The spoils of victory


Next stop: Las Vegas.

If I could, I’d play poker every weekend. There’s something about a game with so many variations of what to play and variables of how to play that I find totally engaging. When do you draw cards? How do you calibrate your bets? When do you bluff? And, yes, when do you fold?

Whether I win or lose is secondary, though lately I’m on something of a roll. Last Saturday, seated in a neighbor’s borrowed folding chair at my own cloth-covered dining table, I was the big winner among a group of five guys. I’m calling it my “lucky” chair now and may be tempted to borrow it again. Not that I’m superstitious or anything.

The other thing about poker is that it makes for a great evening of relaxation. Good food (that is, if pizza, chicken wings and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups speak to you), good conversation and friendly competition make for an unbeatable combination. As the host, I invariably wind up with some leftovers. And this time, owing to a couple of classy contributions, I found myself with some pâté and crackers, cheese, olives and organic grapes. (Thanks, Ed and Bob.)

I’ve got eight or nine guys on my list of invitees so no two gatherings of five players is ever quite the same, depending on who’s in town and who’s available.

Next game up looks to be September — at someone else’s house, for a change. We’ll see if my winning streak continues on foreign territory.


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