The Red Barn also has one quirky "house rule," which can turn a game upside-down. It came into play for us tonight....
IN THE POCKET: K-9
We have been dealt "The Rodney," named after the Tournament Director. If you win a pot with this hand, you earn a 5,000-chip bonus -- and if the cards are suited, the bonus doubles to 10,000. Our K-9 is not, but it certainly has our attention at a semifinal table of six. We start with 11,500 chips and are ready to call. Then another player raises to 3,000, and we still join in.
ON THE FLOP: K-8-7
Top pair increases our hopes for a big hand. We're in lead position, but decide to check and let the raiser to our left do the work. That man bets 2,000; a woman across the table raises to 5,000. We call, making a huge commitment to this pot.
ON THE TURN: 4 (as best we recall)
We have 3,500 left, and are ready to push if need be. But we check again -- and are a bit relieved when the two other players in the hand check.
ON THE RIVER: 7
This gives us two pair, and we decide it's time to be forceful. "I'm all-in," we announce -- dropping down our last 3,500, in the hope our opponents will surrender and fold. Trouble is, they both have bigger chip stacks.
The man to our left didn't want to see that move. "I've got to pay to see it," he decides. He calls. The woman across from us agrees, and calls as well.
"I have The Rodney," we say as we turn over our cards. We feel confident, as the man to our left shows a 10 as if he missed a draw.
"King-Queen." Noooooo! The woman has a bigger kicker, wins the pot and eliminates us. No wonder she raised on the flop (a detail we'd forgotten).
We leave the table in 12th place -- then walk over to Rodney the Tournament Director. We explain what happened, and pretend to cry on his shoulder.
"I'm thinking about adding a 'bad beat' prize for The Rodney," he admits. But we didn't have that tonight. And come to think of it, we should have suggested making K-9 "wild" to trump everything else.
MINISTRY MOMENT: "Today is National Honesty Day," we said to both tables where we played tonight. We're not being dishonest and making that up. We spotted it as a trending topic on Twitter during the day; it's the idea of an author in Maryland.
"It's a day all poker players can appreciate," we said both in person and online. That made a couple of people smile, seeing the irony in our comment. After all, bluffing is part of the game in poker -- and even a little misleading "trash talk" at times. But in life....
Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. - Leviticus 19:35-36The margin of our Bible indicates the "ephah" and "hin" were dry and liquid measures in Old Testament times. In modern terms, wouldn't you be upset if a gallon jug of milk only contained three-fourths of a gallon? God would be upset as well -- and that also applies to the things we say.
A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.... Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. - Proverbs 12:17, 19You might be tempted to challenge the last part of that Scripture. History is filled with famous false statements -- such as U.S. President Richard Nixon declaring, "I am not a crook," or President Bill Clinton emphasizing, "I did not sexual relations with that woman."
We like the way the Moffatt paraphrase puts verse 19: "Truth told endures; a lie lasts only for a little while." And think of it another way: Jesus Christ who called Himself "the truth" (John 14:6) is ruling alongside God the Father eternally, while Revelation 22:15 warns someone who "loves and practices falsehood" eventually will be outside God's Kingdom.
UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 109 final tables in 310 games (35.2%) - 17 cashes.