IN THE POCKET: A-K offsuit
We captured a couple of early pots, including two hearts which became a flush that an opponent never saw coming. But several promising pre-flop hands have missed the flop, so we need to win another hand fairly quickly. Sitting in the Small Blind at a table of six, no one raises before us - so we dial it up to 2,500. Only one player dares to call us.
ON THE FLOP: 3-10-5
An ordinary flop at best. But we're first to act, and see a need to look strong. So we make a continuation bet of 1,500. Our opponent calls.
ON THE TURN: 5
The board pairs, but we doubt that changes anything for our opponent. We check to make sure. He checks as well.
ON THE RIVER: K
Now that's what we needed! We make a "go-ahead, call me" bet of 3,000. But after thinking it over, our opponent folds.
"I figured you had a King," he says. We respond by saying half-jokingly he "had me figured out." But the river was a fountain of blessing for us, as we gain several thousand chips.
We won another big pot minutes later when two diamonds turned into a flush on the flop. We checked, and a big better obliged us by wagering 10,000. We raised all-in to 19,000, and he folded. From there, we endured to the final table (admittedly on a two-table day) with 35,000 chips.
Once there, a man went all-in across from us. We saw A-Q, and couldn't resist calling. But that man had K-K -- and despite the notorious difficulties pocket Kings can bring, we only paired a Queen. We were eliminated in tenth place. Out of 12 players, that's not really good -- but a final table is a final table, in our scoring.
MINISTRY MOMENT: The female dealer at our table took a short break, and the poker room manager took her place. She's "getting the dew off her lily," he said.
"That sounds so Southern," we noted (remember we used to live there).
"More like hillbilly," a man across from us joked.
But we recalled an old Atlanta afternoon newspaper which claimed on the top of Page 1 it "covers Dixie like the dew." Then we noted: "Now Jesus is the lily of the valley. The Bible makes that clear."
That comment seemed to stump the table -- and perhaps that's OK, because we couldn't remember exactly where in the Bible that phrase is. It's in a book you may have never read:
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. - Song of Solomon 2:1-2
What does this mean -- and how do we know this refers to Jesus? After all, it's in a section of the Old Testament. But by turning to similar-sounding sections of scripture, we can understand this better:
I will heal their waywardness and love them freely.... I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. - Hosea 14:4-5
Who is our ultimate Healer? None other than God....
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. - Psalm 103:2-3
Jesus did numerous miraculous healings when He walked on Earth. Several Bible translations indicate Song of Solomon is an exchange of poetic language between a "Beloved" one and a "Lover."
I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies. - Song 6:3
Are you browsing in this world for true love - perhaps for physical or emotional healing? With apologies to Whitney Houston fans, God offers the greatest love of all....
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
This admittedly is a complex topic. If you have questions about it, leave a comment and we'll research things further for upcoming posts.
UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 152 final tables in 432 games (35.2%) - 25 cashes. Today marked our first final table since mid-June -- but we're still at a 50% final table percentage in 2014 (7/14).