GOING ALL IN
Here’s something a little different for you today, an experience you just might find at the Hangar if you come to play some safe, legal poker at a Houston poker room dedicated to giving you the best Texas Hold’em gaming experience you could ever have.
The poker chips were red. It didn’t occur to Thomas to think that they might actually be magenta or fire red or ruby or one of another five or six hundred possible marketing-driven names the manufacturers might have come up with to sell the chips. They were red, though. Thomas didn’t give a damn about anything other than the fact that each of those chips represented a thousand dollars and he had four of them in front of him. He had four of them in front of him and if he called all four of them along with a rainbow of colors’ worth of his other chips representing about five hundred more would end up in the pot.
If he called.
That was a fairly stupid consideration because he sat on a set of aces with two cards to come and at the moment it was the nuts. There really wasn’t any possible justification for folding this hand in any game of Texas Hold’em he could imagine.
No. There were about four thousand five hundred reasons to fold.
On the other hand, if he called and won he’d be able to pay off the SUV and for at least a few months Sarah would be able to do whatever the hell she wanted with the hairdresser as much as she wanted and as many times as she wanted and he wouldn’t have to worry about those awkward moments when she could tell he wasn’t happy about the hundred and fifty dollars she was about to spend to keep her brown hair brown and to add waves or curls or whatever the hell it was she added and he had to notice to avoid problems.
He told himself to concentrate. This was no limit Hold’em and not marriage. He needed to decide and he needed to decide correctly.
He knew the man who’d pushed was a doctor. He knew that because the dealer recognized him and called him Doctor Smith. Thomas might not have paid attention but his mother’s maiden name was Smith. He chuckled. His mother’s maiden name was Smith and the name of his first pet was Rex and he grew up on Oak Star Lane. He lifted his hole cards. The ace of spades and the ace of hearts were still there and with the ace of clubs that came up on the flop they still formed a set.
There wasn’t a flush on the board.
There wasn’t a straight.
The doctor had to have a smaller set or maybe the case ace. Thomas had to call, didn’t he? He wondered for a moment what he’d find worse, folding and never knowing or calling and losing the money. He’d come in with a thousand and built up to the chips in front of him. He checked his hole cards again and then breathed out the words. “I call.” They almost sounded inaudible so he said them again, louder.
Two things happened at once. The doctor said, “Damn. Trying to buy that.” Second, the man flipped his cards. Nothing. A jack and a four. He was drawing dead. The money belonged to Thomas. Oddly, he still felt nervous and his hand shook as he turned over his cards and received the congratulations from the doctor and the five men and two women at the table. He knew the dealer dealt the turn and the river but even weeks later he couldn’t remember the cards. He didn’t have to, really. He remembered, though, the red chips. He remembered the feel of them and the sight of them. He remembered cashing them out and remembered the glance and the smile from the man in the cage.
Okay… so this is more of an amalgam of a bunch of experiences in the world of Texas hold’em poker but I can say without any dishonesty that I’ve been where Thomas was in this story. Perhaps things don’t always get as dramatic here at the Hangar Poker House but without a doubt every hand is important to the players who come to play Texas Hold’em in a safe and secure poker room in Houston.