Yes! POCKET KINGS!
The poker fairies had waved their magic wands and anointed me their favorite daughter. This was the first hand of a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament whose prize money I had already mentally promised to my favorite spa.
With only two cards in my hand – of the seven from which I could make my best hand – I knew there were any number of combinations that could ultimately have wasted me. Consequently, I would never have risked my whole stack having seen only that pair. So, I bet just enough to scare off speculators, but not enough to jeopardize my seat.
Suddenly – out of the blue – the jack-ass directly across the table went all in! Crap! I hadn’t counted on that. Had I called him and lost, I’d have been out of the tournament on the first hand. But I’d already made such a huge investment. And my two kings made such a good hand – at this point there was only one other pair that could have beaten me . I really didn’t want to just roll over and let my opponent have his way with me.
While I’d been fooled by masculine charm many times before, something about these particular cowboys told me they’d be worth the ride. Their seduction was so smooth – the butterflies in my stomach fluttered down to my toes and back again teasing all points in between (had I been a smoker, I’d have been asking for a light right about then). So, despite the goddesses of probability who hovered before me and threatened to slap me silly…I called.
And the jack-ass flipped over his pair of aces. Once again, I’d been seduced by testosterone – this time, tag-teamed – that had made promises it hadn’t delivered.
I felt my spa date being flushed down the drain as the first three community cards were revealed and a third ace was added to my humiliation. There was no joy in my Mudville as the fourth community card – another worthless, eunuch of a king – flopped onto the table. As I prepared to haul my dashed hopes away from the table, the dealer prepared to toss out the final card. There was only a four percent chance that it would be the sole remaining king — my knight in shining armor – okay, my prince – okay, his father – on plastic coated paper.
…and there he was.
I was lucky, very lucky that time. Things almost never work out that way. As I gathered my chips and stacked them neatly in front of me, it occurred to me that poker is a lot like dating.
If you play every hand that’s dealt you, you’re more likely to run out of chips than win the tournament. Likewise, if you invest some of yourself in every joker who comes your way, you’re more likely to run out of ‘you’ before finding your king. Some of the possibilities can be really tempting – smooth pick-up lines, pretty faces, nice cars, nicer buns – but don’t count on the miracles it’ll take to turn these pigs’ ears into silk clutches.
In dating, as in poker, be very selective. Only play the best hands — and then play to win.