So last night I was surprised when the family, who normally plays games after the dinner table is cleared, suggested that we play Texas Hold-Em.
The comedy began when brother in law Tom gave us all 7 chips, all valued the same $1 and then tried to tell us how to play.
I tried to point out that we should be burning cards before the flop, turn and river, but just let everyone have fun.
No one understood the value of just checking. With such small stacks any one hand could put you all in.
My sister Kiri played an 9 4 off suit with everyone but me playing for one chip (no blinds, didn’t have the heart to tell em that, thought that they would get confused and heads would spin) I saw 6 2 offsuit and folded. Kiri flopped trip 4’s and the betting war began. Her full house with a rivered 9 took the first hand and it was fishlicious.
I waited and saw a hand that I loved. My grandmother who never has played poker before asked my help.
“You know how to play, Sean,” Grandma asked.
“Well I did go to the Amateur Poker League National Championships where I finished 6th,” I said with a smile.
“You finished where?” One family member said.
“I don’t remember that!” Another one commented.
“Where was I and when was it?”
“Ok good, you can help me. What do I do with these?” My grandmother said with true and utter confusion as she showed me American Airlines, Rockets… The holy grail of pre-flop hands.
“I would have bet grandma before the flop.”
“Never mind, go all in.”
“What’s all in?”
“Never Mind” I helped her push her chips all in and watched as my brother in law borrowed money from his wife, my sister Kelly to call. (Don’t ask or try to understand the poker habits of my family, it would just cause your heads to expload.)
Her two pair aces up won and took Tom out.
I could only laugh. I couldn’t find a hand I wanted to bet and folded several hands. With no blinds I could wait. I could see everyone looking at me like “There’s the bastard card shark.”
I found a hand I liked and while everyone checked I raised to 2 chips. A whole 2 chips.
“You can’t do that, this is a friendly game,” someone said.
“The bet is two chips as I looked at my cards.”
Most everyone called but the flop came up rags and my pair in the hole dominated. “I’m all in for 4 more.”
Only my brother in law Todd called.
The turn was a queen and the river was a queen.
Now in our families game you didn’t have to turn over the cards for a show down. So I just smiled and watched Todd turn over pocket jacks for two pair.
I turned over my queen and took the pot down with trip queens.
I was being nice and pulled a majority of the chips over to my side and started to shuffle them.
As soon as I won that hand “So who wants to play a new game” was uttered.
I didn’t have the heart to show him the case queen in my hand.
That would have been cruel.