Dogs Playing Poker



What a hand to start the night with! I'm playing it cool, so I just call. Flop comes 4 of hearts, 7 of hearts, ace of diamonds. Score! With a queen on the turn, I'm still sitting with the nuts, and bet like I do. That scares everyone away, whoops. Keep it in check, padre.

With just two limpers ahead of me, I check in the big blind. No sense committing more money to this bad hand. With a 7 of clubs, queen of diamonds, and king of clubs on the flop it doesn't look any better. I quickly check and so does everyone else. 9 of clubs on fourth street. I pick up my rags again — nope, still no club. The small blind finally gets up the cojones to bet; the third club must have emboldened him. A double bellybuster's not good enough for me to stick around — adios.

After sweeping the blinds with the speed limit, I pick up nonconsecutive rags off-suit. They do both look familiar from the second hand though; if only nostalgia beat a full house. I bail, my cards skidding to a stop at the dealer's pinky. At least I lose with style.

Next hand I pick up a suited ace and make a modest raise but get only one caller. Hitting sailboats on the flop, I bet again but he stays with me. The six of hearts comes on the turn. I've got a bad feeling about this hand, so I check. He doubles my bet from the round before. Man I don't like this. I throw it away, but not knowing what he had is going to eat at me the rest of the night, I know it.

Oooh, this is a nice hand, and suited to boot. I limp in, so I can play sheep later if I hit something good. I see a queen of spades, ten of hearts and ace of diamonds. Intriguing. There's a raise ahead of me so I just call; I need to figure out where I stand here. An 8 of spades on the turn is no help, and the guy in first position bets again. Our only remaining colleague departs, but I call. The river's a very scary 9 of diamonds. Was he betting this whole time on a draw? He bets big and it's decision time for me. He's staring me down hard. A little too hard. I think it's a tell. I'm in. He flips a San Francisco busboy, giving us the same pair but I have the better kicker — hallelujah! My heart's pumping as I rake and mentally I'm patting my own back as fast as I can for my brilliant read. All right!

Fresh off my win, I'm happy to see an ace-seven peeking back at me, even if it's not suited this time. In the big blind, I just call the small raise - no sense revealing my power. The flop is 8 of hearts, queen of hearts, king of clubs. Not good for me. When there's a bet in front of me, I don't hesitate before folding. Don't think of me as one of those suckers who stays around just cause he has an ace.

Another suited ace! Boy do I have the luck of the Irish. When the flop comes 4 of diamonds, 8 of spades, 9 of spades, it only gets better. I'm feeling very confident with top pair and I raise. I get raised back! Tough guy, eh? I'll play his game. He's the short stack on the table, so I push him all in. He beats me into the pot. Oh. I've already started slinking back in my chair by the time his pocket snowmen hit the felt. St. Patrick has left the building. A 2 and a 3 on fourth and fifth street and I kiss two-thirds of my stack goodbye.

My cards are starting to get repetitive. One of these hole cards I've already had twice before, but at least I didn't get the hole card I've had four times already. Come to think of it I haven't seen a red hole card all night. No matter, it's still a good hand. And I'm a little steamed from the last beat, so I bet half my stack at it. One caller. Flop comes 4 of hearts, 4 of diamonds, 10 of diamonds. Well that didn't help me but there's no way it helped him. I confidently push all in. He studies me up and down. Come on buddy, you got nothing! Fold! After a long pause, ever so deliberately he slides his chips in. Crap. Well, if he didn't hit anything either, I've still got a good hand. When he flips; I see he didn't hit anything, but his suited ace is in diamonds, which makes it much more valuable than mine. At this point, I'm just hoping for a split. Jack of hearts on the turn; I've got no problem with that. Just don't be a diamond, and let me have my cash back. But you already know how this story ends. What a hand to end the night with.