All in, but two cards later he was all out |

All in, but two cards later he was all out

Jim Morgan

I had no illusions about winning the Summit Showdown Poker Tournament Saturday night – even after a pair of vodka martinis, which I think was the only pair I drew all night.I’m not what you’d call a good card player. In fact, I’m what you’d call a pretty pathetic card player, and until Saturday night had never actually played a hand of Texas Hold’em. But most important, I had to be home by 9 p.m. to let the dogs out.I lasted five hands.The dogs got out early.

The winner, by the way was dentist Jason “Dr. Lucky” Luchtefeld, who in the wee hours of 2:30 a.m. was the last man standing. Actually I’m told he was sitting. By then I was home sleeping, and had been for nearly four hours.In case you’re wondering, Dr. Lucky didn’t win any money but he does get a seat in the state poker tournament in Denver in a couple of weeks. If I recall correctly, just before the first cards were dealt at the 18 gaming tables, we were told we were playing for one, pride, two, respect and three, a big trophy. Based on how quickly I exited the table, I was 0-for-3.It did dawn on me I could have lasted for hours by folding on any hands that I didn’t get a pair of aces on the deal, but it also dawned on me that that would be like sitting in front of a slot machine and not pulling the arm.Nothing ventured nothing gained. ‘Course for me it was something ventured and nothing gained.I just get no pleasure, vicarious or otherwise, from gambling. Actually as bad as I play cards, to call it gambling is a misnomer because that would imply I might actually harbor thoughts of winning.

Gambling is buying the blonde at the bar a drink.Gambling is saying, “I do.”Gambling is telling a teenager, “Sure, you can have the car tonight.”Gambling is putting a big wooly bugger on the end of fly line.Each of those acts brings some expectation, albeit not guaranteed, of success.

In a poker tournament like the one Saturday at the Silverthorne Pavilion, the only table at which I had an expectation of success was the buffet table. Great roast beef sandwiches, by the way.The problem with poker is the math. My daughter has a master’s degree in tax accounting. She couldn’t have kept up with the math.And not just the who-bet-how-many-and-the-what-the-hell-is-this-red-chip-again math. No, you have to keep track of the cards and the odds. And the river. And the showdown. And straights and flushes.On TV, it looks so easy.Last week, in preparation for the tournament I watched the TV show “Celebrity Poker.”I watched two hands before it went to commercial.

Some guy pushed his chips toward the dealer and said “All in.” Two cards later the dealer was pushing those chips and a stack the size of a small puppy back at him.Cool, I thought. So I tried that Saturday night. “All in,” I said, pushing my gerbil-sized stack of chips forward. And two cards later I was all out.Out of the loudspeakers at that moment, and I’m not making this up, came the voice of Hank Williams Jr. … “I was just thinking about callin’ on you … I’m busted.” Publisher Jim Morgan writes a Tuesday column. He can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 240, or

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