SI Vault
 
THE PRIME-TIMING OF Texas Hold 'em
Richard Hoffer
September 22, 2003
That's right, Jack—get yourself in a high-stakes poker tournament, be a TV star and rake in a bundle of money. It's all right there on the table
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 22, 2003

The Prime-timing Of Texas Hold 'em

That's right, Jack—get yourself in a high-stakes poker tournament, be a TV star and rake in a bundle of money. It's all right there on the table

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3

Let destiny do its dirty work now. The flop turns up ace-6-3. Their hands are still garbage. But here comes a 5 on the turn. Wow! Do you wonder at the gambler's absolute conviction that even the slightest risk deserves reward? Both players, free rolling with God's money, are inching toward inside straights, simply because they were arrogant enough to insist on a little cosmic opportunity.

Of course there is still the matter of that one card to connect them, and what are the.... The dealer flips over a 4.

Judah pushes his chips all-in, and Phillips, after enduring a silent thrombosis or two, responds in kind. The tournament thus chides anyone who would dare hope to become a "brand" or develop an "income stream" on such whimsy as Texas Hold 'em. The players' hole cards are turned over. No calculation, by Chris Ferguson or anyone else, could have ensured this result. Two inside straights, drawn from rags, with all that cash bundled up on the green felt! Risk is rewarded; let that be a lesson to you.

It takes a few seconds to comprehend what has happened, except that it was highly unlikely and tremendously satisfying to anyone who lusts after chance. But then it sinks in, and you can see it in the crimson flushing cheeks of the Dot Com Kid. Judah's 7-high straight, as improbable as it is, breaks his 6-high. There is pandemonium, naturally, not so much that a winner has been produced but that drama has been so majestically delivered. Phillips stares at the table just for a second, both amazed and amused by God's idea of mischief, then reaches across the felt to shake Judah's hand. As anyone might have told him, of course, that's poker.

1 2 3
Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Mel Judah 1 0 0
Paul Phillips 2 0 0
Los Angeles 1590 0 13
Chris Ferguson 2 0 0
T.J. Cloutier 0 0 0