IN THE POCKET: A-K offsuit
It's the fourth hand of the day, at a packed table of ten. We tried to sneak into the prior hand with J-10, only to see big raises chase us off. That was too bad, because a 7 on the river would have given us a straight.
Now we have big cards, and are first to act. We limp "under the gun", as we normally do. Sure enough, the raises come across the table - first to 600, then 1,600. We call that. But then a man across the way makes the "four-bet shove," as our dealer would say. Other players bail out.
"I have to call this," we say in contrast. Our remaining stack of 10,200 chips comes out.
"He has you covered," the dealer notes while counting the stacks. Of course he does; our opponent bought 20,000 extra chips for $10, while we've only spent one dollar on a can of soda worth no extra chips.
"You'll see why I had to call it," we say as we wait.
"Your Aces are good, sir," a man in the middle of the table says in a guess. Then we see our opponent's cards: 8-8.
"I don't quite have that," we say as we show. But we have six immediate outs - a 13% chance. "Be nice to me," we say encouragingly to the dealer.
ON THE FLOP: A-10-2
"I like you," we say.
ON THE TURN: 8
"I don't like you," we turn around and say. Just that quickly, our top pair is trumped by a "two-out" third 8 (a 4.5% chance).
ON THE RIVER: K
A second pair is not enough. Our big risk becomes a big bust - as we're first out of the tournament, in 20th place. But let's face it: what thinking poker player would not have done what we did?
MINISTRY MOMENT: Our card protector of the day led to a pre-game discussion with a man about the Holy Spirit. He indicated he believes in that Spirit.
"What's the Holy Spirit done for you lately?" we asked him.
"The trinity watches over me every day," he answered.
We know some people who would raise the offside flag at that statement. They don't believe God is a "trinity" of Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and they'd challenge the idea of the Holy Spirit watching anyone.
We did a quick Bible review, and admittedly couldn't find any verse to indicate the Holy Spirit looks or watches people. (If you find out, leave a comment and let us know.) But consider these words....
...The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. - I Corinthians 2:10bThis was written long before Google searches with computers. If you went searching for something the old-fashioned way, such as a missing card in your poker deck, wouldn't you look for it - utilizing eyesight?
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. - I Corinthians 2:12
The Holy Spirit can help you understand deep things about God. But perhaps you have trouble understanding how the Holy Spirit works. Review our Bible study on the Spirit with an open mind - and if you have questions, ask them in a comment.
UPDATED POKER SCOREBOARD: 162 final tables in 447 games (36.2%) - 26 cashes.