We didn't need to win the money, really. But that was the itinerary last Saturday night. After buying a new Bible at a mall, we drove to The Grand Casino in central Oklahoma. It was a different opportunity to share the things of God -- even though an old phrase came to our mind several times during the drive: a fool and his money are soon parted.
Unlike some poker rooms, Grand Casino offered a choice of games on a weekend night. With a long waiting list for traditional Texas Hold 'em, we chose the shorter wait of Limit Hold 'em -- with set bets at every level.
BLINDS: 1/3 (Limit 3/6)
IN THE POCKET: Ace-10 of diamonds
We took $60 to a full ten-player table, and won an early pot with a high flush on the flop. But some chases have failed since then, and now we're down to a lowly $9. We need to find a good hand to play -- and fast. We call, prepared to push if someone raises. But no one does.
ON THE FLOP: 10-6-6
With two pair and top kicker, the decision is obvious. We go all-in for our remaining 6 (two times the standard bet). A couple of players call. We hope they're chasing something else.
ON THE TURN: 3 (as best we recall)
The minimum bet is now six, and a man across from us keeps betting -- with another man calling.
ON THE RIVER: A
Now we feel better -- with a hidden top two pair. But the man across from us bets again, and gets called again.
We turn over our cards with hopeful confidence. But the man across the table shows 6-8. He hit three of a kind on the flop! And he had us beaten all along. We hake his hand, and take our leave -- as another cash game ends with us busted.
MINISTRY MOMENT: We won almost all or money back playing Ultimate Texas Hold 'em (the small table version) on the first floor. And as we did, a dealer noticed the WWJD bracelet on our list. That led to a discussion of church practices, which seemed to clear the table of other players.
"What does your group do that's different?" he asked.
We explained several things which make our worship distinctive from other Christian denominations -- most notably the keeping of a seventh-day Sabbath. By that, we mean worshiping on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Did you realize that's "WWJD" -- what worship Jesus did?
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was his custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. - Luke 4:16 (NASB)
The Bible calls Jesus Christ the "head of the church" (Ephesians 5:23) -- yet that head of the church went to synagogues on the "Jewish" Sabbath! Of course, some would note the "church" didn't really begin until after Jesus was resurrected. Yet that was the Lord's example. And despite what some white supremacists might try to tell you, that's because Jesus was Jewish:
For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. - Hebrews 7:14
While Jesus came from heaven to earth, His "family line" was Jewish (Luke 3:23, 33). So He kept the Jewish custom of a seventh-day Sabbath -- and He never mentioned changing that day, before or after the resurrection.
That's one main reason why we never play poker on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. We try to put God before any poker payday. We'll have more from our Grand Casino trip in upcoming posts.
CASH GAME COUNTER: 2 gains, 6 losses, 1 even in 9 sessions - down $156.