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A Texas Hold 'Em Game I'd Like to Join

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Given the popular misconception that I no longer work, my readership may be surprised to find that I am occasionally succumbing to job stress, thus necessitating the requisite "letting off steam".

Out at Bebek last night, with Big Swinging Sal in his trademark straw cowboy hat, the Iraqi back from adventures in Dubai, and the Soviet back from covering the Middle East crisis from Damascus. An acquaintance of mine was trying to persuade me to join a little Omaha and Hold 'Em game he has going every couple of weeks, and I was throwing up objections, due to the fact that I just know I'm a bad Hold 'Em player (because I haven't studied the expected values)*.

The Soviet then tells one of the better Hold 'Em stories I have ever heard (not least because it didn't involve the dreaded Bad Beat. Nobody cares about your fucking bad beats, punk. Go cry to yo' mama.)

It seems that the last time the Soviet played Hold 'Em, he was in the Baghdad Green Zone. The scene: a smoky living room. The players: The Soviet, another journalist, two Iraqis, two United States Army Colonels and 3 bottles of whisky. The Soviet then looked me in the eye and, with casual understatement, said that "some of the pots got pretty intense".


*Back in 1994, way before the current craze, I got heavily into the rec.arts.gambling newsgroup, voraciously soaking up principles of blackjack basic strategy and card counting as well as money management, variance, and expected values for blackjack, poker and craps, respectively. Even back then there was a vast literature of theoretical and empirical study regarding Hold 'Em, which I have yet to delve into with any seriousness.

1 Responses to “A Texas Hold 'Em Game I'd Like to Join”

  1. Anonymous j 

    If you're arranging a game for this weekend, count me in. I only play for cookies though.

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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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