I never would have believed it if you had told me two years ago that I would enjoy sitting around a table, clicking chips and waiting anxiously to see what the dealer had in store for me this time around. I never would have believed that I would become a poker player.
I can remember not all that long ago being over at my parents’ place and my dad was staying up late to watch a poker tournament on television. I laughed at him. Was there anything less exciting? Now, I find myself setting my Tivo up to tape poker so that it’s always available when I have a spare moment because you never know what you’re going to learn watching the poker greats play a few hands for a giant mound of money sitting on the table in front of them.
Certainly there aren’t giant mounds of money on the table in front of me and quite frankly, I’m glad that there aren’t. I find myself getting a touch nervous when there’s nothing but my pride on the line. These nerves are the good nerves. The I-know-I’m-alive nerves that give me a clarity of mind that I never knew was needed for playing a card game.
Poker mirrors life. There’s decision making in poker. There’s also risk taking, being in control, and being in command. There’s self talk and camaraderie.
I picked up poker a little while ago. I have a friend who stopped working his 9-5 to become a professional player. Who, in their right mind gives up a great job for POKER..? I had to see what brought him to this end. So I asked him to teach me how to play. He showed me how to play Texas Hold’Em. He taught me the basics, donated a chip set and sent me on my merry poker-playing way.
Then, I convinced my once a month book club that perhaps we should try poker one month instead of book talk and just see what happened. As it turns out, pocket aces are more exciting than any Oprah’s Book Club selection, and we have abandoned all and any book talk for the pursuit of poker excellence.
No, I won’t be quitting my job any time soon. No, I won’t be heading off to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker. And I certainly won’t be playing with a giant mound of money sitting in front of me. But I will enjoy my monthly home game with good friends and the pursuit of poker (and life) skills along the way.
Poker has snuck into my life.
I sure hope it stays for awhile.