Thursday, December 8, 2011

Welcome to My First Poker Experience... Ever.

You know, while I'm all about work team events (whatever promotes that one big happy family feel... sigh.), I was inclined to back out of the poker party my team had planned for Wednesday night for a couple of reasons.

One, I have NOT been sleeping well lately (darn hotel beds) and am perpetually exhausted come, say, 3 PM. Two, well... I've never played poker before! And, MAN. These people sounded like they were LEGIT. Combine that with the fact that I scare of people (let alone competitive people) easily and... well, poker with coworkers sounded like a disaster waiting to happen.

Oh well. Twist my arm (it took all of about two seconds to convince me, let's be honest here).

I knew that the poker party was going to be my kind of thing pretty much as soon as I entered the room and helped myself to...

Weeeee!!! Holiday beer?!?! Any party that serves holiday beverages is MY KINDA PARTY!

After some food and chit-chatting, we got down to business... not like I really knew what "getting down to business" would mean in the poker sense but... well, whatever. All I know is that my coworkers started whipping out these like mini-SUITCASES filled with rows and rows of poker chips.

Let's have a double take, folks...

Aaaand that was precisely the point when the whole "addicted to gambling" side of me started to come out... even though the buy-in was only $10 (gotta love being the poker-playing rookie), the THOUGHT of how MUCH those chips could actually be WORTH was enough for my eyes to nearly pop out of its sockets. Obvi, this reaction was totally internalized because, well, I WAS with coworkers and, believe it or not, I CAN temper the chaos that IS me when in professional settings! I mean, professional lines have to be drawn at SOME point, right? (Riiiight... that's pretty much a moot point since you better BELIEVE I'll be sending this blog post to my coworkers... hello! Shameless self-advertising knows no bounds, people!).

Anyway, thankfully my team consists of pretty much the most patient people alive, who had no problems giving me a brief tutorial prior to actually beginning the game. Additionally, two people on my team provided me with different variations of poker cheat sheets (gotta love Smartphones) to help guide me in terms of what hands rank higher and whatnot.

So the game quickly commenced and, well, let's face it. I quickly got confused. Doesn't take much, really. But in my DEFENSE, there is a LOT to keep STRAIGHT in this GAME, people! I mean, Straight, Flush, Two Pair... how in heavens name do people keep TRACK of all THAT (without multiple cheat sheets, mind you) in ADDITION to keeping track of, like, "how" others at the table are betting, how one's poker face is being maintained, etc. etc.

GOD, just thinking about it in retrospect is enough to overwhelm me.

Anyway, whatever. As confusing as it was, it was actually really fun learning about the game. Surprisingly enough, I actually found the game to be strangely fascinating... even if I wasn't winning.

So there I was, just going along my merry way, studying these multiple phones' cheat sheets before making any and every move (and clearly, not pushing the bounds of my teammates' patience) when, out of the clear blue, would you look at that...

I won! I won! alkdsjflkdsjflkjLKJ! OMG, the HIGH you can GET from winning a poker hand is NO JOKE! To be perfectly honest, when I laid my cards out and people started saying I'd won, I totally lost track of even trying to understand WHY exactly I'd won. I mean, I swear things just started moving at such a frenetic pace and PLEASE. I was MUCH too distracted at the sight of... that little pile of poker chips heading my wayalkjfdslkdsjf! Not gonna lie... my palms actually got a little sweaty.

Best. Sweaty Palm. Experience. Ever.

Hahah. TMI? Anyway! And to think, that was just the start! I actually won a couple more hands... but nothing can compare to that first win. Sigh. Let's have a moment to reflect, if you will.

Believe it or not, I actually was totally as cool as a cucumber with my subsequent wins... or so I like to think. So maybe it wasn't necessarily me being as cool as a cucumber so much as it was... well, me STILL not fully and completely understanding the game just yet, let's be honest here. Well, what? How was I supposed to know that triple Queens was some kind of great hand to have?

In any event! All in all, I have to say... my first poker experience?

One. Big. Fat. Success.

Next up? Working on that poker face... ha. And I thought learning the game itself was going to be hard...


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  2. Congrats on winning your round of poker! That must’ve been one of your happiest moment that night. And I must agree; winning can be highly addictive, especially if you were only doing it for the first time. And most of the time, it's not really about the money, but the fact that you're doing great in the game. Anyway, I’m glad you had fun. Cheers!

    Marci Deegan @ Twin Pine Casino & Hotel