A True American Tradition

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Thursday July 22, 2004.

Apparently every true American male has to go through the ritual. You know, it’s that thing that no matter what you do in your life, no matter who you choose to hang around with, no matter who you choose to not hang around with, you have to eventually become a part of it. It’s Poker Night. And believe me, I was caught a bit off guard on this one, but I am certainly a willing participant.

It all started a couple of weeks ago. I was at teh concert in the park where that guy Johnny A played. Some friends showed up. They have kids the same ages and sexes of our kids, and they have gone to school together since birth, hence the parental friendship. The husband, Sonny, was carrying around a book about poker. He asked if I was into cards. I’m not, but I have become a fan of the Travel Channel’s World Poker Tour thingy so I figured I could handle myself. I said I was, so he said he was trying to get together a poker group and asked if I would like to be in it. Sure I would. He’s a professor type, and said he’d be inviting grad students, so I figured I was going to make a shitload of cash off the ordeal, at least once.

Sonny then called me to go on a bike ride this past weekend. We talked a little more about poker, and I figured it’d be pretty cool. I’d get to meet a few new guys and hang out every once in a while, which I’m down for. So I showed up with my $20 and a bottle of Sangria (over 21, please), which is damn good shit when it’s chilled. Plus, it’s cheap! We began playing. There were only four of us tonight, but that will change, one way or another. I figured I was going to be solid. I played my chips right, got the hell out of there when I needed to, and won a hand early. But I was wrong. For most of the night, I was desperate to win a freaking hand. I got my ass kicked. Three times in a row, when the deal got to me, I was down to my last few chips. I stuck with my good luck game, five card draw with deuces wild, and won each of those three times.

On the third win out of those, I dealt myself three threes. I knew I was going to win it. But I was down to jack-shit for chips and could only raise a tiny bit at a time. Luckily, the guy next to me was holding three twos and wanted to put me out of it. I won, and took the next two handssssswhich I bet up handily due to the luck of the draw finally catching me, and got back into the game. I was safe the rest of the night, and went in big as we neared the time limit and won a couple more hands. At the end of the night, I was up $1.25 and freaking happy about it. For a guy who was down to jack in his had to go up a buck was awesome.

I look forward to meeting this group again in a few weks. There will be a couple more guys there, so the strategy will change, but I’m okay with that. At least I won my buy-in back.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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