Once In a Lifetime

Royal Straight FlushMy luck hadn’t been going so well lately. I’d lost big the last five times I sat in on our regular Thursday night poker games. And to be quite honest, I had no reason to believe my luck would be changing any time soon. I never had much of a poker face, but it was my intension tonight to at least feign optimism.

Things were going about as expected for the first hour into the game. I was already down about fifty bucks and I didn’t see much that would alter my losing streak. I was seriously starting to question why I even bothered to come to these weekly card games.

I was sitting alongside the dealer, who called a game of five-card draw. The first three cards I was dealt were garbage. The deuce of clubs, the four of hearts, and the ten of diamonds. But the next two cards were the ace and king of spades. I tried to be as nonchalant as I could when I kept the two high spades and turned in three cards. The dealer threw down three new cards and I picked them up one at a time. First the ten of spades. Then the queen of spades. And finally, the jack of spades.

Fuck me! I just drew a royal straight flush. Do you know what the odds of drawing a royal straight flush are? It’s like 650,000 to one. I had to be careful not to let the exhilarating feeling inside of me be seen by the other players. Another round of betting was taking place and I was trying to will away the beads of sweat that dotted my forehead. I needed to bet carefully so as not to give away the hand I possessed to the other players or to cause them to panic and drop out of the hand.

If I do say so myself, I played it masterfully. I managed to keep my cool. And when it came time to reveal our hands, I laid down my ace-high straight flush. The other five players let out a collective gasp and one, the dealer of the hand sitting to my right, actually flipped me the bird.

Once my heart stopped beating rapidly and my blood pressure returned to normal, I announced that I was quitting for the night, having just taken in the biggest pot of my life. I figured it was best to quit while I was ahead.

But my poker pals prevailed on me to stay and play and to give them a chance to win some of their money back. I figured, why not? I was definitely on a roll.

A few hours later I left the table, having lost all that I had won…and then some…in that amazing, once in a lifetime hand.

Oh well. It was still worth it.

Written for the following prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (royal), Word of the Day Challenge (exhilaration), Ragtag Daily prompt (bird), Your Daily Word Prompt (alongside), Daily Addictions (possess), Scotts Daily Prompt (feign)

12 thoughts on “Once In a Lifetime

      • newepicauthor September 8, 2018 / 4:44 pm

        Did you ever play poker for money or if you want to include a story about strip poker, I am all ears?


        • Fandango September 8, 2018 / 6:31 pm

          Yes, I’ve played poker for money, but not very high stakes. And yes, I’ve played strip poker. But I don’t strip and tell!


  1. Marleen September 8, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    I taught my kids to play poker, then wondered at times quite why I did. But we mostly play Spades, a game we made a habit after playing with the parents of youth sports pals. (Before that, my husband and I had played the same game but called hearts with his brother and our sister-in-law. I later learned what I think is actually “Hearts” — which is different.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 8, 2018 / 4:21 pm

      We play Hearts with our kids all the time. I tend to try to shoot the moon with every hand. Sometimes I succeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen September 8, 2018 / 5:36 pm

        It is a bit of a balancing act.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Marleen September 8, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    One of my sons actually tried out joining in a tournament [poker] or two someplace local. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t interested enough to spend time trying to get better at it, to really make money. It’s pointless anyway; not a productive use of a lot of time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. leigha66 September 16, 2018 / 7:55 am

    I really stink at poker, because I have no poker face at all. It is still fun to play occasionally. My card game of choice is a 10 hand game called Shanghai rummy – that’s a lot of fun!

    Liked by 2 people

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