My 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)