £50 or £60 prize pot which would make a difference to all our weekends. I get a bit frustrated with the pace of the early game when there are 5 or 6 players in as I need a regular supply of cards and at least 1 or 2 winning hands under my belt before I can try bluffing. Drink, cigarettes, Mr. Kipling’s cakes and our aging bladders punctuate the rhythm of the game along with the banter and tales of the everyday life of simple (but lovable) aging lads.
Before tonight we had all sampled the delight of winning with the exception of one player: Mr B. had come second so many times I’d started calling him ‘Whirlwind’ after the greatest snooker player never to be crowned World Champion. Tonight I thought ‘Bridesmaid Blan’ had a better ring to it and as he yet again took a commanding position as chip leader you could see his nerves and doubts starting to gather like shadows around him. His last runner up performance was against me when he had well over 80% of the chips as we went toe to toe and the ante was so large that I was forced to go all in on a numerous occassions when given an option I might have been more cautious. I pulled that game around partly due to chemical assistance but also with a combination of maximising my good fortune and a touch of demon bluffing.
Again we faced each other as the final 2 players tonight, and again Andy had over 80% of the chips. This time the ante was not quite so high, but I decided to be bold and try to play on Andy’s nerves. The cards fell in for me a couple of times, I found some momentum and suddenly the split of chips was 50-50. Surely it wasn’t going to happen again was it? I went all in on a Queen and 7, Andy held his nerve to take it on and his King and 5 didn’t falter as the shared cards didn’t provide any twists or turns.
We all congratulated a popular winner, though sadly it doesn’t look like the ever popular Jimmy White will lose his ‘Bridesmaid’ tag.