See, this is what we call a straight draw…” my father said and pointed to the screen. I was not familiar with Texas Hold’em. I had played some 5-card draw but had trouble making sense how to combine your holdings with the board. We were holding JTc on a Qh9s2s board. “…That’s why we must call here, we will make a straight with an 8 and or a king. Do you get it?”
“Yes, I think I get it”, I replied, as a realization hit me.
Realization, that I am the prophet that poker had been waiting for. As surely as Jehovah’s witnesses needed Jesus to bring redemption to the righteous, Lady Fortuna had been waiting for me to crush the false prophets of online poker.
So, I confiscated my father’s account – all 640 dollars of it. He had to see that he was dealing with a poker prodigy. Yes, of course he would see it. Wouldn’t he? In time at least he will see. I shall create a strategy so beautiful and complex that even the gods will kneel to me. I was born for this. I SHALL RULE FULL TILT UNTIL THE END OF TIMES.
A week later I had done like any true prophet would’ve: blown it all to the kingdom come.
“And the river is three of spades, pot is twenty-seven thousand euros. Check or bet?”
It takes the brain approximately 0,2 seconds to register what happens. At 0,2 seconds after the river:
Warm feeling hit me like an avalanche filled with orgasms and world peace. Every neuron in my brain is firing at the same time. I feel like I’m riding a raging bull on ecstasy, except I’m both the rider and the bull.
At 0,3 to 1,5 seconds after the river:
“DO NOT SHOW ANY READS!” Rational parts of me screams.
BET NOW! BET BEFORE HE SEES YOU HIT! BET IMMEDIATELY! BET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE!” My impulsive side shouts.
“CALM DOWN”, my first controlled thought pops up.
I take a deep breath. Not suspiciously deep though.
“HE KNOWS YOU HIT THE RIVER; EVERYBODY KNOWS. BET NOW OR YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A FOOL”
At 1,5 second to 5 second after the river:
“This man is known for his aggression – do not, I repeat: DO NOT, fuck it up. You have to give him the room to bet. And don’t react too fast”
“One, two, three seconds… Ok, let’s do it”
I give a look to the dealer and knock the table twice gently.
“Check”, the dealer declares.
“If he checks back, I will make you suffer- I’ll bring the wrath on you and your ginger beard …”, my impulsive side starts.
“Shut up”, the rational side responds.
As I’m trying to mute my inner dialogue, I see my opponent saying something and pushing a big pile of chips over the betting line.
“Did he bet a pot?” I ask the dealer.
“Yes, for twenty-seven thousand euros” the dealer immediately replies.
Life is such a beautiful thing isn’t it? I’m floating in dopamine now. Fuck morphine, that’s the poor man’s drug. What you really need is a big poker game. I check my cards to be sure; yes, they still form the best possible hand.
“I’m all in”, I say while pushing forty-three thousand euros in total over the betting line.
I hear a small “sigh” from my right. A good friend of mine, also a pro-player, gives me a look. He knows what’s about to happen and he’s down a lot. The look is still friendly.
“I don’t care, I call” my opponent says and shows his hand immediately: QTJ9 with one spade for the flopped nut straight.
“Nuts” I say as I show the best possible hand.
Then it’s all blurry again. I can feel my heartbeat still racing as everything seems to move in abnormally fast pace. The dealer pushes the chips to me, opponent says that he’s done for the day and shakes my hand. 20 minutes ago I was losing €50k, now I’m up 48. I just won 98 000 euros in a shorter period of time than it takes me to prepare a decent meal.
I’m driving my car, it’s not like the raging bull on ecstasy – but it will do. Sun is rising, it’s quarter past ten in the morning, I’ve been up for 24 hours.
And I feel great.