Sunday, June 20, 2004


On Friday, I went to play cards with some people I hang with. I met these people through one of my college friends, Big Milin. Big is an interesting character, and I'm sure I'll cover him in more detail in another post. At any rate, there were seven us who met to play poker, and a few more people showed up just to hang out and shoot the breeze. Jim Liu, our generous host, had a really nice set of poker chips. Each chip had his name inscribed in the center; first name on one side, last name on the reverse. I got there at ten, though I gather they'd been playing for at least an hour by then. We kept the game going until about 4:30 in the morning, slowly bleeding players as they lost money or exhaustion claimed them. Finally, at about 5:00 the three of us who remained decided to switch to a game called "Acey-Deucey."

After seven hours I was getting a little tired of poker too, but I wasn't quite ready to quit and go home, so I agreed to play. The game is deceptively simple; two cards are flipped up, one at a time. Then, the player whose turn it is bets that a third card will fall between the range established by the other two. For instance, if a 3 and a Jack come up, the bet is that the card will be greater than a three and less than a jack, leaving most of the deck. If an ace is flipped up as the first card, then the player must decide if the ace is going to represent the highest or lowest possible card. The rules are pretty simple, it's the betting that gives the game its edge. All participating players decide and deposit a certain amount into a general pot. Play proceeds one player at a time. On a player's turn, he may decide to bet any amount up to the pot. If he wins, he takes his money and if the pot is depleted, the players pay into it again. However, if the player loses, he must pay into the pot an amount equal to his bet. An unlucky string of cards can make for a large pot, which can lead to deceptively large stakes for such a humble game.

We're all more or less pretty friendly, so the whole night of cards was really entertainment rather than a pursuit of winnings. Still, I ended up with forty dollars profit at the end of poker, with a twenty dollar buy in and buck max raise that isn't bad. However, by the end of Acey-Deucey I was up only eight bucks on the night. The thing is, that game has this odd addictive quality to it. You want to see what the next range is going to be, so you keep playing. In the future though, I think I'll stay away from it. Until next time, that is.

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