Monday, May 14, 2012

My Lady of Mercy, Lady Luck

Over the past few months, I have been frequenting what can only be called the den of disaster. That is where the erstwhile hostel 5n6 members (5n6ers) has set up camp now. On that particular day, as I walked across the hall, a steel briefcase caught my attention. With the house always in deliberate disarray, it is usually a difficult task to locate individual items. In other words it was a haystack of a house. However, the briefcase was shiny and new. Crying out for attention. A voice inside my head warned me. But as usual, inside the den, my sense of adventure muffled all wise warnings rather effectively.
15 minutes later, there were four of us. Seated at a glass topped table with piles of coloured chips in front of us. As a rookie with a death wish, I turned towards one of veterans and gestured for advice. Without taking his eyes off his cards, he said “Poker is a game of skill and luck. You will understand the rest as we go along.” That was all I needed. Or at least that was all I heard before images of large tables, cheering crowds and millions of dollars coursed through my spinal fluid.“No mercy gentlemen”, I quipped and we began playing Poker.
Round 1: The cards were good. I won.
Round 2: The cards were really good. I won.
Round 3: The cards were ok. But the others played well and I lost.
Round 4: The cards were bad. But the others weren't strong enough and I won.
30 minutes later, 3 others had joined. And on went 50 more rounds.
After 5 hours had passed thus-ly, the decibel levels of groaning/sleepy voices had risen and it was time to quit. As some rubbed the exhaustion out of their eyes, others rose from the table with their eyes twinkling. Including yours truly. In fact, I had made more money than a rookie should have. The stock market be damned, here was an investment with a real return, I thought. As I patted a weeping 5n6er on the shoulder and made my exit, he glanced at my pile of chips in deep sorrow. “It was just Lady Luck, you know”, he said.
Early next morning, I woke up to a message. “Poker tonit?” it said. The question mark was surely a gesture of jest. I was ready to play right then. But I merely replied back in the affirmative and spent the rest of the morning building card castles in my head. The setting sun found me back at the den of disaster. At a table with several 5n6ers and chips on it. Round 1 began with such good cards that a sardonic smile escaped the emotion-less poker face. “No mercy gentlemen”, I said. It turned out to be the most apt thing I could've said. I lost Round 1 with good cards. I lost Round 2 with bad cars. And the successive rounds.... with good, bad, decent, wonderful.... I lost with virtually every single permutation of the 54C3 possible. By the end of the night, the proverbial shirt had eased its way completely off my back. And the weeping 5n6er of the previous night had taken it.

As I finish this blog, my phone screen says “1 Message”. I am deep into the den of disaster, my friends, and I am ALL IN.

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