I sat staring intensely at the chips in the middle of the table, determined not to reveal a tell (this is why some poker players wear hats, hoodies, or sunglasses). I knew that if I recklessly called, hoping for a miracle, I’d be violating my newly-established principles, and worse, that if I lost I’d be close to busted.
But they call it gambling for a reason. To win big you need smarts, of course, but you also need more than a little luck. “I’m in,” I heard myself say as my hands began to subtly shake. The dealer flipped the fourth card, which was black, then the river. It was a third heart.
About two hours in I finally made my stand. I held the jack and seven of hearts, and with two hearts already showing after the flop, I decided to bet big. For me. I threw $100 into what was a very large pot, and immediately was raised. By $500. That stung. I was hoping -- praying, really -- that the turn (when the fourth common card is flipped) or the river (the last) would complete my flush, but that was far from a sure thing.