Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Grew A Little?

It takes a lot of nerve for a woman to walk up to a poker table full of nine men who are strangers and sit down to play, especially someone like me who has a bad case of the social terrors. Especially someone like me who didn't have a couple of shots of Jack Daniels before I walked in like I used to have to do before doing anything. But I did it. I smiled, said hello, sat my ass down, plunked a $100 bill on the table and got my chips. I folded the first two hands that were dealt to me and didn’t play. The third hand I was dealt was pocket aces! I couldn't believe my good fortune.

That’s when I really got nervous, surprisingly, and starting shaking uncontrollably. I’m not making this up or exaggerating.

I raised and maybe three people called and stayed in the hand. Nothing significant came out on the flop and with shaking hands I raised again. I couldn’t believe my hands were shaking so badly and it was a struggle to breathe. I couldn’t it stop! I had the best hand you can be dealt, and my body was betraying me. I didn't feel nervous in my brain, but my whole body went into some kind of nervous spasm. All eyes were on me. Do you know how much I hate that?

Everyone folded except one man sitting two spots to my right. It was heads up, just me and him. (Him and me?) I consciously tried to calm down and stop shaking. The dealer laid the turn card face up on the table. Whew, still nothing significant. No possible straights on the board, not alot of one suit, nothing. They were all small cards. I checked, he raised, and I called. The river card was turned up and, to my relief, it was another mediocre card. I checked and he raised me everything I had except $5. I called and raised my last $5. Of course, he called it and we turned our cards up.

Son of a bitch! He had three fours! @#$%^*+$! All the guys let out an audible, “Awww!” They were all very nice and said it was a bad beat and they would have played it the same way, blah, blah, blah, but I still had to get up and leave after having just played one hand. I did it with as much dignity as I could muster and smiled the whole time, but I felt like crap. My adrenalin pumped and my hands shook for another 30 minutes at least. I was so upset.

I got over it and told Barnaby about two hours later that I wanted to get back up on the horse right now or I never would. I marched my butt back into the poker room and sat down at another table. Of course, I thought that whole table of men saw me walk in and stared as I walked across the room, snickering. They didn’t, but I imagined that they did.

This time I was assigned to sit at a table with two other women already playing among the men. I ended up staying at least two hours at that table and left with over twice as much as I sat down with. At least I won my $100 back from that other table. Too bad I couldn't have won a little pride back too.

I’m sure I grew a little from that horrifying, emotionally scarring, embarassing experience. Isn’t that what they always say? You learn something and grow from all the bad things that happen to you?

What a bunch of bullshit.


  1. As soon as you said pocket aces I was fearing the tiny trips. At least you were able to recover and close out the night a little ahead. Way to hang in there!

  2. YOU GO GIRL! That was a great story and believe it or not, I had something similar happen to me in Las Vegas many years ago. It was THE thing that made me quit smoking for 10 years. I'd been playing KENO for hours and we were getting ready to leave Vegas that afternoon so I was on my last 10 games. Suddenly, my numbers started coming up, not once but several times during that 10-game spread. By the time the 10th game came up, I was shaking and I had chest pains and I thought I was going to throw up and was afraid I was having a heart attack! Well, it was just a major panic attack but it scared the hell out of me. I took all my money and walked out of there a non-smoker. I still have a hard time believing that I reacted like that!


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